Whatcha want, whatcha really, really want?
First, I know you just sang that title. Second, I’m sorry…lol
But what do you really want? Have you outlined your event goals? Have you created a “Big Hairy Goal”, and what would you do with that revenue if you obtained it??
You would be surprised how many organizations I have sat down with, and they have no answer to those questions. They are just doing what they have always done, but they know they can count on raising $10,000 (as an example) without too much further thought or effort. The sad part is too many non-profit organizations are equating “thought and effort” with “more expense and time”, two things that are often in short supply with small volunteer staff’s. Let me ask you, if that nominal expense and time generated five times your prior fundraising efforts, would you care? Probably not…
The first thing you need to be able to communicate to your guests is “Why are we here tonight?” Additionally, what were you able to accomplish with the money we raised last year? Every organization needs to understand that there are dozens of other non-profit organizations actively competing for your patron’s time and money. The key to hiring a professional emcee and auctioneer is that they have the experience, energy, and enthusiasm to make each and every person in the room feel like they made a difference to your organization tonight – because they did!
The second thing? This should be a FUNdraiser. The worst thing you can do is put up 23 auction items that only a dozen people of your 300 in attendance can possibly afford. All you have done is make people feel worse about the fact that they are here, but can’t actively support your cause. Think they will be back? Yeah, me either.
The trick here is to limit the items to an entertaining four to seven items of varying cost and experiences so as to involve as many people as possible. Now it’s true, the final price may end up being only attainable for the few, but the majority of your audience will have at least had the opportunity to be a participant in the end result – and that can be just as fun in the hands of the right auctioneer (hint-hint).
But how do we raise the money we need if we only put five auction items up for bid? Great question! I’ll share those insights in my next article. Until then, find out whatcha want, whatcha really really want…