JUMP START: 7 Tips to Turbo-Charge Your Auction Committee Planning

Kathy strategizes with Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce Auction Committee

Summer’s in full swing! I know you’re gearing up your Auction Committees for your best fundraiser auction ever. So here are seven of my easy, yet powerful committee engagement tips to “jump start” your auction fundraising planning now.

A benefit auction, strategically designed will raise thousands more dollars and increase donor engagement and retention. Our nonprofit and school auction clients are continuing to achieve amazing breakthrough results, even in those recent past challenging economic times.

How? One common denominator is no mystery: engage your volunteers and board in early strategic auction planning, here are seven of my favorite tips to jump start planning with your auction committees.

1. Involve your benefit auctioneer from the very start in all your auction planning. She or he has unique expertise, insights and dedication that will really help you avoid costly pitfalls and to maximize your fundraising. Be sure to schedule key meetings for your auctioneer to be with you on the phone or in-person. Get to the next level – your professional fundraising auctioneer has a finger on the pulse of what is REALLY working to take maximize YOUR fundraising!

2. Schedule every single Auction Committee meeting for the entire year. This is my favorite organizing secret to make you super productive right away. Read my article for to learn more tips and get my bonus auction planning checklist.

Hop on your favorite calendar app and go for it. (Be sure to schedule your post-auction evaluation meetings too.) Create your detailed Auction Master Plan with your leadership of the Auction Committee. Select dates for each function listed below for your unique auction date. Be sure to publish and distribute your Auction Master Plan to everyone involved in your great benefit auction.

3. Ask all of your volunteers to lock in every single call and meeting. Many of our clients commit to this vital task at/or before their very first get together. This organizing tip alone makes you super productive and saves hours of crazy scheduling and wasted time. Once your Steering Committee has determined the master calendar and refined the master checklist, it is important to distribute it immediately to all auction committee chairpersons and volunteers and lock in those dates.

4. Focus your dedicated volunteers on tasks that really matter: Emphasize fundraising, communicating your nonprofit’s impact, audience development and live auction item procurement first. (Dont let discussions about dancing, decor and dessert distract your main goal – raising more money and engaging donors.) First, set up an exciting volunteer kick off meeting. Welcome everyone and immediately have a client tell their inspiring story of how much your organization impacted them and their family. Next, organize the “Audience Development”team to get the right people in the room and your “Item Procurement”team that will match top items to your unique guests.

5. Add all of your auction committee volunteers to your nonprofits email list and database. You’ll want each volunteer to be in the know about your organization and to be more involved. This way they will receive all of your great organization’s emails, updates and success stories! Remember, in addition to serving on your auction committee, many volunteers enjoy contributing in other ways to your nonprofit such as donating, visiting, and serving on other committees to impact your mission!

6. Serve great nutritious food at all of your auction committee meetings. (not pizza and subs) Work with your Development Director and Executive Director to secure a generous “volunteer food sponsor”- – it’s an important and easy ask to insure that your wonderful volunteers feel special and appreciated and to keep that energy flowing!

7. Start now! It is best to begin at least six to eleven months prior to your auction date. You can create profitable, memorable an exciting signature fundraising auction. Jump start and kick up your charity auction organizing now. Use these strategic auction planning tips to empower your auction committee volunteers to propel your fundraising auction to the next level.

Want Kathy’s energy and pre-auction planning strategies to go to the next level? Even if you already have your auctioneer, Kathy’s consulting can help you raise more funds and engage more guests!

Bring Kathy to your auction team for fresh ideas, innovative methods and for more fundraising and more donor and board engagement!

Let’s talk.   Kathy 603-235-1196 kathy@kingstonauction.com

* Secret bonus – thanks so much for reading this article. As a special gift, I’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute fundraising auction clarity call. To set up your call, please email me at kathy@kingstonauction.com and suggest a few good times for our call.


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