“We would obviously like to raise as much money as possible and we’re optimistic that people will bid way over our minimum rate,” said Gill Raikes, director of fundraising at the National Trust. “It’s a very exciting project. Once it takes off, it is likely to signal a whole new way of fundraising.”
Judy Niner, managing director of Development Partners, the fundraising consultancy that worked with eBay to launch the scheme, said: “We thought this was an opportunity for any heritage organisation to benefit. We realised that if the sector was pooled it would be a much more powerful auction. The idea is to bring in new money and raise the profile of small and large organisations. In that respect it’s a very democratic event.”
About 200 lots will be on offer in the auction, including tours of heritage properties, museums and historic houses.