eBay For Charity Bursts Through $1 Billion Mark

eBay for Charity has eclipsed $1 billion in total funds raised for charities, reaching the milestone ahead of its original 2020 goal.

To date, eBay for Charity has more than 83,500 global charities registered on the platform, up 26 percent from the 66,000 in 2018.

The eBay community last year raised a record $102 million, from more than 20 million charity listings, some 20 percent more than the $84 million in 2017. Another record is on the horizon for 2019, with $92 million already raised through October, according to eBay for Charity General Manager Brenda Halkias. The 10-figure plateau was reached with October’s monthly totals.

There are four ways to raise money on the platform, which the company says has some 182 million users:

  • Charity auctions, perhaps the most well-known, is the annual lunch with Warren Buffett, which can go for as much as $3 million, benefitting GLIDE, a San Francisco-based poverty relief nonprofit;
  • Community selling, in which users can sell their items and dedicate a percentage to a specific charity, or as a buyer searches for items that dedicate proceeds to charity;
  • Direct sellers, such as Goodwill and Salvation Army, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the organization; and,
  • Give at checkout, where users can dedicate a specific dollar amount to benefit their favorite charity.

Of the $102 million raised in 2018, charities collectively raised more than $83 million selling directly on eBay. Another $10.5 million came from more than 9 million listings by community sellers, who sell on behalf of charities. The bulk of fundraising via eBay for Charity occurs in the United States and the United Kingdom but also is available in Italy, Spain, Germany and Austria.

Local Goodwill organizations collectively are the largest direct sellers on eBay for Charity in the United States, raising $25 million via the platform in 2018, led by Goodwill Seattle. The British Heart Foundation has raised more than £27 million since 2011.

This year, two annual eBay for Charity auctions — the Power Lunch with Warren Buffet benefitting GLIDE and the ESPYs auction for The V Foundation — both had record-breaking fundraising years, raising $908,000 and $4.5 million, respectively.

eBay for Charity was born out of a response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “Auction for America” raised $10 million to benefit organizations supporting victims and families. In 2003, the fundraising platform officially was launched.