Having a Fundraising Auction This Fall?

by Darin Lawson, CAI, BAS

It’s the height of charity fundraising for the year. Many non-profits focus on autumn as an optimum time to hold their annual fundraising gala, and for many of those groups, the annual gala represents their largest, single event income of the year.

If your organization is going to make a live auction part of the program (and it hasn’t before), it’s important to have answers to these questions:

  1. How many items should be included in the live auction?
  2. Where in the course of evening events should the auction be conducted?
  3. How will the bids/bidding be recorded and invoiced?
  4. What audio and video components will contribute to making the live auction successful?
  5. When should the “Fund-A-Cause” portion of the night be conducted?
  6. Should we incorporate consignment items into live and/or silent auctions?

These are a few of the common questions that many clients have, but it’s a very short list in comparison to the totality of all things that must be addressed in order to have a successful event that focuses on raising funds for the organization, but incorporates the right amount of fun that makes people want to come back.

Benefit-Auctioneer-Specialist-LogoBenefit Auction Consulting

I incorporate pre-event consulting into my bundle of services for EVERY benefit auction client, in order to share national best practices for conducting a successful event from beginning to end. Sure, auction is my focus; that’s what I get paid for. But, it’s important to establish continuity for the fundraising from the time the guests arrive, up to and through the checkout process. Everything works together; the dinner, the program (specifically, the speaker, or speakers- what to say, what not to say, etc.), the silent auction, the Fund-A-Cause (or, Appeal, Give Moment, etc.), availability of cocktails, checkout, check-in, all aspects should flow seamlessly together.

As a Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS), designee of the National Auctioneers Association, I have not only the education, but the experience of over a decade of specialization in benefit auctions. Sincerely wanting my clients to succeed, I share that education and experience with all non-profit clients, so that we all succeed! The NAA has an article regarding hiring a professional for your auction, visit that article here

Winspire (a consignment travel provider) has a good blog post on the benefits of hiring a Benefit Auction Specialist to consult and conduct your live auction. Visit their article here

If a fall fundraising auction is in your future, and you’ve not yet secured a professional benefit auctioneer, call soon. Some Fall, 2016, dates are still available, but as mentioned before, don’t wait… ’tis the season! Visit www.darinlawson.com for more information on benefit auction fundraising.