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.


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!