Play Time: Toy Industry Foundation To Auction Off Unique Experiences

By partnering with global charity site CharityBuzz, the Toy Industry Foundation hopes to reach a new audience and raise awareness and funds to support its cause. The items up for bidding are truly one-of-a-kind.

As a kid, how cool would it have been to eat lunch with the president of LEGO and tour the company’s U.S. headquarters? Or imagine meeting the CEO of LeapFrog and creating a personalized educational game that you get to keep. Maybe attending the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in Los Angeles would’ve been more your style.

This is the first time that the toy industry has come together to share its experiential assets to benefit the Toy Industry Foundation.

All of these unique experiences, and then some, are part of the Toy Industry Foundation’s online auction, open now through 2 p.m. on September 30. TIF, in partnership with the online charity auction site CharityBuzz, launched the auction campaign last week, and all proceeds will benefit the organization’s programs.

“We’re really excited about this partnership,” said Jean Butler, TIF’s executive director. “This is the first time that the toy industry has come together to share its experiential assets to benefit the Toy Industry Foundation.”

A number of executive directors and CEOs from some of the largest toy companies in the world teamed up to organize 15 different experiences that the public can bid on. Butler, who reached out to the executives, said she didn’t expect such a positive response but credited TIF’s mission for their willingness to participate.

“I really think that when people come together for common good—which is, in this case, to serve children who are sick, in foster care, military families, and the less fortunate—then great things can happen,” she said. “There really wasn’t any hesitation on anyone’s part, and, true to the toy industry, they’re here to make kids happy, to put a smile on the face of kids. And when you’re talking about children in need, they never say no.”

TIF, which has helped the toy industry donate more than $100 million in toys to the Toy Bank over the past decade, saw the partnership with CharityBuzz as an opportunity to reach a new audience. The site gets about 400,000 unique visitors a month, said Butler.

The biggest lesson the group learned throughout the process is to never be afraid to ask, she said.

“I didn’t know what would happen when I asked some of these big CEOs. They’re all incredibly busy, they’re under extreme pressure running their own businesses, but I was delighted when they responded so positively,” Butler said. “And if you think you need help to try to maximize this kind of an opportunity, find a partner, someone that can work with you to take things to the next level. That’s what we think we’ve found in CharityBuzz, and we look forward to seeing how the auction turns out.”

This one of a kind Barbie doll could be yours. (handout photo)

Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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