Would you pay $255,000 for a day with Bill Clinton? Or $105,000 to meet Oprah backstage after the taping of her final show? Even if those prices aren’t exactly in your budget, there are some people who will shell out cash for charity—and access.
Charitybuzz is the conduit for matching the wealthy to experiences they want though online charity auctions, from a hang out with Matthew McCounaughey and his friends in his personal suite at a University of Texas football game to a tennis lesson with seven-time French Open Champ Rafael Nadal in Spain.
This month, Charitybuzz launched a new concierge service called Do Good Dream Big that provides access to customized celebrity experiences that benefit charity. Users simply submit certain celeb experiences they’d like. Once a request is submitted, the Charitybuzz concierge team will coordinate with their network of philanthropic contacts to secure and price the dream. Commitments start at $20,000, but often go much higher.
Coppy Holzman, CEO and founder of Charitybuzz, says that his background in retail made him ready to create a consumer-service-focused philanthropic organization. "We’re able to give great customer service to our philanthropists, and give them packages we don’t have on our site, which allows them to give more to charity," he says. "This is another way to keep it very personal asking for requests, but we have a Rolodex second to none, so when celebs and corporations work with us, we make sure the details are taken care of."
Charitybuzz has learned a few things about the people who bid on these luxurious experiences. They come from all over the globe, with 65% of users in the U.S. and 35% from abroad. New York and Los Angeles are the biggest market. They’re family-oriented, upper income, early adapters, like to travel, recognize and appreciate top experiences, says Holzman.
The experiences support a wide range of philanthropies, from the American Red Cross and Partners in Health to the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Habitat for Humanity. Charitybuzz works with 1,000 to 2,000 of the most productive nonprofits on the planet, says Holzman. "When we partner with them, it is truly a collaborative venture. Together, we brainstorm how we can raise the most buzz and the most revenue for their non-profit. We ask who’s on their board, and we put together celebrities who support that initiative."
The team tries to build experiences "that are buzzwothy, top dollar, but that will be redeemed, like tickets to a show or a sporting event, where we arrange backstage access or courtside access." All in the name of fun, helping others, and a lot of conspicuous consumption and celebrity fawning.