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Growing donations on eBay

Growing donations on eBay

As more and more of our day-to- day buying and selling shifts from physical marketplaces to online ones, charities have had to learn to adapt. Where it was only a few years ago that charity shops only existed on highstreets, now we find thousands of charities running online shops on eBay. Finding a much larger marketplace for their goods, charities on eBay have raised an astonishing £100 million.

What made £100 million possible?

While the sale of goods by charities on eBay can account for much of this £100 million, it certainly cannot account for all of it. This is because as well as providing charities with the opportunity to sell goods, eBay also gives charities the ability to collect donations from users whenever they buy or sell an item on eBay.

The way this works is that when users purchase an item on eBay, they get the option to add an amount to their payment as a donation to a charity of their choice. Similarly, when users list an item on eBay, they can choose to donate a percentage of their sales from that item to a charity of their choice. Through these “virtual collection boxes”, charities on eBay have raised millions of pounds.

But how do you get picked out of thousands?

When you’re paying for your items at a local store, you might see 1 or 2 charity collection boxes to choose from. Now imagine eBay, where users have thousands of charities they could possibly donate to as they pay for their items. In this situation, how can any charity make sure that its “virtual collection box” is the one that stands out to its supporters? – The key is in being picked as a favourite.

eBay gives its users the ability to choose their own favourite charities. All users need to do is to find the charities they want to support on eBay and simply click “Save as favourite”. After a user picks your charity as a favourite, whenever they buy or sell an item on eBay, it’ll be your charity that will be shown to them as the cause to donate to. This enables charities to build up a community of supporters on eBay that continue to donate to them over time. Research backs this up, showing that eBay users who have a favourite charity are 20 times more likely to donate to them in future.

Acting this October

This coming October, PayPal Giving Fund & eBay for Charity will be running the My Favourite Charity competition. The competition will count how many favourite votes charities receive throughout the month of October. At the end of the month, the charities with the most favourites will win cash prizes:

• 1st place – £7,000

• 2nd place – £3,000

• 3rd place – £2,000

• Top small charity (under £1.5m turnover) – £2,000

Moreover, all the winning charities will also be featured on eBay’s Give at Checkout for a week, further increasing their visibility on eBay.

As eBay will be advertising this competition to its users, this is the perfect time for charities to get involved and capture a large number of favourite votes. The more favourites you receive, the more you can build you community of supporters on eBay, increasing likelihood of receiving ongoing support from them. Not to mention, if you get enough favourite votes, you may even win the prizes on offer for your charity.

For charities on eBay already, this is the perfect time to grow your donations on eBay. For charities not on eBay yet, this is your chance to get started with bang. Don’t miss out.

Visit My Favourite Charity for more information.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Research massive growth in giving.

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