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5 Questions to Ask When Vetting an Auctioneer

"Charity auctions are fundraising events that turn into social events, not social events where you hope to raise money. If done correctly, your guests won't know the difference." - Keith Jones, benefit auctioneer A surefire strategy to entertain your audience AND raise as much money as possible for your cause? Turn to a professional benefit auctioneer.

  • 6 min read
  • Feb 6, 2018 10:44:34 AM

Is poor sound killing your auction? Here's how to fix it

Why do fundraising events need good, clean sound? Your ability to raise money depends on it. As competition between charities grows, donor dollars are getting stretched thinner and thinner. To stand out, your auction must entertain the crowd and keep guests engaged the entire time.

  • 7 min read
  • Jan 10, 2018 8:55:21 AM

8 Mistakes that Sap the Fun OUT of Fundraising Events

The numbers don't lie: 93% of event attendees say their number one priority when attending a fundraiser is to have fun - even more than supporting the cause. How can you make giving fun? By focusing on the 3 E's: Engage, Entertain and Extract.

  • 7 min read
  • Oct 9, 2017 7:20:00 AM

Do you need an auctioneer AND an emcee?

"We are going to incorporate a live auction into our event this year. Is the auctioneer typically your emcee (Master of Ceremonies), or is it two roles?" "We have a local radio personality emcee our program. She also handles our live auction and paddle raise. I’m wondering what could happen if we pair her with a professional? "

  • 9 min read
  • Sep 28, 2017 9:50:20 AM

The Easiest Way to Set Opening Bids on Live Auction Items

The easiest way to set opening bids in your live auction, is to leave it to the pros! Check out these real-life submissions from recent webinar Q&As... "Do fundraising auctioneers typically know how to start the bidding in a live auction, and do you have any recommendations as to what amounts to start at?"

  • 7 min read
  • Aug 22, 2017 9:50:49 AM

The 6 Most Important Event Chairs to Recruit for Your Fundraising Auction

When it comes to hosting a successful fundraising auction, few can do it alone. You'll need several passionate, organized committee chairs with a laser-sharp focus on specific aspects of your event. What are the most essential event chair roles and responsibilities? And how can you find the right person for each job?

  • 8 min read
  • Jul 26, 2017 7:50:00 AM

Is an auctioneer worth 10 times the cost of a local personality?

We recently received the following email from a Winspire webinar attendee... EMAIL WINSPIRE NEWS Dear Winspire, My board feels that paying $2,500 for a professional, highly-trained benefit auctioneer is out of line, considering a local personality has offered to facilitate the live auction for $250. How should I respond? ~ Lisa Lisa, this is one of the most common concerns we hear from auction organizers across the country, and it's easy to understand why. The number one priority at a fundraising event is to raise money for your cause. When an opportunity to trim costs by 90 percent comes along, you want to consider it! That said, we've found it's more effective to focus on generating more revenue first - then trim costs where you can.

  • 10 min read
  • May 23, 2017 10:44:22 AM

This 5-Minute Auction Warm-up Could Raise Thousands for Your Cause

Whether it's your first or fiftieth auction, chances are you could benefit from employing some new techniques to extract money from the audience. There's virtually always money left to give, and new strategies give you the tools to raise more without making guests feel nickel-and-dimed. Today we're joined by Nelson Jay, the "Bowtie Benefit Auctioneer" based in Seattle, Wash. In a recent episode of our podcast Events with Benefits, Jay provided a bevy of ideas from the cutting edge of event fundraising.

  • 9 min read
  • May 3, 2017 9:16:35 AM

Top 10 Critical Items to Bring to a Fundraising Auction

To call fundraising events complex would be an understatement. With so many moving parts and unknown variables, most nonprofits learn from past experience... which typically means sacrificing significant revenue right out of the gate. While no event is perfect, most common errors can be prevented. Why not learn from someone else's mistakes and close calls to raise a whole lot more for your cause?

  • 16 min read
  • Apr 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Don't Give Up: Auctioneer Shares Tips to Save a Dying Fundraising Auction

When it comes to charity auctions, many organizers simply "don't know what they don't know." Unfortunately, a lack of professional expertise is the #1 reason events fall short of their revenue goals. To help provide the expertise needed for success, we interviewed Cheryl Parker, certified benefit auctioneer specialist in San Diego, Calif., for a recent episode of event fundraising podcast Events with Benefits. Parker shares her simple - yet often overlooked - strategies for generating as much revenue as possible at auction events.

  • 11 min read
  • Apr 4, 2017 11:08:50 AM

What to Do When Hiring an Auctioneer Costs Too Much

In honor of our upcoming webinar all about maximizing the timeline of your live auction, let's talk for a minute about the most important person in the room: your auctioneer. Think of your fundraising event as a championship football game. The game kicks off as the doors swing open. The clock has started ticking. Your team has only so much time to score as many points as possible until the opportunity has passed, and you have to wait until next year. At a fundraising auction, once the game is underway, you truly don't know what exactly is going to happen. You don't know what opportunities are going to present themselves throughout the evening that you can capitalize on to generate unexpected revenue. With the stakes this high, you need a quarterback that's trained to deliver under pressure. By investing in a benefit auctioneer, you've got someone at the helm calling plays, generating momentum and dodging common live auction pitfalls—think delayed start times, awkward transitions, out-of-order items and more. Of course, it can be hard for auction organizers to justify the expense. So in today's post we'll answer a few common questions asked by real-life nonprofit pros and volunteers, including... How can I sell our event committee on using a professional fundraiser auctioneer? Why do we need an auctioneer if we have an emcee? What should you look for in an auctioneer? How do I find a qualified auctioneer? How much does hiring an auctioneer typically cost? ...and more! Read on for 4 common reasons nonprofits skip using benefit auctioneers - and how doing so could stunt their revenue potential in 2017. Reason 1: We have an auctioneer donating their services for free. It's quite common for nonprofits to try to leverage generous offers from auctioneers in other fields - say art, cattle, automobile, heavy machinery and more. This is predicated on the assumption that they're using the same skills to sell items. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

  • 10 min read
  • Jan 10, 2017 11:00:41 AM

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