Thank you to Our Clients and More!

We are off to a great start this year!

The Spring benefit auction season passed with a flurry of successful events, and as we work on Fall event planning I am always heartened by the variety of organizations and schools we work with and all they do for our communities. And yes, there are seasons to the benefit auction world - they generally take place at two times of the year: Spring and Fall.  We are busy working throughout the summer with our clients who are planning their fundraisers in the coming months!

Thank you to our terrific clients who are doing such positive work in our communities

As a Benefit Auction Specialist, I have the pleasure of working with mission-driven organizations across the region.  

Here are just a few of the dedicated groups we've worked with so far this year.  Click on each link to learn more about the work that they do!

I want to thank each and every client for your business and the opportunity to get to know and work with you - you make this business meaningful and fun!

A personal note

I also want to introduce and thank Kelly Fitzgerald, a friend, who in the last eight months has helped out with marketing at Auctions For Good.  Originally from Seattle, she has lived in Portland for the past 17 years.  She has an impressive resume - with skills in project management, marketing, and extensive experience in the food and wine business.  All her experience and skills have transferred nicely to benefit auctions.

While I provide content for our emails, it is Kelly that makes them look great.  She makes sure they are formatted correctly, adds graphics when needed, and proofreads them to ensure they are sent out looking fantastic.  Thank you Kelly, for all you do!

Let's be in touch

We are looking forward to the busy Fall auction season and working with past and new clients this year.  We still have a few choice weekend dates available, so please contact us if we can be of service - I'd love to hear more about the work you do in the community and offer ideas on how we could boost your bottom line this year. 

Auctions For Good assists clients in all aspects of benefit auction planning  - we are dedicated to working with with nonprofits and schools across the region.  As a Benefit Auction Specialist, I enjoy working with mission-driven organizations to maximize their fundraising goals!  

• Do you need help with your upcoming benefit auction?

• Thinking about how you can engage more deeply with your audience and supporters?

• Interested in learning how we maximize fundraising for schools & nonprofits?

Benefit Auctions ~ Connecting People with Purpose!
Mitch Lambley, BAS | Fundraising Auctioneer/Consultant
T  503.805.3280  E  Mitch@AuctionsForGood.com

 
 

 

 

 

BAS Designation - What is it and why is it important for nonprofit fundraising?

Benefit Auctioneer Specialist

...what is the BAS designation & how does it help our organization?

The BAS designation is a professional designation awarded by the NAA (National Auctioneers Association) Education Institute. Professional auctioneers that have advanced through their program utilize specific planning techniques, marketing skills, and targeted business strategies to create successful benefit auctions for their clients that maximize profits and build their client's donor base.

In order to be designated as a BAS, auctioneer-scholars are required to complete 21 classroom hours, a detailed written auction summary report, proof of at least 6 benefit auctions and 24 hours of continuing education every three years.

Benefit-Auctioneer-Speciali-3.jpg

Mitch Lambley founded Auctions For Good in order to further his dedication to working with mission-driven organizations.

Mitch considers the decision to pursue the BAS designation as one of the best choices he’s ever made. The specialized skill set and ongoing education with the NAA Education Institute enables Mitch to provide greater value to every one of his clients, while engaging and entertaining an audience and putting on a great evening. As a Benefit Auction Specialist Mitch is able to boost the fundraising efforts of non-profits and schools in substantial ways!  

A sample of some of the terrific mission-driven organizations that Mitch has partnered with include:

  • The Royal Rosarians As the official greeters and ambassadors of the city of Portland, established in 1912, the foundation supports many youth oriented organizations such as the Community Transitional School, Christmas for Kids, Oregon Pro Arte Youth Orchestra, and the Royal Rosarians Field Trip program.

  • MIKE Program Multidisciplinary Integrated Kidney Education - providing health-science education for underserved children in Portland.
     
  • Peace In Schools A one-of-kind organization offering mindfulness and meditation classes in three quarters of Portland high schools with the goal to offer their program in all Portland public high schools in the future!
  • Multnomah Playschool A parent cooperative pre-school (and the oldest pre-school in Portland); they raise fully one half of their operating budget at their only fundraising event each year - their annual auction.

  • Northwest Indian College The only accredited tribal college serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

  • Pacific Crest Community School A unique, small alternative middle through high school where individuality and community are top priorities and students have a direct voice in their education. About 80% go on to college.

Choosing a BAS specialist 

Why is hiring an auctioneer with this designation important to your organization or school’s next fundraiser?

Hiring a BAS auctioneer starts you on a path to success for your next event. Whether it’s your first or 10th annual event, when you hire an auctioneer with this training, you will immediately notice an approach and value you may not have expected.

The following are areas where a BAS auctioneer can offer great assistance.

