Hello my Fabulous Fundraisers! It’s Kelly with Artisan Auctions.
Today, I’ve got a quick tip for how to raise thousands more in minutes and give everyone at your event a chance to make a meaningful gift.
It’s called The Sweep.
When putting together a successful event, I always encourage my clients to include a Special Appeal because it’s almost always the biggest moneymaker of every event.
About halfway through the live auction, we focus the crowd on a short video which highlights a specific need connected to the organization’s mission, and then I ask for gifts starting at the highest level and working down.
For example, a $10,000 level, a $5,000 level, $2,500, and so on...
On the final level of giving, I ask all attendees to take out their specially colored bid cards which have been stapled to their MAIN bid cards and hold them in the air for a photo opportunity.
I have my photographer at the ready to take photos of everyone proudly holding up their bidder cards. And I always remind them to SMILE!
OK, now comes The Sweep!
Immediately after the photo has been taken, I’ll say “Okay folks, for those of you who wish to make a gift of $100, please leave your bid cards high in the air and our volunteers will come collect them.”
Now most crowds will let out a collective “Ohhhhh” as in “Nice try, Kelly.”
And a lot of the cards come down. But NOT ALL. So I’ll remind them gently, “If you would like to make a gift of $100, now is the time to hold your cards high. If you have made a gift and would like to make one more, simply raise that bidder number and our volunteers will come and collect them. We appreciate your support and thank you for your generosity on our appeal!”
The volunteers SWEEP the room collecting all the raised cards, and once all the cards are collected, they just need to be counted for the clerks final total and taken to data entry for check out.
The hope with a Sweep is that those who came to give a gift of $100 will be able to do so quickly by proudly raising their bid cards and those who already gave a gift have the opportunity to stretch their giving just a little bit further with an additional gift.
NOTE! A sweep can be used at ANY level that you think will work best for your guests. We were recently working with an organization that chose to do The Sweep at a final $250 level.
Before the Sweep they had 22 gifts at $250 for a total of $5,500 but AFTER The Sweep, they were able to get 30 MORE gifts at $250.
That’s an additional $7,500 with no time wasted!
Have YOU ever used the Sweep method or something like it in your special appeal?