For a hefty donation do-gooders can now play tennis with Andre Agassi, intern at Versace, or lounge in a Caribbean island.
By Sarah "Fifi" Castany
The latest trend in philanthropy is injecting more pleasure into giving back, and transforming the experience into a luxury treat. Imagine winning a private one-hour tennis lesson with legendary champions Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf; having your own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; escaping to an opulent safari adventure in Botswana; customizing your own perfume at Givaudan, the world’s leading fragrance house; meeting Alton Brown during the taping of Iron Chef; going behind the scenes at Facebook, or just discussing new world consciousness over lunch with famed author and evolutionary leader Barbara Marx Hubbard.
Affluent donors are wholeheartedly bidding up a storm online for magnificent global getaways and exclusive access to A-list stars… and all for a good cause. Charity Buzz, the online auction house responsible for creating so many of these innovative experiences operates from the philosophy “Do good, live well”, and their online community of socially conscious bidders are doing just that.
The company’s founder and CEO, Coppy Holzman, who is credited with developing this upscale fundraising niche, has a preference for certain types of charities. “It sounds kind of corny and cliché, but our children are our future. That’s why I support programs and nonprofits who help advance education and provide enrichment programs to kids who may have gone under the radar,” said Holzman.
Utilizing the expansive reach of the Internet to maximize the amount of money they raise, Charity Buzz employs a “liveBID” process that allows bidding from all over the world. The proceeds from these once-in-a-lifetime auction items benefit nonprofit organizations, like UNICEF, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, among others. Since launching in 2004, Charity Buzz has become an integral fundraising partner for more than 1000 nonprofit organizations worldwide and has raised more than $60 million. “Every day we hear about how the funds we’re raising affect social change throughout the world. I consider myself really blessed that we can do this,” said Holzman.
1. A private lesson with Andre Agassi & Steffi Graf.
2. Meet the cast of Modern Family.
3. The first Chevy Volt A available.
4. Audemars Piaget watch signed by Jay Z.
5. The penthouse at the Viceroy Anguilla.
6. Meet Celine Dion before her show in Vegas.
7. An internship with Richard Branson.
Recently, Charity Buzz launched “Do Good Dream Big” offering donors the opportunity to have a concierge team put together a customized celebrity experience. Due to their special relationships with so many celebrities, the charity auction company is able to offer fans even more specialized packages.
So whether it’s VIP invitations to the Vanity Fair Oscar party, striking a pose with Lady Gaga, an Internship with David Yurman, or river rafting in Idaho, making a difference has become the latest must-do.
Their top-selling items include
A golf lesson with Tiger Woods / Final Bid: $300,000
The First Chevy Volt Available for Sale / Final Bid: $225,000
Audemars Piguet Watch Signed by Jay-Z / Final Bid: $220,000
Lunch with Rupert Murdoch / Final Bid: $86,000
Intern with Russell Simmons & Richard Branson / Final Bid: $85,000
For more information on the latest auctions, go to charitybuzz.com ■
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