Emmy award winning talkshow host and comedian Rosie O’Donnell has been a staple on Etsy since February 2009 where she’s been selling artwork and a variety of other random crafts of hers all to benefit her charity, Rosie’s Theater Kids. She also matched any money raised through the store dollar for dollar. These sales have been wildly popular with items selling out usually within minutes of her listing them. Since she opened it , her Etsy storefront has raised a total of $122,000 for the charity.
O’Donnell’s success on Etsy wasn’t really a surprise since she’s a frequent buyer on the site and often blogs about her purchases there, making her a community favorite. She’s also the author of Rosie O’Donnell’s Crafty U: 100 Easy Projects the Whole Family Can Enjoy All Year Long so she’s not exactly a stranger to the world of handmade. But it looks like she’s decided to branch out beyond Etsy.
On August 24, 2012, she expanded her fundraising efforts onto eBay (username rosiecom). Her first item is an original painting that she’s auctioning off to benefit DTRF aka the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation (the listing ends later today if you want to check it out). She joined the Board of Directors for this cause after her wife, Michelle Rounds, was diagnosed with this rare but terrible disease. (Rosie herself just had both a skin cancer scare AND a heart attack all in the same summer Michelle was undergoing surgery so it seems like both ladies could use a freaking break!)
As she did with her Etsy store, Rosie will match whatever the listing ultimately sells for dollar for dollar giving this lesser known charity a well needed boost. The listing isn’t through Giving Works which makes me wonder if that’s because of the gift matching promise or because her people simply don’t know how to do that (you never know sometimes). The one thing I did notice immediately is that the photos on eBay are only of the item while she’d usually include herself in the photos of anything she listed on Etsy so that fans knew it was genuinely coming from her and not an impostor. She also didn’t bother to write up a profile or add pictures to her account as she did when she launched her Etsy store making it seem like the whole thing was thrown up very quickly.
Either way, the painting is edging towards $1,000 as I write this so hopefully she’ll find this eBay experiment a success and bring more buyers to the platform. Not to mention that the DTRF should get a nice donation in the end.
Here’s what I want to know from you: Do you think eBay is the best platform for a fundraiser like this? What other auction based marketplaces do you think might be better suited for a fundraiser of this nature? What would you have done in her shoes?