Rodrigo Aguirre de Cárcer

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2010
Socialbid (Inactive)


This profile was prepared when Rodrigo Aguirre de Cárcer was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Rodrigo has created a new channel through which citizen organizations (COs) can extract liquid value out of in-kind donations from businesses and individuals. SocialBid, his organization, uses online auction platforms—such as eBay—to monetize in-kind donations by selling them to e-consumers. SocialBid accepts and markets a wide variety of products and services (from iPods to holiday trips) that are sold using existing platforms to millions of users with varying interests. Through his online bidding tool, Rodrigo is engaging new contributors that traditional charity auctions and fundraising campaigns generally cannot reach. He is also tapping into a new pool of resources by opening the door for more types of businesses to participate in funding the citizen sector, whose donations of products and services were previously difficult to accept on behalf of most COs.

For example, in 2009 a travel agency wanted to donate what they do best: Organized holiday travel packages. Previously, this donation would have been practically useless and most likely would have been rejected by most COs. SocialBid, AeA (Help in Action), a well-known CO that conducts development programs across the world, and a travel agency worked together to organize an auction that offered 24 holiday trips starting from 1€! The successful campaign raised over 10,000€ for AeA and also raised awareness among thousands of online bidders about AeA’s work.

Rodrigo offers a varied marketplace in which businesses contribute, citizens purchase, and COs benefit. In contrast to other approaches, SocialBid provides a continuous flow of monetary exchanges that result in financing for COs. The model, however, goes beyond simply providing liquidity: Rodrigo aims to build a culture where businesses and individuals play a legitimate and recognized role in building a strong citizen sector. On one hand, Rodrigo brings value to in-kind donations from businesses in order for them not only to become useful to COs but also, by monetizing their value, to help businesses achieve legitimate tax reductions for donations that previously did not apply to in-kind donations. Citizens are drawn to contribute mainly because they find the available products and services cheap and attractive. However, they are also attracted to the fact that their purchases are opportunities to contribute to socially minded initiatives. By bringing these three groups together—businesses, COs, and citizens—Rodrigo is creating synergies that increase funding and awareness through new and large communities of Internet users.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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