eBayers have been very generous this year. In fact, through eBay's Giving Works program, they've given nonprofits more than ever—a welcomed gesture during a year when charitable giving is at an all-time low.
According to eBay, buyers and sellers have donated more than $50 million this year to charities in the U.S. and U.K. through Giving Works, a program that allows sellers to donate a portion of an item's final sale price to participating nonprofits. This year's total represents a 17 percent increase in funds raised through Giving Works compared to 2008, eBay reports.
"The eBay community has proven time and again that small actions, when brought to scale, can have a big impact," notes eBay CEO John Donahoe. "It's what makes the eBay marketplace so unique, and what enables our community to do good things for causes they believe in. I want to thank every single buyer and seller who connected through eBay and gave back to their communities through eBay Giving Works."
Alone, Top-rated seller Elizabeth Bennett, owner of Africa Direct, raised close to $40,000 for nonprofits. And a charity auction for lunch with Warren Buffett, benefiting the Glide Foundation, brought in $1.68 million for the organization, eBay reports.
Giving Works has made a big difference for nonprofits, says Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one of the nonprofits eBayers can donate to through Giving Works.
"When times get tough, purse strings can get tight, but eBay Giving Works has allowed our donor base to continue to support our promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever by continuing to do the things that they do every day, like shop," she says.
The program has also given nonprofits a way to generate funds for themselves. For instance, the Blind Center of Nevada refurbished electronics and then sold them on eBay, with 100 percent of the proceeds going back to the organization.
Since 2003, eBay buyers and sellers have given more than $162 million to more than 21,000 organizations.
"[The] generosity this year, especially in such a tough economy, isn't just impressive—it's inspiring," Donahoe adds. "We're looking forward to helping [users] do even more good next year."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.