10 Rules for Sequencing a Live Auction

I have a few loose rules I use to order the live auction. Sometimes the items are nearly identical in value, desire and sometimes the donor for every item is in the room and if that is the case, I’m not convinced it matters so much what the order is.  It the items have been carefully procured based on the audience’s interest and bidding history, a bidding competition will likely be in play. It is that competition that drives the bid to the highest possible amount for that audience on that night.

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Building A Better Auction

A charity auction is the only fundraising model easily recognizing the efforts of human in the room. The model is a marketing bonanza for your organization's message. Little is required of your guests and if you pay attention to my advice the busy work and effort can be greatly reduced. Planners need to be willing to break away from some of the dopey best practices vendors recommend.

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Don't Abandon Your Silent Auction - Yet

The silent auction is one of the most exciting and engaging profit centers for gala attendees and can be very profitable. Most silent auctions target raising 65% of value and considering that all items are donated the number really should be 100% profit. The issues that turn off event planners and volunteers is the amount of time and energy associated with storing, cataloging, setting up and night of processing has caused the silent auction to become near extinct.

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Anger and Passion - The Driving Force Behind Real Change

The truth about leaders is that most are motivated by the desire to make a change in the way things are. A good leader rarely wants to walk the path of another. They want to brave their own trail.  But what motivates someone to take on the role of a leader in the first place? Is it the attention that accomplishment brings? Sometimes. More often a leader is annoyed and even driven to anger and that emotion is enough to start the process for change. Yet anger rarely sustains any cause and even drives a healthy person to insanity.  At some point anger must be replaced with righteous passion. Passion sustains, anger drains.

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Auction Committee - Recipe for Success

Auction meetings are always better with nutricious food that tastes great. This is one of my favorite recipes because of the ease of switching up ingredients with subsitutes and extra flavors. Meat can be added to this vegetarian version. Make sure that vegetarians have plenty of healthy choices.  Encourage the volunteers to eat throughout the evening rather than waiting for a set time. Let everyone know great food awaits them and that they can "come as you are"

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How to Have a successful Paddle Raise, Fund-a-need, Ask

The power of the paddle raise is often not fully understood. It can be under promoted or thrown together at the last minute leaving the message of the need poorly presented. The Paddle Raise is the most valuable single item being sold and needs to be given the time and the marketing collateral to sell the audience on participating fully. If the goal is to raise $50,000, then create $50,000 worth of attention for heaven’s sake!

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52 Card Elimination Game Rules

The 52 Card Elimination Game is a simple game and the supplies are inexpensive - about 40 cents per player. Each card represents one play and requires a duplicate card for the dealer running the game. Multiple decks can be used depending on the number of guests OR depending on the price point. It's a good idea to offer games at different price points so that the entire buying power of the audience is tapped. 

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Free Lanyard Bid Cards

Lanyard bid numbers are used to keep guests hands free during the silent auction timeline. These photos were taken during the silent auction. Notice they are not holding a bid packet. I am 100% against bid packets for several reasons that I will get into in another post. The most important reason is that guests have no place to put them other than under their arms or at their seats.

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How to Get The Speaker Presentation You Want

A properly worded talk can inspire supporters to engage with all the profit making activities and even become involved in future events as sponsors, volunteers, board members and activists. I’ve also witnessed some talks that are neither inspiring or worthy of the organization’s message and need. In fact, the wrong speaker with a poorly thought out or self-serving speech can damage an event and hurt attendance for future fund-raising functions.  

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End of the Night Raffle by April Brown Auctioneer

The End of the Night Raffle is often promoted that “You must be present to win”. The key to this raffle’s success is waiting with anticipation to see who wins the prize(s). Choose a Grand Prize with broad appeal to drive ticket sales. Consider offering more than one prize. More prizes increase sales and create more winners. 

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The Live Auction by April Brown Auctioneer

The live charity auction model can be as relaxed and informal as a picnic and as elaborate and entertaining as a Broadway show or as intimidating and intense as a Sotheby’s or Christie’s auction. Most fundraising auctions fall somewhere in between. All are productions that involve many players, hundreds of details with dozens of procedures and can be easily managed to profitability and fun.

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