Auctions may be a fun and efficient method to generate funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital, as well as a fantastic way to engage and keep people involved. But there’s no doubt about it: auctions are a lot of effort!
Here are some helpful hints to make the process run more easily and ensure a successful at auctions:
Start Planning Early
Begin preparing at least 11 to 12 months in advance to have adequate time to reserve a location, engage volunteers, acquire things, and arrange and advertise an auction. Request that corporations include you in their yearly giving budget one year in advance.
Have Clear Objectives
Outline your auction objectives, make specific financial targets, develop a budget, and construct a task timetable.
You can precisely calculate how much you’ll need to earn through auction income to accomplish your objective by preparing ahead of time, and you can set in action the procedures required to get there.
Don’t try to accomplish it on your own. Form a committee of devoted guild members and assign responsibilities such as procurement, sponsorship, decorations, entertainment, speakers, registration, volunteer coordination, and so on. You want individuals who know people, have time, work hard, and stick to their commitments.
Respect your committee members’ time (stick to meeting agendas and conclude on time), communicate goals and motivate your team.
One of the most significant aspects of auction preparation is the acquisition of auction objects. People with broad circles of influence who are pleasant and persuasive should be on your procurement team. Determine who knows who, and then ask early, often, and to everyone.
Seek out one-of-a-kind goods and experiences that money cannot buy.
Build Your Audience
You need individuals in the room to buy the auction items now that you have them. You want to attract the proper amount of individuals who can contribute, like participating in your auction, and, ideally, are connected to your cause. Early and frequent promotion of your event is recommended.
Request that table leaders or guild members occupy one table each. Consider contacting and individually inviting guests who attended and generously contributed to the auction last year. Don’t forget to add us to your email list!
Ask corporations or people to fund event components such as the silent auction, catalog printing, or the dinner to help defray the costs of an auction. This might be in the form of a monetary or in-kind contribution.
Provide tiers of sponsorship levels and incentives so that potential contributors may select how much they want to donate and what they want in return. Offer public recognition in exchange for a company’s donation.
Plan a Fun Party
Make your auction a one-of-a-kind, memorable, and enjoyable event. Provide good customer service, recognition, personal touches, and motivation to your guests.
Keep them entertained. They’ll be surprised. Wow them. They’ll definitely return next year – and maybe even bring some new visitors with them.
Make a Special Appeal
Everyone who attends your auction is there to help your cause. Make the most of their donations by highlighting a specific need that will appeal to the bulk of the audience.
This feature, also known as “Fund an Item,” “Fund a Need,” or “Raise Your Paddle,” allows guests to make a tax-deductible gift to the charity. Remember that your auction raises more than just money.
Use Professional Tools
Using existing resources can help you save money on everything from hiring a professional auctioneer to acquiring auction software.
An auction database can assist you in keeping track of registration, auction goods, sponsorships, table seats, guest purchases, donations, and other details. It can also assist you in providing us with organized information for donor recognition and financial reporting purposes.
Take Stock of Your Items
First, make a list of everything you intend to sell during your live auction. It’s difficult to predict when certain goods, like as travel and experiences, may become available again, so consider deferring trip purchases until an autumn event, or perhaps next year. This may need filling in certain gaps with more fun-from-home goods such as meal delivery services or online shopping gift cards.
The beauty of an online auction is that you can sell one or 100 items over a period of time. To start, we recommend selecting a key group of about 20 items. Then, you can go back later and begin to add more items to your auction when you’re ready. You can also stagger closing times on items to keep your bidders engaged and coming back for more.
Use Buy Now and Max Bidding
Max Bidding and Buy Now are two excellent online auction values. Max bidding enables a bidder to specify a “not-to-exceed” sum and let the system bid on their behalf. When someone bids more, the system checks for a maximum. If one exists, the algorithm determines the greater quantity, and the item sells for a higher price.
Buy Now allows you to specify a maximum price for which you are willing to sell the item. When a bidder chooses to purchase an item using the buy now function, bidding on that item halts and the item is sold to that bidder for the buy now price. If you provide a purchase now option for an item, make sure the price is 20% to 30% more than the market value.
Keep Everyone Motivated
Remember, you’re fighting for a donor’s attention online with an online auction, so offer them a reason to pay attention to you. Consider holding back a few essential things from sale and instead giving them free to anybody who puts a bid or posts a picture on social media.
Be sure to communicate when these incentives are happening so your audience is aware and can take part. This also becomes yet another touchpoint to connect with your donors and keep them engaged.
It might be difficult at first, but you’re already putting yourself in a stronger position by conducting research. We wish you the best of luck!