Benefit Auction Tips

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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...

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?

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.

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

Nonprofit Donors – It’s Scary Out There!
I participated in a Halloween costume party last night for the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center. Everyone went overboard with their costumes and everyone had a fun time. I dressed as “Death” and wore a black robe with my face totally covered with a non-transparent mask.

What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?
While I’m not going to debate chickens, I am going to help you explore your fundraising gala. During my consulting over the past seven years with non-profits, there has been a lot of discussion regarding when the live auction should be conducted during the evening. Many groups want to “set the tone” with keynote speeches, awards and videos, all in tune with the mission. While these things do set the tone and ensures the guests know the non-profit’s mission, I would like to offer a more profitable suggestion.

First Impressions
First impressions matter! How often did you hear that growing up? “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” I was always told. Your event is no different.

Are Boring Speeches Sucking the Fun(dRaising) From Your Event?
Thinking about your personal attendance at a fundraising event, why are you there? Is it to have fun, see friends, and eat a nice meal? Hopefully you also attend to support the non-profit. More than likely, the guests at your event also have this same “agenda”.

5 Cost Effective Tips for Event Promotion
It is better to have 200 informed, engaged and committed attendees at an event who are ready to spend money, than 400 people who are learning about your organization for the first time. Informed. Engaged. Committed. You get your guests to that place with a communications plan that interacts with them throughout the entire year. Once you have an informed and engaged audience, you can implement the following five cost-effective tips for event promotion:

Show Me the Money! Getting Guests Excited About Your Top-End Auction Items
You’ve prepared everything for your gala/auction event including invitations, item procurement, forms and the venue. You’re all set for the big night, right? Not necessarily. What have you done to inform your guests of the big ticket items that will be offered during your event?


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