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What's Up Magazine

Empty Seats Don't Buy Beers

Jan 18, 2011 05:53PM ● By Anonymous
For every basketball game, rock concert, or theater event there are at least one pair of empty seats.  What if there was a way to not only fill those empty seats, but to also do it in a way that benefits everyone?  Too good to be true?  With hard work and serious strategic planning, 501seats’ Executive Director Aaron Dinin found a way to “recycle” unused tickets, and he launched the nonprofit with this mission on May 5, 2010.    The best part of 501Seats is that everyone truly does win.  Bands and performers get to perform to packed venues, and get a tax write-off, bidders get inexpensive tickets, charities get donations, and event vendors sell more product. 

How does it work?  Each day 501Seats posts new tickets for events and shows for blind auction on their website,  Bidders can bid as high or low as they wish (the minimum bid is $5.01) and each auction ends at 5:01 P.M (EST).  Winners are notified via email and given instructions on how to retrieve their tickets.  What makes 501Seats unique is that since 501Seats is an online charity, 100% of your money goes to charity.       

501Seats is going global.  501Seats is currently working on expanding their reach beyond its roots in the Baltimore/D.C. area.  This means more entertainment variety for you, and more charitable opportunities for bands and sports teams around the globe.  Currently the majority of the tickets are for shows in the local area.    

“Band Together for Charity” is the slogan of 501Seats’ newest endeavor, 501Bands.  501Seats is partnering with touring bands to raise even more money for the charity.    When bands tour, they get a guest list so that their friends and family can attend each performance.  Often times these tickets go to waste.  Instead, the band can donate the tickets to 501Bands to auction for the charity of the band’s choice.  Bands gain new fans, fans get inexpensive tickets, and money goes to charity!  Everyone wins! 

“Putting the Chair in Charity” Although 501Seats only began in May 2011, (May 1, 2010, get it?) the nonprofit has sure staying power.  To date, 501Seats has raised $32,943.26 for charity and Headstash magazine recently published a feature about the organization’s efforts.