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What is the Role of a Benefit Auction Specialist?

Posted by Ian Lauth

Scott Robertson Auctioneer BAS

After 17 years of auctioning expertise, Scott Robertson had a growing, successful career. Despite his extensive experience, Robertson had a client who asked if he had a special Benefit Auction Specialist designation. “I realized then that the BAS designation had more weight than I previously thought,” he says. "I registered for the BAS class the next day".

The National Auctioneers Association offers the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) designation for auctioneers that complete advanced training in planning and conducting successful charity auctions. Candidates must complete 21 hours of classroom training in various subject areas including item acquisition, audience development and fundraising components. Furthermore, a detailed report and proof of ongoing education is required.

“The BAS designation helps everyone in our profession to elevate their awareness and education on fundraising auctions, which helps us to be more successful for our clients,” says Robertson. “If we’re all out there doing a better job through education and knowledge then we’re going to do a better job for our clients which elevates our entire profession, and that’s good for everyone.”

In addition to being auctioneers, those with a BAS designation are fundraising specialists. Development directors prefer this designation more and more because they know a charity auctioneer can ease the stress of planning and facilitating an enjoyable, successful fundraising event. 

“Most people hire an auctioneer for their stage presence, but what they come to find out is that the real value lies within the consulting before the event,” comments Robertson. “Auction committees can get together and discuss a topic for an hour and still not come to a resolution. If they just asked me the question I could resolve it in a few minutes and then show them the benefits and risks of implementing the idea that they have.”

As nonprofit auctions become more sophisticated, hiring a charity auctioneer to run the bidding and fundraising process is virtually a requirement. Learn more about the BAS designation at

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Benefit Auctioneer
Ian Lauth
Ian Lauth
With an extensive background in marketing development and content design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue. Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals.

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