Ovation: Selling Items Online, Even Violins, To Raise Money For Charity Is A Great Idea.
If you’re like me, you’ve got a thing or two around the house that you don’t use or that you don’t find particularly pretty to look at but you’ve been keeping it for years because “it might be valuable”. I’ve got my Great Aunt Kate’s violin tucked among some greenery atop the bookshelves in my living room. I’d estimate this old violin is 75-80 years old and possibly older but I’m quite certain that it’s not worth anything more than the sentimental value that I’ve assigned to it. On the other hand, I have some old dishes that were my great grandmothers that I’ve discovered are quite valuable. I wonder how many things I’ve donated to Goodwill over the years that I should have tried to sell online. While I get some satisfaction from donating to Goodwill and knowing the items will be put to good use, I believe I would get even more satisfaction if I sold them online and donated the proceeds to charity.
Recently, a well-preserved Stradivarius violin was sold in an online auction for $15,900,000 to raise money for disaster relief in Japan. The violin was made in 1721 and is known as the Lady Blunt after Lord Byron’s granddaughter Lady Anne Blunt who owned it for 30 years. It was sold by a music foundation in Japan to aid victims of the recent earthquake and last March’s tsunami. The price is more than four times the previous record for a Stradivarius. The London auction house who organized the sale described the decision to sell the violin to raise funds for charity as a “gesture of profound generosity”. The violin is one about 600 instruments made by Italian Antonio Stradivari still in existence. The identity of its new owner has not been revealed.
Websites like BiddingForGood and CharityFolks.com are websites that connect bidders to their favorite celebrities, get them on the mound to throw out the first pitch at a ballgame or provide access to Hollywood parties all to raise money for charity. People that are shopping to book a cruise, for example, can bid on packages and know that a portion of what they’re paying is going to charity.
I’ve spent my fair share of time browsing on eBay but, until recently, I didn’t know that websites like this existed. Perhaps I’ll see if anyone wants to bid on Great Aunt Kate’s violin after all. While I enjoy seeing it on my bookcase, I think I might get even more gratification if a few dollars went to a worthy cause.