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Auction Task Checklist: 1-3 Months Out

When your fundraising event countdown passes the 3-month mark, it's a good time to celebrate what you have accomplished and make final pushes to reach your goals. How will you ramp up your social media strategy? Which potential event sponsors and underwriters haven't yet responded? How many Fund-a-Need pre-donations have been collected? That's a lot of priorities to balance at once.

  • 7 min read
  • May 8, 2018 8:42:05 AM

Auction Task Checklist: 3-5 Months Out

Planning a fall fundraising auction? As to-do's start piling up, it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything you need to complete. Little details can add up to big dollars for your cause! To help you make the most of every opportunity, check out our 6-part series of pre-auction checklists, created in conjunction with benefit auctioneer Stephen Kilbreath. Curated from decades of experience running benefit auctions, learn what should typically be accomplished 3 to 5 months before the big day.

  • 5 min read
  • Apr 19, 2018 6:24:00 AM

8 Things We Learned about Live Auctions from a Hit NBC Sitcom [video]

Charity auction success depends on expertise: knowing what to do to make the most of every opportunity and auction item. Arguably just as important is knowing what not to do, and that's what we're going to share today. In season 5 of popular NBC sitcom The Office, boss Michael Scott decides to hold a charity auction (called C.R.I.M.E. A.I.D.*) to replace stolen items after a break-in.

  • 7 min read
  • Apr 5, 2018 8:18:58 AM

Auction Task Checklist: 5-7 Months Out

If you've ever helped organize a fundraising event, it won't surprise you to hear event planning is certified tough. In fact, according to CareerCast's Most Stressful Jobs of 2018 list, 'Event Coordinator' is the fifth most stressful job out there!

  • 6 min read
  • Apr 3, 2018 6:35:00 AM

7 Tips to Arrange Seating Strategically in a Live Auction

What's the best way to arrange seating in a live auction? As always, it's imperative to think like a pro when planning a fundraising event. Today we're going to look at how a benefit auctioneer would approach one often-overlooked aspect of running a charity auction: reserved tables and seating arrangements. Specifically, we're going to look at a seating concept called the "triangle of influence."

  • 12 min read
  • Jan 18, 2018 9:23:41 AM

How Professional Auctioneers Order Live Auction Items [EXAMPLE]

When it comes to charity auctions, procuring quality items tends to be auction organizers' biggest challenge. Once you do wrangle those big-ticket items, are you all set? Not so fast - it's now time to consider the order in which they're presented.

  • 13 min read
  • Sep 11, 2017 6:25:00 AM

The Golden Hour of Fundraising Auctions 🌅

In photography, the golden hour is the time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when daylight is redder, softer, and perfect for capturing precious memories. In medicine, it's the first hour after serious injury. Time is of the essence, and the earlier emergency treatment is administered, the better. In charity fundraising events, the golden hour is the peak time of your program to launch the #1 revenue generator of the night: the live auction.

  • 7 min read
  • Aug 15, 2017 8:56:27 AM

How many items should be included in a live auction?

"Dear Winspire, How many items should we put in the live auction portion of our fundraising gala? We usually have around 125 guests. Last year, we auctioned off 17 items and the coordinator said it was way too many – that people lost interest by the end. Do you have any suggestions before Monday's auction meeting?" - Nancy B., Indiana This is one of the most common questions we get: What's the right number of live auction items? Too few, and you've left money on the table. Too many, and you risk losing the crowd's focus.

  • 10 min read
  • Aug 1, 2017 7:50:00 AM

This Simple Concept Is a Game-Changer for Auction Procurement

When nonprofits have hosted the same event for years, it's common to reach a plateau. Wondering how you can break through a slump and once again generate record profits?

  • 6 min read
  • Jun 6, 2017 9:53:46 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.

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

Practical Tips for Serving Food at a Fundraising Auction 🍴

English author Virginia Woolf once wrote, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." We believe the same is true for giving well. Many fundraising events revolve around food - think evening galas with multi-course meals; golf tournaments with buffet lunches; rotary auctions with brunch and more. Why? For one thing, donors need nourishment to make it through a 4 hour event. What's more, meals also provide the chance to sit down and socialize, celebrate your cause in community and provide an all-inclusive "fun night out" for couples and friends. A meal's execution can heavily impact donors' experience and overall success of the event, for better or worse. Check out practical tips for seamless food service in any event, including: Gala with Three Course Meal Buffet Small Bites & Sips "Dry" Lunchtime Auction You'll also learn a neat way to generate more income for your cause from serving dinner. If you plan to feed guests, you'll want to read and bookmark today's post!  Scenario 1: Gala with Three Course Meal It's finally time for the annual charity ball or gala. Your guests have arrived dressed to the nines, eager for a fun evening. The energy is palpable. The more you can cater to guests' finer tastes, the more your auction event will come across as a luxury shopping spree - and the higher bids will go! Here are a few easy ways to help make your gala dinner a success. Consider conducting the live auction during dinner. Where you schedule the live auction can depend on your audience and other elements in the program, but let's first look at when not to have your live auction: late in the evening. Suppose you’ve opened the doors to your event at 5:30 for cocktails. An hour goes by. Now people are sitting for dinner at 7. There’s wine on the table, they’re having more drinks, then enjoying a big meal and decadent dessert. All the while, folks are looking at the silent auction tables and refreshing their drinks. Suddenly it's 9:30pm and time to start the live auction. How will you go about getting everyone seated and focused? There's a better way.

  • 12 min read
  • Oct 25, 2016 7:00:00 AM

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