We’ve seen plenty of talk recently about the young woman ‘selling’ space on your butt with the aim of raising money to help clear her debts – but in the ‘pitch’ she’s giving she says part of the money from the ‘sale’ will be donated to charity.

Since this hit the news there’s been copycat listing on TradeMe, with the ‘sellers’ also offering a portion of the winning bid being donated to charity.

Is this a charitable thing, or is it just a business transaction with the addition of a portion of the sale being set as a donation just an attempt to smooth the waters with people who think it’s not a great idea? 

Will charities benefit – sure, and as SPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge was quoted in the NZ Herald, “What a wacky world we live in,” but says there’s no harm in it. 

“People do what they want to do, and if in doing it they can benefit their charitable cause, then that’s good. And if that charitable cause happens to be the SPCA, even better.” 

Sure – it’s great people support charity, but sometimes the way they do it may have a reverse effect and turn some supporters off. 

The other downside to this ‘campaign’ is that of copy-cats can dilute the impact, and people will turn off and lose interest in what’s happening, the charities could also run the risk of being associated with the wrong ‘image’. 

Have any of the participants sought advice, guidance or talked to the charities before going ahead? 

If you’re a charity and someone offered a part of their body to help raise funds for you, secondary to helping themselves, would you want to be associated? Why, and would you offer any guidance on how the ‘sale’ should proceed? 

Do you think multiple activities like these dilute the original campaign? 

What will people offer to ‘sell’ next, are there any limits people won’t go to, and at what point will charities say – thanks, but no thanks? 

Charities need to be cautious, there needs to be boundaries – some people will pick up on the charity because it’s been in the news and could become supporters, but this is likely to be short-term. 

Whereas longer standing supporters who are turned off my this type activity could walk away, is it better to retain the longer term supporter and lose the potential new support, who may not be in it for the long haul?


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