  • Creating a smooth and efficient timeline for your event
  • Forming event committees
  • Discussing logistics such as room layout, live and silent auction item ideas, stage placement, food and bar locations
  • Placing live auction items in an order that strategically maximizes how much they raise
  • Providing professional bid spotters
  • Strategizing your paddle raise or special appeal
  • Meeting with your auction team, board and emcee in planning meetings
  • Creating a silent auction strategy that will make this part of your event shine!
  • Marketing and new fundraising options
  • Post-auction review

I was attracted to becoming a benefit auctioneer because I liked the idea of people gathering for a big party to support a cause.  Selling household items, cars, or equipment for the sole sake of getting top dollar never interested me.  But putting on a great show, offering a nice meal, fun entertainment and engagement with an audience to support an organization or school?  Now that's fun and meaningful!  I am personally motivated by any nonprofit that benefits the needs of children, and at Auctions for Good we love supporting all organizations that are making a difference in our community!

What will hiring a BAS auctioneer cost?

Most auctioneers that specialize in benefit auctions charge a flat fee. Some charge on a percentage of sales based on those areas in which they are involved, and others structure their fee as a combination of the two. As in many professions, a range of fees exists and doing your homework by interviewing auctioneers in your area is important in order to determine who will be a good fit for you and your budget.

Auctions For Good works with many types of organizations and we charge a flat fee for our services. We generally charge less for schools than nonprofits since they are volunteer instead of staff-run and typically have smaller budgets. Contact us to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you.

Bottom Line: Compare costs, services offered, experience, availability, style, and personality of the auctioneer to determine who is a good fit for your audience and mission. You most likely will be very happy having chosen a true benefit auction professional that has your organization’s goals and interests at heart. Good luck!

  • Do you need help with your upcoming fundraiser or benefit auction?
     
  • Thinking about how you can engage more deeply with your audience?
     
  • Interested in learning how we maximize fundraising for schools & nonprofits?

Connect With Us Here - We Can Help You Reach or Exceed Your Goals!

 
 

Northwest Indian College - 10th Annual Cultural Art Auction & Benefit Dinner

Auctions For Good was honored again this year to serve as the auction company for the Northwest Indian College's annual Cultural Art Auction and Benefit Dinner.  This was our 5th year working with this great school and foundation.  The venue for the event changes each year to allow different northwest tribes the opportunity to host and this year it was at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, just North of Bainbridge Island, WA.

The college is the only regional tribal college in the United States and the only accredited Tribal college in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It serves more than 120 tribes across the country.

Here are a few pieces of art that were up for bid along with other images from the evening. If you love Native American art, you may want attend this annual fundraiser, always held in mid-April, where all live and silent auction art pieces are made from members of various tribes.

 Eagle Print - Se'lit'se by Ron Johnson Jr. Lummi and Makah Tribes

Eagle Print - Se'lit'se by Ron Johnson Jr. Lummi and Makah Tribes

 Gardenia Bear by Dan Friday

Gardenia Bear by Dan Friday

IMG_5503.JPG
IMG_5494.JPG
 Temryss Lane - Emcee, Mitch Lambley - Auctioneer and Bethany Yellowtail - Fashion Designer & Keynote Speaker

Temryss Lane - Emcee, Mitch Lambley - Auctioneer and Bethany Yellowtail - Fashion Designer & Keynote Speaker

 Mischievous Raven - Kevin Paul, Swinomish Tribe and Senate Member

Mischievous Raven - Kevin Paul, Swinomish Tribe and Senate Member

IMG_5490.JPG

Maplewood Foundation Heroes and Villains Auction

It warms my heart as a benefit auctioneer to work for clients so dedicated and excited about their cause, and they back that up by doing the necessary work to make an event come together successfully.  That was the case this past Saturday night at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, where the Maplewood Foundation held their annual event.

Guests turned out dressed to impress, have fun or just loved an excuse to step out of themselves and be someone else for the evening.  The Heroes and Villains theme set the tone for wide open interpretation.   Muscle bound super heroes were everywhere, John McEnroe showed up, throwing his racket to the floor a number of times in disgust with a line call. Ruth Bader Ginsberg had the most representation with four guests dressed in black robes.  Ellen DeGeneres  (aka Amy Grabenhorst) was our Emcee for the evening and did a wonderful job helping officiate the evening and added  star power flare and whimsy.

 Harley Quinn of Batman, Ellen DeGeneres and me during the reception

Harley Quinn of Batman, Ellen DeGeneres and me during the reception

Money raised was for making sure E.A.'s - Educational Assistant positions at the school remain intact. Budget cuts over the last year or more have affected most public schools in Portland and guests in attendance were there to show support for Maplewood by digging into their pocketbooks generously.

