There is Something About Your Auction That You Need to RETHINK!
“Haven’t I met you before?” That’s all that kept looping through my head when I met Tom Weitbrecht at an event sponsored by The Non-profit ToolBox, just outside Boston, in the Fall of 2010.
With a sparkle in his eye, an endearing “Bah”ston accent, and a handshake that felt like it was from an old friend, Tom said, “Nice to meet you, Jenna!” With a first impression like that, I am pretty sure that everyone thinks they have met Tom before!
It was at that meeting, that I became passionate about the topic that we are discussing today. Honestly, it is a topic that many non-profits put to bed years ago. And because they are occupied with so many other decisions, they simply don’t think to revisit it.
But, it is time to freshen up your due diligence and open up a dialog. Let me help get the ball rolling by giving a shout out to the group: If you don’t use a professional auctioneer for your fundraiser, it is time to RETHINK!
Okay, I know what you are thinking, “Jenna! Auctioneers cost money. They take a cut out of the funds we raise at our events.” Yes, they do. But, let’s take that notion and turn it upside down for a second. What are the costs of not having a professional auctioneer at your event?
What do you hope to bring in at your auction this year.. $10K, $20K…$50K? The auction is likely the single most important hour of your fundraising efforts for the entire year! There are high expectations and high stakes—that makes it high risk! Can you think of any other high risk financial situation where you don’t turn to a professional?
Anything that takes the auction off track--even in the slightest way--could distract bidders or make them lose interest and erode the funds you raise during that crucial hour.
But, the great news is, anything (or, in this case, anyone) that keeps your auction on track—or, better yet, elevates the experience to entertainment and excitement for your guests, will increase the funds you raise during that crucial hour!
So, I have two goals, today. My first goal is to inspire you to revisit the topic of hiring a professional auctioneer. My second goal is to give you the resources you need to make the right decision for your nonprofit. To that end, I am going to make cyber introductions to two auction professionals and their valuable online video content.
Out-of-this-World-Super-Helpful Online How-to Videos from Two Auctioneers
So, let’s circle back to my old friend, Tom (oh wait, he isn’t my old friend, I keep forgetting). Tom is the principal and chief charity auctioneer of The Strategic Auction Alliance and he has helped raise millions of dollars for charity organizations.
Above, is a mini video with a handful of helpful auction tips and a demonstration of Tom’s auctioneering skills. After you check that out, I highly recommend carving out some time to watch his free webinar: Obtaining Quality Auction Items.
The 25-minute seminar is jam-packed with HUGE ideas that you WILL implement. Plus, the recorded 35-minute Q & A session following the formal talk answers all the questions you will have swimming around in your head.
I also want to introduce you to Sherry Truhlar who is the founder Red Apple Auctions. I have never met Sherry, but I am a big fan of her video content. She passionately disseminates massively practical event details that will have a meaningful impact on your auction!
Sherry is dynamic and incredibly energized. She specializes in three to five minute videos that are a slam dunk in addressing, debunking and blowing out auction details. Above is one of my favorite videos where Sherry has a great no-bones-about-it opinion about how to (or more accurately how NOT to) announce the start of the auction! Below are three links to her short auction guides selected from her vault of helpful video content.
How many items should you sell in your benefit auction?
How to design the perfect auction bid paddle number for your event.
How to display silent auction items at your benefit auction fundraiser.
What I like about Sherry and Tom is that they know the best way to build trust is to be open and authentic. And, thank goodness for us, they are skilled in using web-based tools and media channels to cast a wide net and broadcast their good thinking to all of us do-gooders.
Just so you know, I have no affiliation with Tom or Sherry. And, as I publish this post, they have no idea that I am singing their praises.
So, there you go. It is time to RETHINK the auctioneer! Then REACT to these ideas. And, don’t forget to let me know how it all turns out.
Remember, the Bliss is in the Details!
P.S. Do you have great auction tips to share, what to do and what not to do? Submit your ideas and get a chance to win a hot air balloon ride for two people! This blog is sponsored by FundraisingRides, the division of Soaring Adventures of America, Inc. dedicated to providing non-profit organizations with fundraising opportunities.