Hello, my Fabulous Fundraisers! At the most basic level, every auction includes SELLERS who offer GOODS to BUYERS, then the buyers BID to win those goods.
And when the seller is a NONPROFIT, and the Bidders are event ATTENDEES, you’ve got a Benefit Auction on your hands.
But Benefit Auctions come with some unique challenges, and by understanding those challenges, you can overcome them and raise thousands more.
Challenge #1. Guests coming to Benefit Auctions are looking to be ENTERTAINED with a NIght-Out-On-The-Town Experience.
At an auto auction, you go in your jeans, bid on the car you came to see, hopefully win it, and leave.
At an estate sale you find the items that interest you, pay, and go home.
Different auctions each have their own specific atmosphere, but by and large, the Four Types of Attendees at Benefit Auctions have come to expect their “night out” to be entertaining.
Maybe it’s a chance to get all gussied up in their glitziest glamour, or maybe it’s a spikey wig and lots of scarves and bangles for a Rock and Roll fantasy night.
BOTTOMLINE: if you leave your attendees feeling under-stimulated, they will ALWAYS give less, and next year they may not return at all.
Challenge #2. Your auction items might be amazing, but if your real-life guests aren’t interested in them, you’re benefit is in big trouble.
Procuring desirable items is MANDATORY for benefit auctions, so when Artisan Auctions consults with our clients, a lot of our focus is learning everything we can about how their attendees have spent money in the past.
Armed with this knowledge, we can optimize their silent auction, assist in creating a stellar lineup of Live Auction Items with the highest ROI, and set achievable fundraising goals.
Challenge #3. In order to give MOST, attendees must feel CONTINUALLY INSPIRED about your work WITHOUT feeling nagged.
Yes, they know they are there to support your cause, but the more you can keep them fired up throughout the night about the positive change they are helping create, the more easily they will open up their wallets.
Just don’t become a pushy pest about it.
Some effective ways to keep them inspired are: compelling special appeal videos, eloquent speakers, and brief-but-consistent reminders about why this event is happening in the first place: to support your great work.
And if attendees get to take home great items and play a little dress up, suddenly it’s an event!!