I had a great time serving as  their auctioneer for the second year and look forward helping out again next year.   Thanks Maplewood!  Your did a fantastic job!!

 Even Jeff Gillooly and Tanya Harding showed up to support Maplewood.  Who would have thought?

Even Jeff Gillooly and Tanya Harding showed up to support Maplewood.  Who would have thought?

LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY EVENT SPACE FOR 100-200 GUESTS

If you are a small nonprofit or school looking to hold a fundraising event in the near future, you may want to check out a relatively new option available in Portland, the Lagunitas Brewing Company Community Room. I visited it just yesterday and was impressed with the space, the heavy and beautiful wooden tables, and the staff! The Community Room, located on northeast Broadway is available at no charge to nonprofits and schools only, with the 501c3 organization designation.  

As a way for Lagunitas to give back to a community in which they do business, they opened their community room in 2016.

IMG_5341.JPG

Karen Hamilton, Director of Communications for the company based in Petaluma, California, said the space will be "completely donated to any bona fide nonprofit organization so that they can focus on raising the funds they need to carry out their respective missions."  "We believe that beer is the original social media and we know that the best way to connect with beer lovers is face to face, over a beer," Hamilton said.

IMG_5344.JPG

For more information about the community room and their beers, go to: Lagunitas Brewing Company

Auctions For Good works with groups of ALL sizes and would love the opportunity to work with you at this venue.  Contact us and we'd be happy to visit it with you to discuss your fundraiser.

Key and Early Benefit Auction Planning Decisions

How to plan your best event yet - five key decisions

When we work with nonprofit and school groups, we emphasize making these five decisions early in your planning process:

  • Auctioneer
  • Venue
  • Event Date
  • Audio-Visual Company
  • Caterer

Consider these the building blocks around which you will create your event.  Interviewing and obtaining quotes from these professional service providers, and choosing them early in your planning process makes your job easier, and establishes firm groundwork for a fun and profitable fundraising event!

Proactive Planning

• AUCTIONEER •

Auctioneers that specialize in planning & conducting benefit auctions increasingly book their clients a year or more in advance.

Smaller groups are often an exception but not always. Get your name in early when reaching out and interviewing these professionals. Even if you haven’t decided on a date for your event but have found the auctioneer you would like to work with, ask him or her if they can put a soft hold on one or two dates for you. We do this at Auctions For Good occasionally and can let you know if another client is considering the same date. We’ll contact you first to ask if your date is firm.

Also, to get your event off on the right foot, choose an auctioneer with the BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) designation. Auctioneers with this designation have received specialized training from the National Auctioneers Association in all aspects of fundraising auctions. You will be leagues ahead in your fundraising efforts if you make this decision and will be pleased with the insight and value they can bring to your event.
 

• VENUE •

Select the space that will set the tone for your event.

You might be surprised at how many groups, small and large, plan their annual galas one or two years in advance and secure their favorite venue at the same time. Do your research, act early and don’t be caught off guard trying to find that perfect home for your event. Room size, capacity (seated and standing), cost, distance from your core supporters, A/V amenities, parking, etc. need to be taken into account.

9b6e2d87-7c44-4a23-9941-b1abc0667dbd.jpg

• EVENT DATE •
You may be surprised how important it is to make this decision early

Consider what month of the year will work best for your group and your supporters. This is different for every nonprofit and school and a number of factors - including availability of venues, auctioneer, A/V company and caterers comes into play. Enlist opinions from your key event organizers, board members or PTA, as this decision should not be made in a vacuum.  Consider holiday conflicts, and events in your community - including related non-profits or other schools.

• A/V COMPANY •
As important as the above areas are, imagine a fundraising auction with poor sound or visual presentation quality.

The impact these two components have on a fundraising event cannot be overstated. Take the time to interview companies that fit your budget and needs. There are numerous A/V companies in the Portland area that charge a range of fees - we have worked with many of them and are happy to offer recommendations. Visit the Partners section of our website to see a list of respected providers of these services, and don't hesitate to contact us to explore the options that will work best for your event.

• CATERER •
I hate to put this category in last position since I love food!

Good food is a pillar of a successful event but it does not eclipse the first four areas. As with the other areas, choosing a catering company that will make and serve your food is important: you may want a barbecue style dinner or vegetarian bash - fancy hors d'oeuvres or down-home informal. Whatever fare you choose, book the catering company as far in advance as you can. 
 

When should these decisions be made?

Some of our clients announce the date of their next event at the end of their current gala, from the stage and with their supporters present. This is ideal but not practical for many groups, so 6 – 9 months in advance is a good range to work with. The earlier the better for everyone involved.

1bf0e7e9-2d2c-4eee-8d67-5c7350bebf5e.jpg

If you have questions about planning your next fundraiser, contact us - we would love to talk with you! We offer a complimentary consultation that we are confident will get you going in the right direction for your next fundraising event.

