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Better to Give

Get a leg up on the competition by supporting charities.

Want to build your business while supporting a charitable cause? Through a partnership with MissionFish, a licensed nonprofit service, eBay Giving Works makes it a breeze to donate money to your favorite nonprofit organization simply by selling your products.

To find a charity, go to the eBay Giving Works home page ( and search the nonprofit listings--there are more than 10,000 charities in the directory, and if you don't find your favorite one already listed, you can ask a charity to join the program.

Next, take a few minutes to create a product listing on eBay. In the "Donate Percentage of Sale" section of the "Sell Your Item" form, choose a charity. Then set your donation amount. This can be 10 percent to 100 percent of the final sale price; there's a $5 minimum donation if your item sells.

As if supporting a worthy charity wasn't motivation enough to check out eBay Giving Works, eBay has made it really enticing with some added perks: After your item sells, eBay will credit your basic selling fees to you in a percentage equal to that which you elected to donate. Your eBay Giving Works listing also gets marketing benefits such as a special charity icon and exposure on the eBay Giving Works site.

But to really generate buzz about your generosity, do your own marketing. Blog about it. Write press releases. Send an e-mail to your customers and newsletter subscribers. Chances are, your competitors aren't yet doing cause marketing--which can give you an edge, as well as a tax deduction.

This story appears in the June 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »