Obtaining Quality Items For             Your Fundraising Auction                  Tom WeitbrechtA Service   Of:           ...
Affordable collaborative data             management in the cloud.A Service   Of:                        Sponsored by:
Today’s Speaker                                    Tom Weitbrecht                                           President,    ...
Today’s Take-Aways•   Learn how to recruit effective members to your auction donation    procurement committee•   Understa...
Recruit effective members to your auction donation                   procurement committee•   Don’t be afraid to recruit a...
Auction donation sub-committee chairs, set the      expectations, plan the work and work the plan!•   Set a clear and unde...
Auction donation sub-committee chairs, set the      expectations, plan the work and work the plan!•   Stay on a pre-determ...
Sources of Auction Donations•   Members of your board of directors, their professional contacts and friends•   Businesses ...
Sources of Auction Donations•   Professional sports teams           •   Locally owned appliance stores•   Major airlines  ...
Methods of Obtaining Auction Donations•   Business people recognize opportunity. They benefit from their donation    and t...
Methods of Obtaining Auction Donations•   The ask. Tried and true method of face to face contact. The best time to    ask ...
Auction Donations You Should Avoid•   Donations of personal services i.e. dental cleanings, will services from    attorney...
Silent Auction Donations•   Silent auction items typically consist of lower value items such as museum    passes and resta...
Live Auction Donations•   Live Auction items are high value items that generally consist of unique trips    and experience...
Live Auction Donations•   Dinner for 10, prepared at the winning bidder’s home by a professional chef,    always does well...
Consignment Items•   Consignment items can be appropriate if your organization is capable of    drawing “high rollers”, bu...
Find listings for our current season          of webinars and register at:            NonprofitWebinars.comA Service   Of:...
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Obtaining Quality Auction Items

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Obtaining quality items for your fundraising gala auction is a critical element in achieving your financial objectives. Quality items bring in greater revenues... it's as simple as that! In this seminar, we'll discuss strategies for obtaining great auction items. We'll address several common questions including; How do I form an effective auction donation committee? Which items are best for a live auction? Which are best for the silent auction? Are consignment items appropriate for my event? Is it ok to combine items into auction packages? What types of items do not do well in fundraising auctions? The first part of the webinar will focus on different strategies for obtaining quality items. There will be a generous time allotment for Q&A.

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Obtaining Quality Auction Items

