After a year’s worth of planning, your fundraising auction is finally over – but the work doesn’t stop just yet! Now is the time to look back on your auction and evaluate your success by following these three steps.
1. Analyze financial reports
The best way to determine if your fundraising event was successful is to look at your financial reports. Did you meet or surpass your fundraising goal? How did this year’s revenue compare to last year’s? Did you go over budget in any area?
Once you have an idea of how the event performed overall, take a look at how profitable your various auction items were. A quick and easy way to do this is to put all the items in a spreadsheet and include a column for Sale Price, Cost, Profit and Profit Margin.
Sale Price: The amount the donor paid for the item
Cost: How much it cost you to acquire the item
Profit: (Sale Price) - (Cost)
Profit Margin: (Profit)/(Sale Price)
Notes: Who donated what and where you incurred costs
List all your items, fill in the columns with the appropriate amounts and calculate the profit margin for each item. The higher the profit margin, the more profitable the item. Items that are completely donated will always have a 100% profit margin.
Make sure to also list items that didn't sell, as well as any costs associated with them. This information will be useful when meeting with your team in step two.
2. Meet with your auction team
Successful or not, it’s always important to analyze what went well and what didn’t go very well in order to improve next year’s fundraising event. Set up a post-auction meeting with your auction committee and ask for feedback, both positive and negative.