Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Benefit & Fundraising Auctions... An Art Form

Non-profit organizations have always struggled with raising money for their causes. When the economy turns, it gets even harder. They often try a variety of methods to reach their goals. Many organizations choose the Auction as an event to raise money. Many of these same organizations find that it didn't raise nearly as much money as they hoped, and their guests were not very happy when they left. When I hear these stories, my first question is "who was your auctioneer?"

Before I even get the answer, I can pretty much bet on one of the following answers...

  • We had a volunteer do it.
  • The director (coach, priest, chairman) conducted the auction. 
  • We had a "cattle auctioneer" come do it for free. Here's the problem.... although well-meaning, they don't have the training to make the event a success. 

The National Auctioneers Association (NAA), has a training program specifically for Benefit Auctioneers, called surpassingly, the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS). Shannon and I were among the first in the world to attend this class and earn this designation. 

As a matter of fact, Rich is at a conference today (September 17th), in Chicago, learning with 75 of the other best benefit Auctioneers in the world. This simply means we have been trained. It means we know some of the pitfalls and the errors that occur when trying to raise funds. It means that we have seen what works, and what doesn't work, and we can bring that experience to our clients. But to get started, there are 7 Keys to success that all organizers must know. We're sharing it here because it's so important.

  • Right People There are KEY people that MUST be invited to every event to increase your revenues 
  • Right Stuff Auctions are about BUYING. The right number, variety, and quality of things to sell is essential 
  • Right Venue Having the right location and the right amenities available will make your event seamless, fun, and profitable! 
  • Right Agenda The timeline for your event, including when your event is held, can make or break your success 
  • Right Volunteers Your people make the difference, Having the right volunteers and staff, doing the right things, is essential.
  • Right Marketing What you say, how you say it, who you say it to, and when you say it, dramatically impacts your bottom line 
  • Right Professional Benefit Auction Team We, of course, hope you'll choose us as your auctioneers. But this includes your sound and AV folks, clerking and registering team, item supplier, and so much more.   

There is SO MUCH that goes into a fundraising event, often the ONLY fundraising event for the year, that you can't afford to miss any opportunity to be successful. Auctioneers are the ONLY vendor that brings money back to the organization. They are an investment. The better the Auction Professional, the better your return and profit. It's that simple.

If you know someone who needs to raise funds for their non-profit, have them contact a Professional, Benefit Auctioneer Specialist. We'd like that to be us, but if not, we'll be happy to steer them to a fellow professional. For more information, see our website at BenefitAuctioneers.com.