Solve 3 SCARY HIDDEN Auction Fundraising Challenges

Are you afraid that you are losing money at your benefit auction and don’t even know it?

Here’s how to inspire and keep the attention of your bidders and donors at your fundraising auctions so you can keep bid cards waving and raise maximum dollars!

Check out my three top tips to avoid commonly overlooked problems at benefits, auctions and galas.  Bring this to your next committee meeting

Tip number one (don’t laugh!) is to make sure everyone is seated.

Sit-down dinners are better suited for fundraising events than buffets. With the sit-down meal, everyone has a seat and is in it. My Kingstonism: “Ban Buffets at Benefit Auctions!” Think about this. During a buffet, your guests are backed up staring down at steamer trays of food– exactly at the time when they should be focused and attentive. This is the optimum time to conduct your Live Auction and Fund-A-Need special appeal. When everyone is seated, no one will miss the riveting testimonials you’ll provide, and this will ensure that your guests connect emotionally and understand the transformation you’re making with your clients and the community.

My second tip to add an inspirational WWH – “Why We’re Here.”

One of the most overlooked and powerful methods to raise funds at an auction or a special event is to effectively guide the remarks made by each person during your inspiration speaking program.

A simple prompt is an effective lead in: “Thank you in advance for your wonderful generosity. We’ve come to one of the most important parts of the evening to raise as much money as we can for _________ so that __________________. (Add what you are raising money for and why.)  Now, the ‘WWH’ is not a speech; I’m talking about no more than two minutes of inspiring, compelling remarks that showcase your great organization. You want every single person on the edge of his or her seat and to really understanding your cause, how the work you do transforms lives, and how they can support you. Intrigued?

The third tip is that you must have a professional “Fundraising Auction Quality” sound system.

Be sure to have speakers on stand that surround your audience. Be sure to place these speakers in the areas where you conduct both the live auction, fund a need and silent auctions. In order for all of your guests to feel inspired to give at a meaningful level for them, it’s imperative that each person is able to clearly hear. Make sure you tell the professional sound technicians that you need a “high level of speech intelligibility.” If guests cannot hear, they simply will not buy or give and worse yet, they will just talk over the speaker and auctioneer and not bid or give – that means you loose a ton of money and worst yet, you loose the attention and love or your guests. So make easy for your guests to hear and to understand so they feel comfortable to generously give at a level that is meaningful to them.

What about YOU?  

If you have more great ideas about raising the bar for your benefits, galas and auctions, drop me a note kathy@kingstonauction.com or call me 603-235-1196.

If I can ever help you or a colleague or friend, I’d love to hear from you. I always offer a complimentary consultation. Referrals are the greatest compliment.

Contact:  kathy@kingstonauction.com   603-235-1196   Thank you!

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The Power of A Thank YOU!

Did you know that A PROMPT MEANINGFUL THANK YOU inspires donors for increased and continued contributions to your great cause?

At our recent National Auctioneers Association Benefit Auctioneer Summit, Penelope Burk, international donor research and philanthropy expert shared her compelling results for donor loyalty and increased generosity over time.

Her research shows that donors who were thanked personally within 48 hours of their gift, with a phone call or left on voice mail much much much much more likely to give again and increase their gift! And, donors who did not receive this phone call were far less likely to give again. *

How can YOU do it too? It’s actually quite easy and profitable. Burk suggests that nonprofits simply ask your board members to call each donor (regardless of gift value) to say thank you. Here’s her script: Hi, this is Mary Smith, a volunteer board member. I’m calling you say thank you sincerely for your generous gift at our benefit auction fundraiser. It means so much because your contribution funded … (be very specific of where the money raised will go and what is accomplished) Thank you so much again!

Are you ready to take event to the next level? s I hope you join me at my NEW seminar for nonprofits and schools: Beyond Fundraising! Donor-Focused High-Profit Benefits, Auctions and Galas. Two locations: Tuesday, October 15 in Boston, MA and Thursday, October 17 in Providence, RI from 1pm to 4:30pm.  Only $59. $39 for each attendee from the same organization. Register now.

* Burk, P. 2019, August. Session presented at National Auctioneers Association Benefit Auctioneer Summit, Palm Springs, CA.

What about YOU?

If you have more great ideas about raising the bar for your benefits, galas and auctions, drop me a note kathy@kingstonauction.com or call me 603-235-1196.

If I can ever help you or a colleague or friend, I’d love to hear from you. I always offer a complimentary consultation. Referrals are the greatest compliment.

Contact:  kathy@kingstonauction.com   603-235-1196   Thank you!

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Profitable Summer Homework for Fundraising Auction Committees

Create a Post Fundraising Auction Gala Donor Engagement Plan

Just as your development staff, volunteers and gala committee members have planned and executed countless plans and details before your fundraising gala, designing and enacting a detailed follow up donor engagement plan after your event is even more crucial – and lucrative.

Summer is a great time to commit to writing your POST event donor engagement plan.

This takes fresh strategies, commitment and outreach year round. The ultimate goal is to inspire your guests and donors to choose YOU as a top charity of choice and to stay with your great cause now and into the future.

