Better Benefits Blog

We post regularly about all things benefit auctions. You heard it here first!

Benefit Auction Institute expands fundraising classes to Seattle market
Benefit Auction Institute expands fundraising classes to Seattle market

Minnesota-based BAI brings fundraising auction education to the Pacific Northwest

Cycling and fundraising—It’s best to stick together
I believe cycling is a wonderful metaphor for both life and fundraising – keep moving, stick together, help each other, work hard and be prepared to suffer a bit. The outcome makes it all the more worthwhile.

Lessons from TC, Mascot of the Minnesota Twins
One can learn a lot from a seven-foot fuzzy bear. The Minnesota Twins’ mascot, TC, recently made an appearance at an event hosted by his teammate, Brian Dozier.

The Fund-a-Need and Donor Migration
Migration donation... yes, it's a thing!

Up above the clouds so high
I'm sure you've done it (I can't be the only one!). You race to the airport to make a flight, get safely through security, and then wait to make the walk down the jetway to your plane. When finally aboard you pack into your seat like a sardine with every form of entertainment at your fingertips--books, magazines, movies, and oh yes, work!

Fund-a-Need Best Practice: Securing Lead Gifts
When conducting a Fund-a-Need appeal at your gala, what dollar amount should you ask for first? Do you ask for $1,000 as your first gift; $10,000; $5,000, $500, what?

You're late; you're late...for a very important date!
There are certain dates during the year that are popular for fundraisers. While every region of the country has its nuances, the month of April is the busiest in the Midwest. To be more specific, the last Saturday of April has been our busiest date for at least...

George Bailey doesn't live in Bedford Falls
I suspect you all know the fictional story of It's a Wonderful Life, right? Well, I'm here to tell you it's not fiction and the story doesn't just live on a movie reel. It is alive and well in Fillmore, California. And the title character's name is not George Bailey, but Mark Ortega. ...Let me explain.

Alternative to the Cork Pull
Perhaps you’ve seen the Wall of Wine raffle where the winner receives a vast selection of wines to bring home to your personal wine cellar. But, what if the profile of your event is better suited to beer than wine? How about having a “99 Bottles of Beer raffle”? That’s right, you purchase your raffle ticket for a chance to win from a great selection of unique beers.

Creating buzz at your charity event
Would you like to create social media buzz at your next charity event? Take a page from major sporting event playbooks and invite people to post photos of themselves at your event. They can share the photo via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to show everyone else why they should be at your event next year.

Turning Frustration Into Good
Our daughter needed basic transportation this summer for two months, so we bought her a 15 year-old car...where else but at an auction! “Doris the Taurus” (as the car was dubbed) served her purpose of providing safe, reliable transportation for our daughter while she was home from Spain. However, just two days before we planned to sell the car back to the same auction house, we returned home to find that the car was involved in a hit and run with significant damage to the driver’s side.

(Non)-Buyer’s Remorse: I Need More Cowbell!
You know that shopping spree you went on? The one where you went in search of new tennis shoes and instead came home with a sack full of items you hadn’t planned on? Sometimes those moments are fun; sometimes filled with regret. Well, trust me on this, the same can be said in reverse when you let a great opportunity go by.

Come fly with us: Meet early with your Professional Benefit Auctioneers and...
An event in an airport hangar? How will that work? What could be awesome? What could go wrong? I recently sat with a client who shared that her next event was going to take place in an airport hangar. This was her nonprofit’s first time working in an airport hangar; it was our company’s fifth time!

How to get the right guests to your event
What is more important, a room filled with guests attending your event to eat dinner or a room brimming with guests passionate about your cause and there to support it? I think the answer is obvious. Many organizations lose this focus when compiling their guest list and it is the first step in getting the right people to your event.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to school I go!
Can you remember how you felt in those late summer days just prior to going back to school? …You know, that unique mix of anticipation, excitement and maybe even a little bit of angst?

Success or Failure? Do’s and Don’ts for Utilizing Local Celebrities at...
Many of the nonprofits I work with feel a local celebrity is a must when conducting their fundraising event. While celebrities can help garner attendance by curious attendees, these celebrities need to be utilized in the best way possible to maximize fundraising for the nonprofit. Let’s explore a few of the ways they can help.

Incentivizing fun during your Live Auction
Can $20 of wine make you $200 during a live auction? Can a six pack of beer make you $150 or more? How about a stuffed toy? Can it make you an extra $1,500? …The answer each time is yes!

Hello, 2016!
Happy New Year! 2015 is a wrap and we now look forward to 2016 and all the great things it will offer. At the Benefit Auction Institute, we are researching topics and planning additional classes for the new year.

Mission is on the menu: Want to increase giving? Consider Table Ambassadors!
Want to increase giving? Consider Table Ambassadors!

Five lessons from an apple picker
Eight years ago my husband planted a Honeycrisp apple tree in our front yard. And being Minnesotans we are very biased that all Honeycrisp apples—if not the ones from our very own front tree— are the best on the planet. Of course, we place a premium on the fruit that the tree produces because there is some amount of work in getting to the point of harvest. Between the watering, the tiny amount of spraying, and the occasional pruning of the branches, there is something very satisfying about getting to the place where we can pick our prized apples.

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