Creating a perfect environment for giving can be a carefully balanced dance that is perfected over time. The most important tip is to ALWAYS HAVE AN END RESULT. Figure out what the goal is and aim for that. Otherwise, you may be all over the place doing the tango back and forth. Here are some tips on creating this perfect environment for giving:
Adding a PowerPoint to your Live Auction will not only showcase your live items,but it is also visually appealing. People are attracted to large images and have a very short concentration span. Tease them with a visually appealing image and let them taste what you are auctioning. Use images to generate excitement and dollars! What more could you ask for than Lakers tickets with a picture of Kobe Bryant. They may never meet Kobe, but the thought of possibly meeting him is there.
Place one item per slide
Put the item Number on the slide
Place the Title on the slide
Add a Graphic (1 or 2)
Who donated it (example What class/teacher)
Bullet point description of the item
Following these steps will create interest to sell the item. Most of all it will keep your guests focused and bid!
2. MISSION PROMOTION
Remind your guests why they are there. It is easy to get lost in conversation, food, drinks and networking. Tell a story through pictures and quotes. Keep your audience focused on the mission and the big picture of how they are benefiting a cause.
3. WALLPAPER IT UP!
Your guests want to have fun, this is a night away to mingle and give back! So, have fun with it. Be creative! Mix your slides up using the tips below and you have what we call Auction Wallpaper. This can be rotating in the background on your tv’s to remind your audience about why they are there.
Compile 100-200 pictures to show your great cause
Have them on a 3-5 second loop
Add quotes form past guests and sponsors
Add Sponsors Logos
Include Auction items
Display the Sponsors Logos
Add any other Facts about the Charity
1. Have a goal!
2. Remind your guests of the mission you are promoting
A volunteer auctioneer could be the most costly expense of your entire event. Some may think anyone with a strong voice and a sense of humor can lead an auction. Unfortunately you will never know how much money a volunteer auctioneer has left in the room.
A professional auctioneer, one who specializes in fundraising auctions keeps up the tempo, adds new revenue streams like ‘Fund A Need’ that will make a huge difference for your bottom line. A professional benefit auctioneer’s job is to know how to spur on bidding and they will know at the exact moment to say “sold.”
An amateur volunteer auctioneer is the MOST EXPENSIVE cost of your fundraiser auction you can lose thousands of dollars at your charity benefit auction. A professional auctioneer does not cost money!!! They will raise more money. Beahm Auction Group’s fundraising auctioneer experts and consultants are able to maximize your fundraising and keep the event exciting! This will keep your guest coming back event after event!
We had such a great time at the First Christian School’s 14th Gala, 2014. Auction items were abundant from wine to WELCOME signs.. a really fun evening was had by all. Thank you for including us in your event and congratulations on the success of the event.
DumOL Clair Chardonnay – This was one of our favorites – it can be very hard to find this wine outside of the winery, however we did – Lucky us! This winery is a great location to host a donation party.
Thank you to Ivy Negal – A Stella and Dot stylist (Jewelry) set up a pop-up shop so our guests can explore beautiful jewelry throughout the evening. Ivy also donated fabulous bobbles and we were able to earn points to buy Stella and Dot gems for donation.
This event was a success and a really great way to gather items for our upcoming auction. Each guest was asked to support the Active Auctioneers Foundation and bring a bottle of wine for donation towards the next event – January 10, 2015. SAVE THE DATE!
Golden Ticket Raffles offer a limited number of higher price raffle tickets to win a high value prize, typically a choice of any live auction item.
Selling 100 tickets at $100 can be surprisingly easy for a buyer’s choice prize and can increase participation when significant numbers of attendees feel “priced out” of the live auction portion of the event.
The cost of the ticket: if half of your guests purchase a ticket, the revenue should equal or exceed the Fair Market Value of any of your live auction items, or at least most of them.
At your auction, the live auction item with the highest FMV is a weeklong trip to Hawaii, at $12000. You are expecting 300 guests. $12000 divided by 150 tickets is $80/tickets. This is the minimum price you should charge for a Golden Ticket!
During your event your Auctioneer will announce that anyone present could win any of the live auction items for a fraction of its Fair Market Value, by buying a Golden Ticket.
You should have someone well dressed and charismatic walk through the crowd with a roll of 2 part tickets and a clipboard. As tickets are sold, two pieces of information are collected
1. Their bidder number
2. Which live auction item they wish to win!
The first piece of information is written on a sales tracking sheet of paper on the clipboard, and on the ticket, which the seller keeps for the drawing.
The buyer is handed the other part, and wished good luck.
The ticket seller keeps the portions of the sold tickets with the bid and item numbers written on then until it is time to draw the winner, and takes the sheet with bidder numbers to the people entering sales into your database, at periodic intervals throughout the Golden Ticket sales window. The seller will now collect a fresh sheet and continue to sell.
You and your auctioneer will determine the best time and method for drawing the winner’s name. Make sure that you have closed sales 10-15 minutes before the live auction begins, to give your data entry people time to get the tickets sales entered and there is adequate time to designate what live item has been “Sold”
For Benefit Auctions, “Auction Quality” sound and lighting serves in the best interest to maximize revenue and adds to the quality of guest experience. Any use of the venue’s built-in house sound system is not acceptable for afundraising auction. In some cases DJ or band sound may be fine depending on your room setup. It is critical for each guest to hear and become engaged in fundraising throughout every phase of your event. Here are some important factors to design the optimum sound and lighting system to raise the most money and excitement at a benefit auction.
