First Amendment Project


The challenge: Assist a small nonprofit with an important cause by raising funds on eBay. Also, use this opportunity to increase awareness via a creative, though untested eBay concept – auctioning off the opportunity to name a character or other element in various famous writers’ works. The client looked to Auction Cause to manage the entire process.

The plan: Design a campaign that highlighted the cause, craft specific terms and conditions which met the writers’ expectations, put bidder qualification checks in place to ensure sincere bidding, and work with eBay corporate on publicizing widely. Develop an email system to alert bidders when their favorite author’s auction was live.

The results: Over $100,000 raised on eBay, hundreds of articles written in national print media, including a Associated Press original wire story. The Stephen King auction was the #1 most watched auction on all of eBay, raising over $25,000 alone. With Internet media, national broadcast TV, and radio taking an interest, the event exceeded everyone’s expectations. The auction was featured in the book “Fundraising on eBay”, highlighting the need at times for a nonprofit to hire a premier auction management agency to run their eBay event.