There’s no question about it – it’s the Fund A Need, Raise Your Paddles, Whatever you’d like to call your ask for major funds. At a minimum, it represents 40% of your total. For some auctions, it’s 80% of what they take in.
Yet most groups simply do not spend enough time on this most important part of your evening. You need to have a defined ask for a specific amount for a specific purpose. It’s not enough to say “we need money to continue operations – how much will you give?” If you have someone who can PASSIONATELY tell the story in a short time frame, use them. Have a video professionally prepared. I that’s not possible, then have an additional Power Point for the ask.
It is also vitally important to make sure you have donors there that will commit ahead of time to make a donation. Don’t let it be a Hope and a Prayer. If you have a donor that gives at the end of the year, ask them to participate at your event. It will help the appeal
Obviously, there are many things that are important for a successful event. And we could have a very lengthy discussion about those areas. However, there are two things that are Essential in the success of your event.
First – You must use a professional charity auctioneer. You cannot rely on –
- A volunteer who is “really personable”.
- A local celebrity
- A board member – once he/she gets onstage, they will NEVER bid on items. That can be a big loss to your organization
- A local auctioneer – without specific training on the variables of charity event, you will not realize the financial return that you had hoped for
- Just ask the auctioneer how he’ll run the Fund A Need, ask how multiple sales will be handled, etc. You’ll quickly realize that this is not who you want doing your event
Second – You MUST have a high quality sound system. Believe me, it is NOT the system that the venue has built in. Those systems are designed for a speech where the crowd is quiet – Your event is a production where the attendees are noisy.
Thank about the last time you went to a Broadway type musical. The first thing that hits you is not the lighting, not the faciiity, not the audience. The first thing is the power of the sound coming from the orchestra when the start the overture.
Your professional charity auctioneer has a great voice for presentation but it must project and it must be able to overcome the noise from your attendees.
A “tinny” sound system will cost you Thousands of dollars. Don’t accept that for your event.