Monday, September 13, 2010

Auction Bootcamp

We’re always looking for effective strategies to offer our clients to help them make the most of their resources. As fall blows in, we’re excited to offer a new service we like to call Auction Boot Camp.

Auction Boot Camp is a program we have developed that takes a look at your event at two crucial times: 6 months out then again 6 weeks out. We will lead strategy sessions with you and your event committee, enabling all of you to work together and draft a work plan that is specific to your event.

6 months out we will meet with you and your committee to:
• Identify your audience
• Set your theme
• Develop your program
• Create your budget
• Write your sponsorship proposal
• Map your sponsorship prospects
• Develop your procurement plan
• And create a working timeline and task list

And then as your event approaches and the details begin to fall into place, we will gather again as a group to re-evaluate the plan, identify missing pieces, and set forth a final work plan that will cover all of the prep and logistics before your event.

6 weeks out we will meet with you and your committee to:
• Review your auction needs remaining
• Determine final procurement needs
• Set a strategy for final ticket sales
• Put together a final task list of prep items
• Identify day of event volunteer needs

Unlike the strategic planning process, this is a level of hands on engagement that will take two, eight-hour sessions and will require your committee to work together as a team to develop the plan. The resources are created by the group so that you can all work together from start to finish to create an event that reflects the personality of your organization. It’s a great way to work together in a structured environment and end up with all the plans you need to execute a great, successful event.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Building Better Events... Continued

Today we had the opportunity to present a Greater Giving Webinar about planning for your auction. We took questions from our callers and in our limited one-hour time frame, we weren't able to get to all of your questions. So Samantha wants to tackle some of those unanswered questions and help you prepare for your auction.

If you have more questions... send them our way. We want to help to make your event a big success.

Q. What are some good ways to get better and more auction items?

A. Great question. We all invest lots of time and planning in our auctions and I like the fact that you're thinking strategically. First, let me remind you that "more" is not always "more." Be sure to avoid the garage sale look or the used & second-hand items.

Focus your time and attention on what your audience is going to like. An easy way to do this is to ask your committee... what would you want to bid on?

Once you have identified your targets now you have to begin procurement. Some fun tips for procurement...

Host a Procurement Party. Get a group of committee members armed with donor forms to walk up and down your boutique shopping districts to talk to shop and cafe owners about their passions and commitments to the cause. Hold a fun competition among committee members to see which team comes back with the most auction donations.

Basket Sign Up Sheet
. Create a list of fun themed baskets and pass it around to your board, your staff, and your volunteers to get folks to sign up to be responsible for each themed basket. We have a list in a previous blog post SILENT AUCTION BASKETS

Drop Off Days. Deadlines really motivate giving. If you are in a school environment, I find that drop off days are a great way to get parents to collect their donations and get them turned in.

Wine Party. Wine is always a big hit. If you have committee members with birthdays, holiday celebrations, or other festive occasions, encourage them to ask their guests to bring a bottle of wine as a donation to your auction during their next friends and family gathering.

Q. What are the trends for auctions these days?

A. Hopefully every auction is doing something unique and out of the box. But there are some sure fire items that always do well.

Hot Items:

Useable items such as hand-crafted jewelry, hand bags, or wearables.
Entertainment such as dining gift certificates, theatre tickets, or concerts.
Local travel such as a cabin on a lake or in the woods.
Alcohol: Wine, Wine, Wine

Audience Specific Items:

If you are at a school, student art is a hot commodity. But don't just auction off student art by individuals. Engage groups of students to participate in an art project together so that you have parents bidding against each other on the same piece of work.

Danger Danger:

Avoid too many items. If your audience can each walk out of the event with their item of choice at the minimum bid then you've lost the opportunity for competitive bidding. I recommend keeping your silent auction more selective and do not exceed more than 1 item for every 4 bidders.

Collector Items or Subjective Items:

Art, fine jewelry, and antiques are best kept in specialty auctions. If you have cultivated an audience of art collectors then art is your auction is great. If you don't have an audience filled with art collectors then that expensive piece of art is not going to bring you much in the way of funding.

Q. Do you have some ideas for keeping your auction event fresh?

A. YES. I encourage everyone to think out of the box and start doing things different. Some ideas for you to think about.

Engage Your Client Base:

Hold a theme contest and get people to throw their idea into the pool.
Ask your supporters to nominate your honorees.
Challenge your guests to a table host or ticket sales challenge.
Increase donations with an auction basket contest with prizes for creativity.

Use creative themes to involve your guests with costumes, to set your decor, or event to design your program. Some fun ideas and execution that I've seen recently have been:
Mardi Gras - with a parade and mask contest
Supper Club - to showcase student performers
Dancing With the Stars - challenged big donors to show off their skills
Kids Playground - engaging donors in being a big kid

Looking for more...

If you have more questions. Send them our way by adding to the comments. We'd love to help you while helping others. Join the dialogue.

Looking for some training? Join us for our Portland workshop on September 17th called THE ART OF THE SPECIAL APPEAL. Learn how to raise more money at your event with a really well executed special appeal. REGISTRATION is now open for this and all of our auction training workshops. MORE INFO

When our Webinar is available online we will be sure to post it here for you. But if you need some hands on support, ask us about Auction Boot Camp!

Next Webinar with Greater Giving - 30day Countdown - How to plan the final details of your event. October 6th.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Raffle Fundraising with the Department of Justice

We often get asked about raising funds through raffles, bingo, and Monte Carlo events. They are all fantastic ways to raise money for your organization. What is often less known, is how to effectively partner with the Oregon Department of Justice in order to ensure that your gaming fundraiser is done legally and in compliance with any license requirements and tax considerations.

The DOJ is a fantastic partner for non-profits as they navigate these details, and are offering a FREE faming fundraising training. If you’re thinking about any of these activities, this is a great way to get all the information you need to be successful.

They will cover:
• Is it a regulated gaming event?
• Who qualifies to hold a gaming fundraising event?
• How do we put on an event and be sure we’re in compliance with gambling laws?
• Is a license necessary?
• How do I apply for a license?
• Ticket disclosures, prize limits and other legal stuff
• How to prepare the required records and reports
• Tax considerations
• I need help, who do I call?

Oregon State Office Building
800 NE Oregon Ave., Room 1-D
Portland, OR

October 11, 2010

Kitty Telles

Workshop - The Art of the Special Appeal

As the fall fundraising season starts to heat up, we’re here to help you get the most out of the fundraising opportunities at your event!

The special appeal is your biggest opportunity to raise funds the day of your event. Do you have a strategy in place for how to execute your special appeal? Join us for our September workshop, The Art of the Special Appeal.

In this session you will learn to:
• effectively tell your story to engage donors
• place your appeal at the best point in your program to maximize donations
• leverage challenge gifts or grants
• identify giving levels
• prep your speakers
• set your starting levels
• work with your emcee and auctioneer to ensure a fantastic appeal

September 17 (2-5PM)
The Art of the Special Appeal
Getting the Most Out of the Room
at Planned Parenthood, 3727 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Space is limited, so register today: REGISTER

Workshop recommendation:
"Fantastic. A great sharing of ideas, and how one can change a few items here and there and produce better results with a more organized approach."
— June Workshop Attendee

Thank you to our sponsor, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon