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Giving just got twice as good

Giving just got twice as good

News (International)

Think twice before you bin that item you bid for at a charity auction, and forgot to use.

An innovative, and unique, online auction house has been launched to recycle all those ‘amazing at the time’ items bid for at charity functions, and that for whatever reason fail to get used.

The brainchild of businesswomen Mia Woodford and Emma Leschallas, Buy Once Give Twice is a fund-raising channel that can give charities double the income for recycled auctioned items and bidders the pleasure of using their newly acquired lot and the glow of knowing it has gone to a good cause, twice.

Woodford and Leschallas observed that 40% of the lots auctioned at a charity ball they organised in 2006 were not taken up, and the seed for their future venture was sown.

“We realised there was an opportunity to harness these unused lots for the benefit of the charities,” says Woodford. “We then proceeded to network amongst high-net-worth individuals who may be interested in donating the lots they had bid for and not used. The next step was to get the founder charities on board.”

This proved exceptionally successful, with both the individuals and 50 Founder Charities signing up. They include Breast Cancer Campaign (the first to join) and Get Connected, a free helpline for young people in need of support.

“We wanted charities that are about empowerment, across a broad spectrum of causes, of varying income levels and who have stringent accountability measures.” explains Leschallas.

Founder Charities freely benefit from increased PR and advertising exposure and have their own page on the site. New charities joining Buy Once Give Twice are known as Partner Charities who are also donating lots; as are commercial organisations, which do not benefit financially. And, interest in the concept is being expressed from as far-afield as Australia.

Funds are dispersed to charities through charitiestrust.org. When a lot sells, 4% goes to the trust and 90% goes to the nominated charity. The remainder covers Buy Once Give Twice’s costs.

So what is the most amazing lot on the site? The Celebrity Big Brother chair! The current bid is £6,500 - so get clicking.

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