Laser marketing your charity auction is one of my favorite topics; here are some great marketing ideas for both nonprofits and benefit auctioneers alike.
First, I would like to underscore a powerful new marketing technique – that is unfortunately sometimes overlooked in promoting your fundraising auction. It’s vital to pre-promote both your benefit auction event AND to pre-promote your auction items. In this new economy, potential auction guests, sponsors and donors are much more strategic in how they think and how they act at fundraising auction events.
Here is the good news. People are attending auctions and fundraising events, they are donating and bidding at benefit auctions. However, they are not attending as many fundraising events as they have in the past – so it is very important to capture their attention early and often. It is a very good idea to get your save the date card out earlier than ever before and to make sure you personalize your invitations. I would like to talk about a couple of marketing ideas that are very helpful and then underscore the main strategy that should be a thread through every one of your marketing efforts and marketing promotional pieces.
First of all, it is critical to brand your mission. That means putting your logo, your tag line, and getting the cause out in every piece of promotional activity – whether it is posters and advertising, working with the media, or sending out a press release. It is imperative to talk about the organization and the results that you achieve because donors give. Donors give because they envision how they can be engaged in achieving those benefits or results for the community. So here are a couple tips. One, make sure you promote earlier than ever before. Two, include your logo, your tag line, and my famous F.A.B. message – fundraising auction benefit. Make sure that your guests know that you are actually having an auction, that it is a fundraising auction, what it will benefit, and that is where you can put your tag line or your cause. So that is my FAB method.
At the auction fundraiser, here are a couple of tips – in your silent auction do you promote your mission? You can have your tag line, you can put pictures, you can have a table tent between your silent auction items, in your auction catalog – this is a great way on the bottom of every page to promote a special program or service that you provide. Think about the back of your auction bid card. There are so many impressions with all those bid cards going up all night long – you can put a sponsor logo or you can put your message. So those are a couple ways that are very important.
The last thing I want to talk about is make sure you use all the avenues with your social media, your Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, and Facebook and remember the average person has about 200+ people in their own personal circle of influence and ask them to support you by reaching out with their influence through social media and other areas. Remember – combining all of these techniques and enlisting the creativity of your auction committee in marketing your event will ensure your benefit auction success.