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DC-Based Online Auction Sites Turned Fundraising Machines

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Online auction sites are all the rage.  We’re not talking about the old standby, eBay – we are talking about the rise of a new kind of auction that allows you to bid on people. Two DC-based startups, BizGravity and HugeFan, provide their own unique web-based platforms that let you bid on and win “meetings” with CEOs and celebrities.

Would you bid on a person?  BizGravity and HugeFan both believe you would.  BizGravity taps into your desire to succeed as a professional and provides you access to high level executives.  HugeFan zones in on your dreams of connecting with celebrities in the limelight.  Both come at a bid-winning price.

Local businesswoman Amanda Tiede recognized the power of these platforms as a fundraising tool and put them to work. As a nominee for 2012 Woman of the Year with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Tiede, VP at commercial real estate firm CassidyTurley, tapped into her network and recruited 20 CEOs and sports icons who agreed to place themselves up for auction in coordination with a fun experience (you can donate here – only 2 more days left in her campaign).

Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant Corporation, agreed to host a High-End Bar Crawl in Old Town Alexandria. His auction closed in just 3 days, selling for $5,000. Other auctions offered the opportunity to:

  • Attend the Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) The Wall concert with six friends in Tony Jimenez’s (MicroTech) suite at Verizon Center
  • Wine and dine at The Palm with Ralph Sampson (NBA Hall of Famer) and Laura Thomas (XO Communications)
  • Dine with Chris Weiler (LDiscovery) or Tyronne Drakeford (Superbowl-winning cornerback)
  • Golf with Robert Musslewhite (Advisory Board Company) or Tom Graham (Pepco)
  • Train all day and grab dinner (if you are still standing) with Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (heavyweight boxing champion)

What does Tiede’s fundraising success mean? First of all, it means that you too can have access to the big wigs through these auction sites.  It also means that there is a new, successful way of attracting donations for nonprofit organizations. Tiede’s team was amazed at the incredible generosity of the many CEOs and celebrities who donated their time for auction in support of their cause – they are close to breaking fundraising records.

Amanda Fischer is CEO of Grade A Marketing and Campaign Manager for Amanda Tiede’s campaign. You can find her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter @GradeAfresh

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