The key to collecting incredible auction items is a capable procurement team, but even the most skilled and connected volunteers might run into roadblocks or get too busy to find quality items. Offering your auction committee incentives shows you appreciate all they do, boosts morale and motivates them to get better donations earlier.
Start by discussing potential incentives with the team – they’ll know better than anyone what motivates them. Then set procurement goals based on either the number of silent auction items or the dollar value of donations acquired. You can set goals and allocate prizes for individuals or for the entire procurement team, depending on your preference.
Here are six easy ways to incentivize your procurement team for outstanding acquisitions:
1. Event Tickets
Offering complementary tickets, especially for expensive dinner galas, is a great incentive for individuals who reach certain auction item procurement goals. If members from your auction committee usually work the event, reward outstanding performers with a night off to enjoy the festivities.
2. Preferred parking
Preferred parking is another way to reward and recognize exceptional achievement. For events with a large number of attendees, such as school fundraisers or high-end galas, put “Reserved” signs on parking spaces for committee members who reach their goal. Or, go one step further and offer free valet for those who helped with procurement – a nice VIP touch.
3. Premium seating
Offer special seating for procurement team members who are attending the event as guests. They’ll enjoy sitting at some of the best tables in the house, plus by seating the team together you’ll strengthen their relationships, which will be helpful for when they work together at future events.
4. Bidding money
Set individual goals. For each achievement or goal met, provide a set amount of money for use at the live or silent auction. This can range anywhere from $75 to $300 depending on the event. Committee members can use this money to participate in the event they worked so hard to help put on, plus they might get so wrapped up in the excitement of the auction that they’ll bid even more!
5. Hotel accommodations
A great incentive for hitting a big procurement goal is to provide hotel accommodations at or near the event venue. Call and speak to the hotel manager to request complementary or discounted rooms for your volunteers and staff, and offer to acknowledge the hotel throughout the event for their generosity if they oblige.
6. VIP meet-and-greet
If you have a local celebrity or notable figure attending your event, offer your team a chance to ask questions and mingle with this VIP before or after the event. While most attendees might be able to briefly meet this special guest, let committee members who hit specified goals enjoy some one-on-one time or receive a special memento like an autographed book or photo.
7. Special acknowledgment
Acknowledging your procurement team in printed event materials is a nice way to show appreciation. Go further by calling out exceptional committee members during the event or even invite him or her on stage to recognize their achievement.
Sales teams in the for-profit sector are offered incentives for hitting goals and boosting profits. The same principles can be applied to your procurement committee by offering incentives to reward those who go above and beyond. You will build a stronger relationship with your team and procure more and better silent auction items for your charity auction.
With an extensive background in marketing and design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue.
Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals. You can also find Ian on Google+.