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Charitybuzz: Online luxe auctions that make a difference

Ever wanted to meet Paul McCartney in-person? Fantasizing about an exclusive getaway to the Bahamas? Charitybuzz can help you live your dream and help others at the same time. With a philosophy of “Do good. Live well,” the online charity auction offers exclusive opportunities of all types. The best part? The money goes to well-respected nonprofits.

The basic concept is to align nonprofits with celebrity icons and luxury brands to help raise millions for worthy causes, connecting charities with bidders around the globe who are looking for luxe.

“Charitybuzz is leading nonprofits and corporations toward a new era of fundraising that is fun, socially relevant and collaborative,” said Coppy Holzman, CEO and co-founder of charitybuzz. “By bridging technology, pop culture and philanthropy, charitybuzz gives the global community easy opportunities to do good.”

Today, charitybuzz has held more than 1,000 auctions, with 40,000 bidders in 110 countries, raising $50 million total. The draw is understandable: Drop $5,000 on a vacation and know it goes to benefit those less fortunate.

“The celebrities and companies that donate once-in-a-lifetime experiences build goodwill for their brands, our auction winners get to enjoy the things they love while giving back, and our nonprofit partners raise significantly more funds than they would otherwise,” Holzman said.

Judging from their A-list supporters, from Jennifer Aniston and Lance Armstrong to Lady Gaga, charitybuzz definitely generates buzz. With opportunities for luxury travel, award shows, makeovers, sporting events, shopping sprees, artwork and more, the ways to make a difference are endless.

Glenda Luft, director of communications at charitybuzz, explained their mission of “Do good. Live well.”

“We wanted to give people a way to do good while enjoying life,” Luft said. This could mean giving $5,000 to AIDS research, she said, while meeting Cindi Lauper at an upcoming concert.

Some auction highlights have included an opportunity to rub elbows with Prince William at a British pub, which went for $71,250, and the chance to meet Robert Pattinson on the set of Twilight’s “Breaking Dawn,” which raised about $80,000.

It all got started when Holzman, a longtime philanthropist, was talking to Chevy Chase and former President Bill Clinton at a fundraiser. The idea of an online celebrity fundraising auction, in which celebrities and nonprofits would come together to collaborate for the greater good, seemed like a novel idea.

The beginnings were humble with a couple of founders, one employee and a home office. But after the organization grabbed a spot on the Today show, the website crashed from too many bidders. The result? An inspiring $250,000 in just two weeks.

“(Holzman) realized there was a disconnect between the amount of money being raised in-room at charity galas and what could potentially be raised through the power of technology and the Internet,” Luft said.

Charitybuzz was his solution, and one he hopes will substantially change the face of philanthropy.

And what charity auction would be complete without at least one fashion item? Luckily for those searching for a fashionable experience, charitybuzz has many. Jet off to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for September 2011 with two exclusive passes, or spend the day with Parisian couture fur designer Quentin Veron and have him design a custom piece just for you.

To learn more about charitybuzz and its auction items, visit www.charitybuzz.com.

Tagged in: charity, nonprofit, charitybuzz, coppy holzman, philanthropy, auction,

Charitybuzz: Online luxe auctions that make a difference Charitybuzz: Online luxe auctions that make a difference

PurpleNeon/LadyLUX via charitybuzz

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