Warren Buffett’s annual charity lunch, which was auctioned on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) was sold for $1,000,100 on Friday night, June 7, 2013. The anonymous bidder will have the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with the “Oracle of Omaha,” one of most successful investors and philanthropists worldwide.
The proceeds from the “Annual eBay Auction for Power Lunch with Warren Buffett” will benefit Glide, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing different anti-poverty, health, and educational services for the needy in San Francisco. The foundation obtains a significant amount of its $17 million yearly budget from the auction.
Opening Bid for the Lunch with Warren Buffett
The opening bid for the Power Lunch with Warren Buffett was $25,000. The auction started June 2, and received 106 bids. The winning price for the charity lunch this year is lower compared with previous years. Last year, the highest bid was $3.5 million and over $2.6 million in 2011.
According to Karen Sayah, spokesperson of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), the power lunch with Buffet last year was the most expensive charity item sold on the company’s platform.
Reverend Cecil Williams, founder of Glide Foundation said, “We never know from year to year how much we’re going to raise. Whatever comes through, we see it as a gift that is needed and shared.”
Williams added, “It means a lot to us to make sure we continue meeting the needs of the people who need it most.”
Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) said he will talk with the winner for a few hours on any topic, but he will not discuss prospective investments. The New York City steakhouse Smith & Wollensky might host the lunch as the owners once again donated $10,000 to Glide Foundation.
Warren Buffett’s late first wife, Susan, introduced him to Rev. Williams, and agreed to support Glide Foundation. Over the years, the billionaire investor helped raised almost $15 million through the lunch charity auctions. He described the foundation’s efforts as “…maybe the most effective organization.” Buffett also said, “I’ve seen for people down on their luck. It takes people who have hit bottom and brings them back. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
Warren Buffett has been giving away a large chunk of his wealth to charity since 2006. He plans to distribute his stake in the shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) to five charitable organizations.
Warren Buffett, together with Bill and Melinda Gates, started the Giving Pledge with a primary objective of helping resolve some of the most pressing problems of society by encouraging the wealthiest individuals and families around the world to donate more than 50 percent of their fortune to charity during their lifetime or after death.
In February, Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, was one of the 12 individuals who joined the Giving Pledge.