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.
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.