That's the Ticket!
An online platform called Tickets-for-Charity works with musicians and sports teams to offer fans access to some of the best seats for events in exchange for a donation to charity. Through www.Tickets-for-Charity.com, music and sports enthusiasts can buy tickets at face value when they pay a set charitable donation amount.
For example, in early September, Lionel Richie offered a three-week pre-sale of tickets for his 16-city fall tour on Tickets-for-Charity.com to exclusively benefit the United Way. The pre-sale included premium seats and VIP packages at different price levels. For the Nov. 11 show at the Boston Opera House, Richie fans wanting to take advantage of the pre-sale could visit the site and purchase a Platinum VIP Charity Package for $664.88, which included a ticket, a backstage pass to a pre-show reception and a meet-and-greet with Richie himself, with a package cost of $339.88 and a donation amount of $325; a Gold VIP Charity Package for $529.88, including a ticket and pre-show reception for $329.88 and a donation of $200; or a premium seat for $224.88, which broke down to $99.88 for the ticket’s face value and a $125 donation.
Mary Kay Leonard, group vice president of investor relations for United Way of America, says the platform offers the organization a unique fundraising opportunity and is really about finding something that people already are doing and tapping into their goodwill to get them to donate at the same time.
The platform was launched in 2004 by Charity Partners, a company founded by Priceline.com co-founder Jord Poster that works to develop fundraising platforms for high-profile charities. Since its inception, it has raised more than $1.7 million for the roughly 30 charities involved. Each event partnership works a bit differently, says Cristina Courey, vice president of corporate marketing and strategic planning for Charity Partners. While the donation for the Richie tickets went to the United Way only, for other ticket purchases fans have the option of splitting their donation amount among participating charities, which include CARE, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The National Children’s Cancer Society, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and America’s Second Harvest.
“It works a little bit differently with each of our partners, but typically artists and sports teams keep an allocation of tickets for their own purposes,” Courey says. “We ask them to include us in that allocation.”
Tickets-for-Charity works with organizations to help them get the word out to constituents about events and with the artists to help them reach out to their fan clubs. Individuals who purchase tickets from the site receive an invoice that itemizes the ticket price and the donation amount as two separate transactions — “to maintain transparency for the customer, so they know where their money’s going,” Courey says — and are given the option to opt in to future communications with Tickets-for-Charity, as well as with the organizations themselves.
“I think that supporters of charities are really excited to find a different way to help support those organizations [they care about],” Courey adds. “So instead of always being asked for cash right up front, here the charity is able to provide a benefit to their donors and say, ‘Have a good time while you’re helping us out. We greatly appreciate it, and we’re making this special opportunity available to you. Thank you.’
“It doesn’t have to always be actively thinking, ‘How can I do this, how can I do that?’ This is a way that people can keep doing what they’ve always done and have a feel-good moment,” she explains.
For more information visit www.tickets-for-charity.com.