May 11, 2020

You probably aren’t rich enough for these high-end Zoom fundraisers

Celebrities and the political class are pivoting to remote events to raise money for charity and campaigns.

Didn’t get the invite link? If it helps, you never had a real shot anyway. The classiest fundraisers this season are happening on Zoom, and only the real A-listers are attending.

Over the last month, Richard Weitz, an executive at the entertainment agency William Morris Endeavor, has hosted what Page Six dubbed “the world’s hottest Zoom call.”

The semi-weekly “Quarantunes” parties have attracted as many as ~500 guests, including the likes of Amy Adams, Charlie Puth, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Weitz directs guests to donate to charities like the United Way.

If anyone is willing to gift-match, please speak now

The swanky charity cocktail party is dead, and cash-strapped nonprofits have struggled to ask for donations without sounding out of touch.

But the disappearance of black-tie dinners is hitting the political class hard. You’d be forgiven for forgetting, but we’re in the middle of an election year — and that means politicos are testing out a new playbook for raising campaign cash.

At long last, they’re moving out of their wine caves and onto Zoom.

Liquor samples have never been so profitable

Want to video chat with a Congressman? You’re going to need to drop $5k (at least).

In lieu of expensive dinner, politicians are hosting “guided meditation” sessions or mailing out bourbon samples, among other delights:

  • Some candidates are considering marking “strategy memos” as “internal only” — you know, to give donors the impression they’re getting special access.
  • Melissa Etheridge and Kristin Chenoweth performed their biggest “Wicked” hits, on Zoom, at a $1.1m Joe Biden fundraiser — one of at least 20 top-dollar fundraisers the presidential candidate has hosted over the last 6 weeks.
  • And lest you think the ritzy wine tasting is gone for good, Democratic Congressman Vicente Gonzalez is sending out fancy wines so donors can convene for an at-home tasting.

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