Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising and charity auctions.
An auction, whether live or silent, can be an excellent fundraiser for your nonprofit. Such an event raises not only money but much-needed buzz about your organization among donors, potential bidders, other supporters and staff.
As you develop a marketing and communication strategy for your nonprofit in 2015, it is important to have an understanding of industry trends both in terms of key objectives as well as methods of outreach. A recent study of 1,535 staff members of nonprofits gathered data on marketing trends and objectives for 2015. Participants were polled on a variety of topics, including their primary objectives for their marketing efforts for 2015, their preferred method of outreach – using both digital and traditional media, and their expected frequency of outreach to their donor base. View Infographic → In addition, the survey data was broken down by job function of the nonprofit staff respondents, which shed some critical insight into how a nonprofit must balance competing interests within the organization in formulating a marketing and communication strategy.
It's six months before the big nonprofit fundraising event. You have a great theme, awesome location and hope to raise record-breaking amounts by hosting an auction packed with exciting items. The procurement team has plenty of time to gather auction donations, so you're not worried, right?
With so much attention focused on the benefits of social media as a marketing tool, it can be easy to forget that email is still the most effective medium for promoting Nonprofit auction events. Email marketing is the most personal medium that allows you to address your supporters directly. The most important part of an effective Nonprofit email campaign is establishing a clear strategy and schedule. Every message you craft needs to be carefully considered and planned so your emails don't end up in the trash. Here are a few tips to help you promote your nonprofit auction items event more effectively through email marketing.
In part 3 of this series we talk about methods for distribution. When you’re done writing your press release, look it over from an outsiders perspective. Does it pique your interest? Would you want to know more about the event or the cause? When you feel confident with the release, you have several options for distributing it to local media outlets. Press Release Series We developed this mini-series to guide you through the process of writing effective media releases to promote your charity auction fundraising event. Part 1: Why Press Releases Are Important Part 2: How to Write a Press Release Part 3: How to Distribute a Press Release Build Relationships with Media Contacts One of the best ways to ensure your press release gets picked up is to cultivate relationships with media contacts. Just like with potential donors, spend some time well before the actual solicitation - in this case prior to sending press releases - building a relationship with the right people at the news outlets in your community. Try to identify the editors and reporters who would be most interested in what you have to say. It starts with a simple phone call or hand written letter – not an email – introducing yourself and the organization you work for. Position yourself as an expert on whatever topic your Nonprofit mission is centered around and simply offer yourself as a resource. Whether your Nonprofit helps foster children or manages environmental projects, explain your mission and let them know you are always willing to offer a perspective. Follow up with these people every month or two just to check in and see how they’re doing. These days, hand written letters – especially for print media folks who tend to be a little more old school – can go a long way. During this courtship (yep – that’s what you’re doing!), don’t forget to personally invite them to any events you have, big or small, regardless of whether you are trying to get publicity. How do you get their contact information? Sometimes all it takes is a name. You can usually find this on an organization’s website or in the publication itself. Once you have a name, you can send letters or call the front desk and talk your way through. Another way to get through is to contact the sales department who can usually point you in the right direction.
Click Here to Enlarge This is an actual press release we did for one of our Nonprofit clients. Although it takes place post-event, it still serves as a good example to illustrate some of the components discussed below.
Once you are three and sixth months from your fundraising auction, it’s important to narrow your focus toward attracting attendees. Make sure the following tasks are on your to-do list and you are well on your way to getting them done.
The steps you take before an auction event can largely impact attendance levels and increase your chance for success. One way to pique your audience’s interest is to share information about a few of your charity auction items before the event. Promoting auction items will get donors talking and help spread the word about your fundraiser. Plus, sharing items ahead of time gives attendees an idea of what to expect and prepares them to spend money.