March 30, 2010; Naperville Sun | Some people’s bad planning or unexpected conflicts are turning into cash for lucky charities as well as good fortune for people looking to buy tickets for upcoming events. At, people who’ve bought tickets they can’t use for sports, music, theater and other entertainment activities can donate the tickets to a charity.

When sold on its Web site, the charity gets the proceeds from Tix 4 Cause. Tickets are sold at face value and the full amount goes to the charity holding the donated tickets. The company collects an 8 percent fee for processing, plus any postage or shipping costs.

Based in Naperville, IL, outside Chicago, Tix 4 Cause is the brainchild of Ken Nemetz. “Since 2003, I have had the goal and desire to assist charities by creating a Web site that served as a ticket exchange for the donation and sale of unwanted or unused season tickets,” said Nemetz. “You have these corporations and season ticket holders that use about 40 percent of the tickets themselves. The other 40 percent they either give away, sell or eat. And it seemed to me charities could benefit.”

Nonprofits pay an annual $349 fee to be listed on the site, and so far some 35 have signed up and another 200 are considering offers to join. Most current participants are Naperville-based nonprofits, including local chapters of national organizations such as the Humane Society and YMCA. To help them raise cash from donated tickets, charities can send out e-mails to supporters, include information about the service in newsletters or spread the word on social networks.

According to Nemetz, “The YMCA Heritage has earned $1,460 in the four weeks on the site, and still has another 10 months to go before the renewal. We had four Cubs tickets for a game in June, and they were gone in four hours.” The next time you go to the ballpark, the family next to you might not just be smiling about some hard to snag tickets they got, but that they also did some good by buying them.—Bruce Trachtenberg