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Recently we hosted a webinar with fundraising software provider Greater Giving on how to describe, display, promote and sell auction packages more effectively. Today we are sharing Part II of the lively Q&A session that followed, featuring 10 questions from charity auction organizers around the country.
In a previous webinar, we shared the "10 deadly sins," or costly mistakes, seen most often at charity auctions. Number 3 on our list: Putting out the wrong items for your audience. To get high returns on your fundraising event, you want auction items that have wide appeal, generate excitement, and are perceived as highly valuable among your donors.
Question: What do you think is the ideal number of items for a typical live auction? 6, 8, 15 or more? We asked this in our last webinar and got a wide variety of responses: The correct answer is indeed 8 to 12 items. Here's why: No matter how entertaining or engaging your auctioneer may be, people will only listen to his or her banter ("25, 25, 5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, holding at 45...") for so long. Once the crowd starts tuning out the auction, control of the room can be lost very quickly to table chatter and mingling—and the rest of the night's event revenue is in serious trouble. Simply put, the amount of money you make in a live auction drops off the more items you have in your auction. Now, let's say you have too many items. We have nonprofits that go above and beyond the call of auction acquisition duty and end up procuring 20, 25, even 30 items that would be suitable for live auction. What then? And what if you've procured too few? Read on for 4 useful solutions to common live auction problems. Problem 1: Too many items "Did you say 8 to 12 live auction items? We have 25! What should we do with our extra items?" Good news: Having more than 12 high-quality items that would be appropriate for a live auction is no problem at all!
Tapping into your donors’ existing travel budgets is an excellent strategy for raising money. It gives your supporters the chance to use money they already have set aside for vacations to take an exciting trip and support a good cause at the same time.