The Knicks are playing in front of full crowds at MSG, Pearl Jam’s announced new tour dates, airport capacity is almost back up to pre-pandemic levels, Hollywood productions are underway, kids are back in in-person school… We’re through that “tunnel” and we’re staring straight at that “light at the end” we’ve been talking so much about.
Especially after the CDC’s update to mask requirements for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, everyone is talking about this monumental phase our country is going through right now.
Reopening is an exciting topic. For Charitybuzz, the enthusiasm is heightened – we’re now in the position to deliver exponentially more for both our customers and our non-profit partners. Our dedication to figuring out ways to raise funds for charities has been unflappable, throughout every twist and turn of the past year.
We’ve led the industry for more than a decade in auctioning once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so we’re READY for this moment, to say the least. With so much pent-up demand after 14 months of markedly limited entertainment options, we cannot wait to bring people the experiences they’ve been patiently waiting for: the most VIP treatment, the best seats, the most celebrity access, the most memorable experiences you can imagine.
Making people’s dreams reality is only the tip of the iceberg for us. By unleashing this marketplace of experiences for our customers, we are simultaneously opening up more ways for charities to raise serious money. Charitybuzz’s unrivaled impact marketplace has the distinctive ability to take “entertainment dollars” for things like concerts, events and travel, and turn those funds into new, unrestricted donations to nonprofit organizations. With a reopening surge guaranteed – 10% growth estimated for Q2 alone – we are relentlessly determined to leverage these dollars for cause.
That relentless determination is also what gives me complete confidence we’re going to deliver more impact than ever before. Charitybuzz is not just “going back to normal.” In March 2020, we pivoted immediately in an effort to continue delivering on our mission, staying true to our “North Star” of harnessing technology to raise funds and generate impact. That led to the launch of our highly successful virtual category of experiences, the discovery of surprising value in social media follows, upgrades to our platform and overall user experience, and investments in strategic planning for long-term sustainability. We are entering this reopening phase a bigger, better and bolder business. Now, we’ll be able to leverage the core inventory we’re known for (think Super Bowl, Oscars, walk-on roles in films) and strategically build upon the foundation we established over the past year.
Keyword: strategically. Reopening is much more complex than flipping a switch back on. That’s where we’re spending our time and planning – thinking about how each vertical will uniquely resume and how we can maximize each of those distinct roadmaps.
For example, sports are all over the place with geographic considerations, and league timings and guidelines. Launching sports auctions now requires significant research, coordination and communication. Another example is Broadway – they set the September 14th date to pull the curtain up, but be know many shows will take longer to get back into the theater. Every type of “reopening” experience on our site has an added layer of nuance, and our team has been diligently working to understand and maximize those considerations. That’s the beauty of this business – we exist to continuously find ways to generate social impact, so learning and evolving are part of the job description.
Charitybuzz is transforming entertainment dollars into social impact, whether during a pandemic or any other situation. We’ve never let up when it comes to delivering on this mission and we never will. Now, we are more ready than ever to seize the massive opportunity in front of us, to make dreams come true and generate meaningful impact.
Ben Erwin, President at Charitybuzz. CRO at Charity Network. Leveraging the power of relationships to drive impact.
Ben is the President of Charitybuzz – the leading impact marketplace – and the Chief Revenue Officer of Charitybuzz’s parent company Charity Network. Charity Network also includes sweepstakes-for-good platform Prizeo, working alongside Charitybuzz to maximize fundraising strategies for nonprofits, celebrities and brands. One of the first Charitybuzz employees, Erwin has fostered the company’s growth from a small startup 11 years ago, to joining Charity Network, helping to raise $500M for cause to date. Now leading both Charitybuzz and Charity Network, Erwin leverages his extensive industry knowledge and network to help organizations embrace digital solutions to achieve their philanthropic goals. Erwin is also a contributor to Entrepreneur.com, and has been quoted and featured in various media outlets, including CNBC, Barron’s Penta, Golf Channel, Dallas Morning News and CheddarTV. He is also active in many charitable organizations across the country, including RFK Young Leaders – a program of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights that he founded in 2011 that is dedicated to empowering human rights defenders and motivating a diverse community of young people to take action for social justice. Erwin holds a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University.