Gratitude and your guests...

23550020_10155630560150751_239465718487175474_o (1).jpg

...how a meaningful gesture made a lasting impact!

Acknowledging and thanking donors, sponsors, and guests is an important part of any fundraising event. It shows how much you appreciate their dedication and contributions to your cause, and strengthens these beneficial relationships in the years to come.

Auctions For Good recently had the honor of working with a great organization called The Pixie Project. They exemplified a fun and authentic way to show gratitude to their successful bidders. With a personalized touch from Executive Director Amy Sacks, The Pixie Project raised guest appreciation to a new level!

What made the difference?

During the live auction at The Pixie Project's "Pixie Party" Amy Sacks quickly confirmed the winner after each auction item was sold, ran over to them and gave them a big hug and personally thanked them for supporting Pixie! I was elated and stunned!

 Amy Sacks on the left, encouraging guests to support Pixie Project.

Amy Sacks on the left, encouraging guests to support Pixie Project.

We often see guests and donors thanked by listing their name in the program, displayed on screen, or by verbal announcement at the event itself. At the Pixie Party, Amy went above and beyond by connecting with each winning bidder personally; she showed them - and the 350 attendees in the room - how much their support meant to her and the entire Pixie Project organization. By seizing the opportunity to express gratitude in this delightful and meaningful way, Amy made a lasting impression that deepens the ties between The Pixie Project and their benefactors. 

I believe diehard Pixie fans are in part won over because of this kind of gratitude and passion, along with the great care they show the dogs and cats that spend time in their facility.

My message to you while planning your next event: consider unique ways to demonstrate gratitude for your guests - when you strengthen your connection to your community, you'll grow dividends for your cause.

Show them how you care in a big and public way. This display of gratitude doesn’t have to come from the founder, or others at the top levels of an organization or school. It can come from a volunteer, a staff member, or a parent from the PTA - but the point is to do it. Your guests will be in awe and will love it! You’ll win fans who will become devoted supporters. At Auctions for Good we work with our partners to spark these moments of meaningful connection - they are the foundation for building lasting, beneficial relationships within our community.  

PixieOnStage.jpg

If a hug isn’t your thing for those winning bidders, try a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, a fantastic dessert, or a special gift commemorating your event. Make it yours, make it special, and you’ll be glad you did. 


Let's connect and talk about the many ways that you can wow your guests at your next fundraising event!

Peace In Schools Annual 2017 Gala

The Evergreen in Portland was the venue for an amazing annual gala for the purpose of supporting mindfulness education for local teens in public high schools. Peace In Schools is a one-of-a kind local nonprofit started by Caverly Morgan (Executive Director) at Wilson High School. The program is now in 7 of 10 high schools in Portland and it continues to grow.

Thank you you to everyone who made the auction a huge success! Some came as far away as Virginia and California, bringing with them their energy and pocketbooks in order to help propel this event to new heights. Auctions For Good couldn't be more proud to have been a part of it all. Looking forward to building upon this success in the coming years.

Visit PeaceInSchools.org to learn more.

 

East Portland Chamber Event

EPCCLogo.jpg

I had the opportunity to host one of our regular morning meetings on August 16th at the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, and talk about benefit auctions.  It was a great meeting of mostly regular chamber members with a few newcomers, too. Tabor Space, the nonprofit with an office in the church helped organize the meeting and provided the room.

IMG_4564.JPG
IMG_4561 (1).JPG

We had about 17 people in attendance and many good questions about how benefit auctions work. Of particular interest was how and when to conduct the all-important special appeal or paddle raise during a fundraising auction.  Some said they've seen it done with success at the end of the night while others said it seems to be conducted somewhere in the middle of the live auction.  Both approaches can and do work. I'm partial to doing the appeal approximately one third to one half the way into a live auction.  The arguments for doing it earlier are varied and include, because more people will be in their seats and still actively paying attention rather than thinking about heading home, or thinking about their baby sitter. 

Additionally, the later it gets, the more tired some become and the last thing an auctioneer or event planner wants is for people to leave too soon, before they've had a chance to show their support for a school or nonprofit.  Being aware of the best place to conduct the appeal can have a huge impact at your annual gala or one-time fundraising event. Discuss in detail with your auctioneer and auction committee where best to do this if you want to maximize your efforts.

Thank you to the Hawthorne Fred Meyer for donating a $50 gift card as a give-away at this gathering!  Also, a big thanks to QFC and Starbucks at 55th and Burnside for donating coffee for our attendees. Looking forward to more great Chamber meetings this year.

If you are interested in having Auctions For Good give a presentation about benefit auctions at your church, school, nonprofit or community group, just contact us and we would be happy to talk with you.