Your charity fundraising event is around the corner. (Or it may be a year away and you are starting to plan well ahead of the big day.) You’re pumped and ready to make plans for a benefit auction that will generate charitable contributions that break all previous records. Your first order of business? Hire a professional auctioneer. Here are five excellent reasons to consider professional auctioneers … preferably early on in your planning process to assure you have the best fundraising events.
Professional auctioneers will advise you on the best strategy for your event.
You may think of an auctioneer as a fast talker who shows up, pops onto the stage, reads description cards, points to bidders, shouts “sold”, then leaves a couple of hours later. Not true! More than just a showman, a professional auctioneer serves as a charity’s consultant who is ready with hundreds of helpful fundraising ideas, and therefore should be brought on board well in advance of your event. In fact, much of what an auctioneer will do for you consists of behind-the-scenes preparation prior to the event.
Whereas you may only produce one charity fundraising auction annually, some auctioneers participate in several each month, giving them invaluable knowledge of what works, what doesn’t and how to resolve common dilemmas in structuring your fundraiser. Even the smallest tweak here and there, from item selection to marketing techniques to room layout and seating, can maximize your final donation amounts. Partner with a professional auctioneer: You will appreciate their learned advice.
It is helpful to check with your state’s regulatory agency because in some states it is unlawful to hire an unlicensed auctioneer.
Professional auctioneers will help you acquire the right auction items.
Rely on a professional auctioneer to recommend and acquire bid-worthy benefit items.
An experienced benefit auctioneer has established partnerships with many organizations and companies that have access to exciting, high-end charity auction items such as adventure travel deals and special fundraising consignment vacations. He or she will help you locate and select specialty items that will most appeal to your target donors – with an eye toward multiple bid winners, resulting in a more successful fundraiser.
Professional auctioneers will help prep bidders.
The time to build interest and enthusiasm among donors begins months before the fundraising auctions take place. Your auctioneer should be willing to assist you in implementing best practices in your promotion efforts. A campaign that involves showcasing your items online, mobile bidding opportunities and/or save-the-date reminders via postcard or email will draw bigger crowds. And crowd-pleasing is what professional auctioneers do best!
At the event, prepping the bidder has a direct impact on your final proceeds. While the audience is enjoying cocktails and appetizers, an imaginative PowerPoint presentation, slide show and/or descriptive brochure can entice their interest. Your auctioneer will help you create hype, if you will, by assisting you in developing content for these materials.
Professional auctioneers will provide real entertainment value.
Raising money for a worthy cause is serious business, but you have to make your benefit event an enjoyable night out on the town if you want to generate donor dollars. An auctioneer is a full-time showman who knows how to attract and hold attention not only during bids but also in-between times. Part comedian, part actor, part salesperson, he or she will energize guests with jokes, contests and games that are unique and fun.
Professional auctioneers will increase your revenues.
Benefit auctioneering is an art. A successful fundraiser requires a professional who is well practiced in the techniques that will win over your guests and achieve your revenue goals. If guests are wondering off to the bar or buffet to wine, dine and socialize, they may be enjoying themselves but it may indicate they are losing interest in the auction.
Your audience may have a short attention span. Professional auctioneers understand this and focuses on keeping things moving at a steady pace. He or she can gauge an audience’s reactions and responses so as to engage with them emotionally. He or she can bring wayward guests back into the bidding action and hold their attention so they get caught up in the moment and raise their paddles.
In-between bidding, a paddle-raise to fund a specific need or mission may generate additional proceeds far beyond your projections. A special callout consisting of fun games and contests that are at lower price points, for instance, will encourage audience participation and make guests with smaller wallets feel more involved. You will be rewarded with additional charitable contributions and serve to bring wayward guests back into the bidding action.
The Getaway2Give team has worked with hundreds of charities to develop successful fundraising ideas and we can safely say that hiring a professional auctioneer will give you a great return on your investment. You can hear Adam Capes, President and Chief Idea Officer elaborate in detail why it is important to hire professional auctioneers at your charity events.