Create a new culture of philanthropy with your benefit auction as a catalyst.

Fundraising galas, auctions and charity benefit events, when strategically designed, are a superior way not only to identify new donors, but to engage your supporters and continue working with them after your event, showing them what an incredible difference their gifts make to your great cause.

Why is a post event donor engagement plan vital?

Research shows that seven out of ten donors don’t give a second gift. Keeping your your donors is a vital and relatively low cost strategy to increase fundraising and inspire year round support for nonprofit, school or NGO. Strengthening your vital relationship-building program that is less costly than donor acquisition and engages your leaders, board members and key stakeholders in meaningful ways.

There is huge value to creating and executing Post Fundraising Auction Gala Donor Engagement Plan.

Here are some top ideas to you can raise more fund and engage more donors.

  1. Create a Post Fundraising Gala Donor Engagement Plan
  2. Show your sincere gratitude immediately and continually
  3. Design and time effective communication with your donors year round
  4. Focus on communicating the impact and outcome of your donor’s gifts
  5. Personally reach out to invite guests to be further involved with you
  6. Empower and educate your board, staff, sponsors and volunteers on ways they can actively participate in donor engagement and retention.
  7. Leverage and integrate your donor management, fundraising event software and donor analytics and metrics into your Post Gala Donor Engagement Plan

Investing the time and energy now is an investment that will pay interest long into your future. When you create a Post Gala Donor Engagement Plan you will attract and retain your donors year round and transform event guests into loyal long term donors.

What about YOU?

If you have more great ideas about raising the bar for your benefits, galas and auctions, drop me a note kathy@kingstonauction.com or call me 603-235-1196.

If I can ever help you or a colleague or friend, I’d love to hear from you. I always offer a complimentary consultation. Referrals are the greatest compliment.

Contact:  kathy@kingstonauction.com   603-235-1196   Thank you!

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Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day!

All best wishes as you enjoy the festivities of the Fourth with your family, friends and loved ones.

Kathy

 

 

 

 

 

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BYOB Bring Your Own Buyers!

Kathy’s Hot Tips to Procure High Profit Benefit Auction Items

After three decades as a benefit auctioneer and fundraising consultant, the #1 question I’m still asked is: “Kathy, what are THE BEST SELLING live auction items that will raise the most money?”

But you know, that’s actually the wrong question. Before you can forecast the most lucrative auction items, ask these two questions first.

  1. Who are your benefit auction guests?
  2. “WHO will actually BUY each live auction item over the value?”

I’ve noticed a bit of a troubling trend this past spring auction season. In numerous benefit auctions, I’ve observed one or two live auction items in that have not performed financially as well as the auction committee had hoped. Why? The answer might surprise you – it’s a commonly overlooked mistake.

The reason is failure to BYOB: Bring Your Own Buyers.

In order to procure high profit live auction items every time, it’s imperative to absolutely know who will actually buy each auction item before you include it in your live auction line up.

Here’s the key factor. Don’t be satisfied to accept items without forecasting who will actually be THE high bidder. Too often auction committees, boards and volunteers cross your fingers and hope someone bids on an auction item. To be truly profitable, you must hand select and curate the RIGHT BUYERS for each of your live auction items.

Match Your Guests to Each Live Auction Item.

Steal this lesson for item procurement. Know who attends your fundraiser and what they want, then match unique auction items with the wants of your audience. With this highly strategic approach to item solicitation, you won’t end up with low selling or unwanted auction items that will fail to bring full or over value.

Build More Donor Relationships.

From a strategic perspective, what drives a fundraising event is the opportunity to better know and build relationships with your guests, so they become more engaged, more passionate about your cause, and more willing to contribute.

Before you begin procuring items, it’s imperative to understand the buying behaviors of the guests and donors. The goal is to offer exciting auction items people actually want and will BUY OVER THE VALUE, so they can freely and eagerly support a cause they love – yours!

Benefit auction guest behaviors have changed.

Auction guests are bidding much more intentionally. Let’s face it: Not everyone really wants or needs another silent or live auction item. So it’s vital for you and your benefit auction team to be quite strategic, and to make sure you exclusively procure and offer items that will keep the auction exciting and lucrative.

Know your guests and curate your auction items.

This is the most lucrative way to boost bidding and make more money. What’s the very best way to know what your donors, past bidders, guests, and sponsors want? Ask them what they would love to bid on at your next auction. Then ask for their advice. Ask them what’s missing at the auction. Study past auction data, list the top items, and note who bought them. Then focus on procuring those high-performing auction items.

Plus, DOUBLE your money.

Always, always ask the donor if you can offer two packages on auction night. Be sure to let your auctioneer know when they can sell two!

What about YOU?

If you have more great ideas about high profit live auction items, drop me a note or call.

If I can ever help you or a colleague or friend, I’d love to hear from you. I always offer a complimentary consultation. Referrals are the greatest compliment.

Contact:  kathy@kingstonauction.com   603-235-1196   Thank you!

 

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