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"How many auction items do you recommend for a fundraising event with X amount of guests?" This is a question we get all the time, and for good reason. Include too many, and the items will fetch fewer, smaller bids. Including too few may drive bids higher, but you've lost out on revenue bidders would have spent on more items. Perhaps there's a better question to ask: How many auction items will we need to meet our fundraising goal? Most nonprofits look at audience size to determine how many items they need in the auction (more on that below), but today we'll use an equally important metric: your fundraising goal. Fact is, the quality of your items can affect the quantity you need to procure. Using a few simple formulas, you can break down any revenue goal—no matter how insurmountable it may seem—into the approximate amount and caliber of items needed. To deduce your event's "magic number" of auction items, check out our handy infographic below.
When asking for donations many people don’t think of asking for a second item. Asking for that second donation can greatly increase your revenue in the auction because you can now sell the same item to two people in the auction and double your revenue. For example if you are able to secure two donated tickets to a major sporting event and sell them in your auction for $200, imagine if you had a second pair that you could sell to a second bidder for an additional $200. You just increased your net revenue from $200 to $400 just by asking for a second pair of tickets. When asking for the second item, many people will be more than willing to make the extra donation but you first have to ask.