Written Proposal – Get a written sound and lighting proposal with equipment specifications, placement of speakers on the floor plan/s. Make sure all the costs are included, including equipment, labor for set up, event, and break down. Appoint a key committee member to be the liaison with the sound company to insure that they DO set up the EXACT sound system that you approved for the night of the auction!!! Schedule early, good sound companies are booked sometimes a year in advance.
Sound – MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR: Absolutely, every guest must be able to hear clearly at BOTH silent and live auctions over the loud talking and clanking of dishes that occurs at a benefit auction. The best design for sound involves placing high quality speakers on stands surrounding the entire audience–that is speakers all the way around the auction venue. Include at least 1 to 2 stage monitors on the stage, depending on the stage size. Make sure the stage monitor settings are the same as the speakers that surround the room. The sound engineer must make sure there are no “dead sound zones” in either the silent or live auction venue. Remember, there is always a higher level of concentrated noise in the silent auction area, requiring ample speakers. If there are some areas of “transition” like hallways/foyer/extra tent, it is a good idea to have some speaker on stands in that location so that all guests can know can hear announcements. It’s essential to focus on the transition from silent to live. If there is not proper sound and excitement, your guests will get “stuck” loosing valuable time and energy. It’s critical to stay on your timeline so that you have a quick and smooth transition to dinner, program and live auction.
Professional Sound Company – It is vital to select a sound company that will support your needs to focus on a great sound system that will be designed specifically for you. The sound company needs to know that your guests will talk A LOT and there will be food service and dishes clanking and that is ok with you and ok with the auctioneer; it is normal for this type of event. The sound system needs to be designed with talking audience and noise as a given. You will need technical operator to be in attendance the entire time in both silent and live areas, this is critical. They need to be ready for a sound check 1.5 hours prior to doors opening…that means ready, not just finishing up the wiring etc.
Hand-held Cordless Microphones – You need hand-held cordless microphones-high quality for:
2. General speakers
3. Fund a Need speaker
4. Backup microphone
5. If you have Professional Auctioneer Bid Spotters, each needs a hand-held mic too.
BAND/MUSIC/DJ – If you are using a band, DJ and music to accompany the live auction, do a run through rehearsal with the band leader/DJ with sound and lights at least one hour prior to doors opening. The band will have some sound requirements, so make sure to coordinate these needs and communicate it so that it can be written into the sound and lighting specs.
Pre-Event Sound Check
It’s imperative to also do a complete sound check for all the persons who will be using a microphone. Remember once all the levels are set according to the specific auctioneer’s requirement – please ask the sound technician NOT to change the levels. Each sound system is different and it’s imperative to practice and get the sound correct BEFORE guests arrive – it will really make a difference in your fundraising!
Bring house lights UP and as full as possible for the Heads and Tails, Live Auction and Fund a Need. NEVER any spotlights on auctioneer, period. It is impossible to see the guests and bidding activity. Make sure you have strong lighting at the Silent Auction and Live Auction displays. You can light the stage with down lights or lights from the side. Definitely install a dimmer switch so that lights can be turned full for live auction and adjusted for other phases of the evening.
Outdoor Tents – It’s imperative to have lighting levels that guests can read the silent auction bid forms and descriptions and their auction catalogs. Remember that many guests need reading glasses and can not see well in low light. Place 3-4 flood lights on tent poles directed up to create great ambient light. Make sure you have strong lighting at the Silent Auction and Live Auction displays. You can light the stage with down lights or lights from the side. Definitely install a dimmer switch so that lights can be turned full for live auction and adjusted for other phases of the evening.
Pre-Event Lighting Rehearsal – It’s imperative to also do a lighting rehearsal to practice the lighting transitions – since the lighting levels change during different phases of the event, everyone will be prepared and you will maximize fundraising and guest engagement and enjoyment.
When a group doesn’t do a good job of managing procurement, volunteers feel out of control. To ease the inevitable aggravation, start procuring quality items year round, using these tips.
1. After the charity auction, take time to write a wrap-up letter to donors with an additional thank you and auction results. It will help plant the seed for next year’s ask.
2. Build your contact list by following your community’s business section for new businesses opening. Flag those contacts in your database so you can customize a letter to them related to their first year in business.
3. Year round, have regular – if not as frequent – teleconferences with your committee to discuss procurement. Discussion of past or upcoming school /nonprofit events can be a time to brainstorm on who will be there and what they said. “Julie is going on vacation to Mexico,” you might learn, “We should ask them if they’ll ask the hotel for a donation.”
4. To keep it fresh, consider focusing on a different theme every month. Travel now … food next.
5. Subscribe to at least one magazine or blog that targets your audience – or a developing section of your audience -so you can be more educated about their interests. For example, if you intend to target an audience of 30-something men, make sure to read about electronics and technology. You’ll key in on several items to add to your ask list that will be attractive to those guests.