Better Benefits Blog

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

A Great Attitude: Be Your Own Mental Chiropractor
My peaceful morning was shattered by noise. I was up early to plan my day and review last night’s emails. And then the trucks started rolling through our neighborhood to pick up garbage, recycling, and compost materials. I was grumbling to myself about how loud they were, and that they were disturbing the beauty of the morning. Then I stopped and thought about how petty my complaint was, and I remembered just how lucky I am.

Please Celebrate Them Home
At most of our events, and probably most of yours, alcohol is served. After nearly 29 years in business, I'm happy to say that I've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of clearly impaired/drunk attendees. Nonetheless, at most every event there is at least one guest who has had too much to drink. As the event host, can and should nonprofits do more? I think so.

Flying the friendly (and fun) skies
While at a recent fundraising event I participated in a new game—at least to me. It took only a short amount of time and the space was right to pull off a perfect landing. The organization sold individuals paper to craft their own airplanes at low price points ($3 for one; $5 for...

The People We Touch
This meeting had something unique right up front—the three words, “People We Touch”. I said to myself, “What is this about?” when the Executive Director started the meeting by asking a staff member to read the thank you letter they received as their “People We Touch” moment.

Benefit Auction Institute President earns heralded Pat Massart Scholarship...
Connie J. M. Johnson recently completed a three-year executive development program focused on business management, ethics, strategic planning and marketing.

Tap into the sweet success and fun of Dessert Auctions
In many regions dessert auctions are a real thing. Adding a dessert auction or dessert dash to an event can result in significant revenue to the fundraiser – from a few hundred, to a few thousand, to $20,000 or more.

Can THEY hear you now?
“The sound was horrible!” “The people on the left side of the room could not hear.” “The video kept freezing and eventually didn’t work at all!” Have you heard—or said this after an event? Worse yet…was it your event?

Clean Slate? My View
When the clock ticks midnight on New Year’s Eve many of us make resolutions that will alter, on premise, the year ahead. To my comrades in Development, indulge me while I deviate slightly from that practice.

Fund-a-Need: Clarifying Goals and Opportunities
Having come from the nonprofit side of the fence, one thing that was of utmost importance to my NPO was the need for clarity in communications with our event attendees (some donors, others prospects), about where we were financially; where we could be with more resources; and how our guests fit into that opportunity equation.

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.

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