A lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett would be a dream come true, right? This dream actually came true for the lucky few, that too for a good cause. Conceived by the late Susie Buffett, the Power of One Charity Auction Lunch was launched in 2000 and initially raised $25,000. All proceeds from this Charity Auction Lunch go toward GLIDE’s transformative programs and services. Interested candidates can bid at the auction and may invite up to 7 friends to join them.

Glide Foundation is an institution that works to alleviate human suffering and poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area. At Warren Buffet’s suggestion, the auction moved to eBay in 2003 to support GLIDE. A lunch with the legendary investor was just a click away on a computer with online marketplace eBay starting an auction to raise money for charity. The lunch would take place at one of Mr. Buffett’s favorite restaurants – Smith & Wollensky in New York City.

Warren Buffet eBay for Charity Glide Foundation power of one charity auction lunch

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About eBay for Charity

eBay for Charity is one of the world’s largest and most active fundraising platforms, partnering with charity organizations to help them reach their fundraising goals. We empower our community to take action and support the causes they care about. Every time a person buys or sells on eBay, they can also support the causes that matter the most to them, and 100% of the portion of funds raised goes to the intended charities.

Know What Is GLIDE

For nearly six decades spanning political, economic, and cultural changes, GLIDE has served as a social justice movement, social service provider, and spiritual community dedicated to strengthening communities and transforming lives. GLIDE is at the forefront of addressing some of society’s most pressing issues, including poverty, housing and homelessness, and racial and social justice. Warren Buffett has described Glide as “…maybe the most effective organisation I’ve seen for people down on their luck.”

GLIDE x Buffet

Mr. Buffett is a steadfast believer in the power of inclusion and opportunity, and that’s what we provide to San Francisco’s most marginalized residents. Through our programs, we are a beacon of hope and a sanctuary of unconditional love for all,” said GLIDE’s Co-Founder and Minister of Liberation Reverend Cecil Williams.

Everyone that has experienced GLIDE comes away a believer,” said Buffett. “They have to see it to believe it, but when they see it, they do believe it.”

We believe in building bridges, not walls,” said GLIDE Co-Founder Janice Mirikitani. “Warren Buffett and the generous bidders enable us to provide a holistic array of high-quality services that meet critical needs, improve lives and elevate the human spirit.”

Warren Buffet eBay for Charity Glide Foundation power of one charity auction lunch Rev. Cecil Williams co-founder Janice Mirikitani
GLIDE co-founders Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani with Warren Buffett (Photo: Business Wire)

With eBay for Charity, we make it easy for every transaction to have a meaningful impact for thousands of charities,” said eBay’s President and CEO Devin Wenig. “To date, our platform has helped raise over $725 million dollars. We continue to be huge supporters of GLIDE and hope this auction will help further its mission of promoting equality and inclusiveness for all.”

The Grand Finale Opportunity

GLIDE and eBay’s annual Power of One Charity Auction Lunch with Warren Buffett made history with a winning bid of $19,000,100 in 2021. The record-breaking bid coincided with the 21st anniversary and grand finale of the legendary auction, which has raised more than $53 million to support GLIDE’s transformative programs and services that lift people out of poverty, hunger, and homelessness, and advance equity through systems change.

The bidder, who chose to be anonymous spent an unforgettable afternoon with Warren Buffet and seven other guests at the famous Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in NYC. “It’s been nothing but good,” said Warren Buffett about the lunch in the press release from eBay. “I’ve met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. The one universal characteristic is that they feel the money is going to be put to very good uses.”

Warren Buffet eBay for Charity Glide Foundation power of one charity auction lunch bidder 19 million dollars

The Auction History

Over the past 21 years, the winning bids have ranged from $25,000 (₹20 lakh) to the highest-ever bid of $19 million (₹15.7 crore). Due to a two-year pandemic hiatus, the second-last auction took place in 2019 with a winning bid of $4.5mn (₹37.4 crore), making 2022’s bid 4 times higher.

For the past 18 years, eBay has powered the Warren Buffett Power of One lunch on the eBay for Charity platform, opening the auction from just local donors to eBay’s global charitable community. 2019’s winner was cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun.

We are incredibly proud that Warren Buffett’s final Power Lunch has broken our all-time record of funds raised, with all proceeds supporting GLIDE’s efforts to create pathways out of crisis and transform lives,” said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone in the release.

Unfortunately, this was the last ‘power lunch with Buffett’, so those who were thinking of breaking this record may have to find other options!