Sweet Charity was a multi-fandom auction organised by LithiumDoll to raise money for charity. She designed and ran the site herself, including coding the auction part of the platform. Fans become a "ho" putting up their wares to be won by the highest bidder. Any fan made creation is allowed - from fics and vids, to graphics, rec lists, and crafts. The name refers to the musical "Sweet Charity" about a woman who worked as a taxi dancer.
Auctions were run each year in March and September. The first auction of the year was always for RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network), the second was for a charity chosen by poll.
There was some discussion over the years about whether the pimp/ho terminology should be used on the site. Overtime it was used less, and alternate icons and banners simple featuring "Sweet Charity" were used.
Throughout the life of the site some fans would raised concerns about whether fanworks containing porn especially and/or those with content that could be upsetting to some fans, should be included in the auction. Lithium told posted "they help people. That's all they need to do. Ever. The rest is noise. There will be things put in place that will help people find or avoid certain content as they choose."
in 2007, there was specific concern over the involvement of the Supernatural fandom, as some people felt that it was inappropriate to raise money for RAINN through the auction of stories featuring Wincest. Sweet Charity's official response on the matter was:
- Sweet Charity doesn't take responsibility for what people choose to offer, and I'll only remove things that are clear-cut illegal (Soviet tanks, WMD or kidneys? No).
- But I do very much understand that it's a matter of taste (or perceived lack of taste) or .. yes, okay, I'm talking about the Wincesters with the RAINN auction.
- Enough beating around the bush - the irony is not lost nor is the controversy of it.
- There are two very valid sides of the argument, for and against, which I'm not about to lay out here. Several people have asked my opinion on it but my opinion, frankly, is neither here nor there. I facilitate the existence of auction, I don't presume to act as nanny or put my opinions above those of the Hos.
- If you are uncomfortable taking part in an auction - for whatever reason - that is entirely respected and understood, and I hope another auction comes along you do feel you can take part in.
The site raised over $86,000 between 2006 and 2010 for a wide range of charities covering sexual abuse, medical research, and childrens' causes