  1. 1. Obtaining Quality Items For Your Fundraising Auction Tom WeitbrechtA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. Today’s Speaker Tom Weitbrecht President, Strategic Auction Alliance, Hosting:Assisting with chat questions: Weitbrecht Auctioneers, Inc. Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipApril Hunt, Nonprofit WebinarsA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Take-Aways• Learn how to recruit effective members to your auction donation procurement committee• Understand the items to target for your live and silent auction• Understand the different ways to procure high quality auction items• Find out which items should be avoided in your auction item donation campaign
  5. 5. Recruit effective members to your auction donation procurement committee• Don’t be afraid to recruit a busy person. Busy people are busy because they are accomplishing things. These are the people you want involved.• Target successful salespeople for your committee. Successful sales people are skilled at convincing people to understand their viewpoint and are usually well connected.• Successful business people should be recruited to your committee. They know how to get things done, know other business owners and will be valuable in accomplishing the committee’s efforts.• Try to recruit people who have been involved with successful fundraising events. They are energized from participating in successful event(s) and will bring experience and fresh ideas to the table.• Avoid people who are negative or argumentative at all costs. These people will disrupt your committee from accomplishing its goals.
  6. 6. Auction donation sub-committee chairs, set the expectations, plan the work and work the plan!• Set a clear and understandable agenda and take detailed notes at every meeting.• Involve the entire committee in developing a plan to solicit donations.• Set clear goals for what items will be targeted for procurement.• Receive commitments from individual members, for which activities each committee member will be responsible for during the campaign.• At the beginning of each meeting, review the meeting notes from the prior meeting and discuss the goals of the current meeting. Discuss areas of progress and do not avoid areas that need additional attention.
  7. 7. Auction donation sub-committee chairs, set the expectations, plan the work and work the plan!• Stay on a pre-determined meeting schedule and remain committed to it.• Recognize the endeavors of every person who’s involved. Understand that every committee member has a different skill set. As volunteers, the amount of time they can commit and their accomplishments will vary.• In a polite and professional way, keep your meetings on target. This will ensure people’s time is utilized effectively and shows that you value and respect your committee members’ time.
  8. 8. Sources of Auction Donations• Members of your board of directors, their professional contacts and friends• Businesses that support your organization, their professional contacts and employees• Your auction committee members, their friends, professional contacts and vendors that they personally utilize• Employees of your non-profit organization• Vendors who do business with your non-profit organization are a great source of auction donations i.e. insurance agent, oil company, bank/ financial institution, attorney, electrician, plumber, painter, etc.
  9. 9. Sources of Auction Donations• Professional sports teams • Locally owned appliance stores• Major airlines • Big box stores• Fine hotels & restaurants • Flight schools• Movie studios • Limo companies• Celebrities • Theatre production companies• Distilleries, wineries, breweries • Television stations• Exclusive golf courses • Orchestras• Politicians • More…
  10. 10. Methods of Obtaining Auction Donations• Business people recognize opportunity. They benefit from their donation and the recognition of a captive audience that’s engaged in a cause they support.• Auction donation solicitation committees must develop a standardized information package that describes the mission of the organization, the gala auction event, anticipated demographics of and estimated number of attendees. The information must tactfully explain “what’s in it” for the donors.• For additional credibility, and ease of access, donor information packages should be listed on the non-profit organization’s web site.• Six degrees of separation… don’t just focus on who you know, explore who in your support team knows who. You’ll quickly discover that your organization has an incredible number of contacts who are capable of making great donations.
  11. 11. Methods of Obtaining Auction Donations• The ask. Tried and true method of face to face contact. The best time to ask a business for a donation is when you are doing business with them i.e.: when you are out to eat at a fine restaurant or staying at a quality hotel.• A well written solicitation letter is an effective way to solicit donations. In concise terms explain the mission of your organization and the goals of your gala auction event. Letters should be sent 90 days before your event. Try to personalize each letter as much as possible and be sure to specify exactly what you are asking for. Be sure to ask for quality donations. Aim high and you will always get better results. Be sure to include a copy of include your non-profit finding letter from the IRS, most donors will require it.• Many donors will accept donation requests only on the Internet. Time spent on the search engines looking for “charitable giving” or “charitable requests” from major companies is time well spent. A computer savvy volunteer can often find and submit requests to dozens of potential donors in a single day.
  12. 12. Auction Donations You Should Avoid• Donations of personal services i.e. dental cleanings, will services from attorneys, and CPA services generally do not do well. Most people have already chosen the professional(s) they prefer and will not go outside of their comfort zone. Net effect = low bids.• Most jewelry donations do not do well. Everyone has their own distinct taste. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Generally speaking the only jewelry items that sell well are generic quality items such as diamond stud earrings, tennis bracelets and high quality pearl necklaces.• Artwork is a difficult sell in a general audience. Unless your audience is comprised of art enthusiasts for a specific type of artwork that is donated, artwork is almost always a bust at benefit auctions.
  13. 13. Silent Auction Donations• Silent auction items typically consist of lower value items such as museum passes and restaurant gift certificates.• A range of items should be targeted that are interesting to and affordable for a family of average means.• Donations can be combined into desirable auction “packages” e.g. multiple restaurant gift certificates, arts & crafts, movie theme and etc.• Consider purchasing and combining items into baskets to create a nice presentation. We’ve seen this method used successfully in several auctions. Good presentation = increased value perception.• The total number of silent auction “packages” should be limited to 40-60 in total
  14. 14. Live Auction Donations• Live Auction items are high value items that generally consist of unique trips and experiences. It should be difficult to estimate the value because of the uniqueness of the item. We like to refer to them as “blue sky” items.• Regular items can be “supercharged” into experiences capable of commanding thousands of dollars. For example, a round of golf for 4 at an exclusive club is great, but a round of golf for 4 at exclusive club with the mayor, a sports anchor or influential business leader takes a golf outing to a whole new level.• Donations can be combined to make valuable live auction packages. For example, dinner at a nice restaurant, a high quality hotel stay, limo ride and great seats at a professional baseball game with parking passes makes a great weekend away for an affluent couple!
  15. 15. Live Auction Donations• Dinner for 10, prepared at the winning bidder’s home by a professional chef, always does well in a live auction• Private wine tastings with a sommelier and high quality wine is a great live auction item that can be arranged with relative ease.• Unique, high end sports memorabilia and experiences are a great option for a highly successful city of sports enthusiasts such as Boston. We’ve seen donations such as Zamboni rides, on field pre-game batting practice passes, sideline passes and courtside seats donated by major sports teams and affluent business people with great connections.
  16. 16. Consignment Items• Consignment items can be appropriate if your organization is capable of drawing “high rollers”, but has not received the high quality donation necessary to satisfy them.• Consignment items should be carefully considered and be appealing to the general audience of your event.• A few sports consignment items can be a good addition to “spice up” your silent auction, so long as your event draws deep enough pockets to buy the items at a net profit to your organization.
  17. 17. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:

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