As your fundraising event attendees are getting dressed for the big night out, they may give some thought as to how much money they will spend on raffle tickets or what they might buy at your live or silent auction. While people may come with a specific dollar figure in mind, they will often spend above and beyond depending on what opportunities are presented at the event.
Whether it’s offering an auction trip to an all-inclusive resort, selling raffle tickets for a piece of signed sports memorabilia or delivering a heartfelt special appeal from a beneficiary of your mission, there are plenty of ways to entice your guests to contribute more money during an event.
How many times have you seen people go wild over that cute little puppy at a live auction? While few guests come to your event with the intention of purchasing a new family pet, this is consistently a very popular live auction item. That beaming couple walks out of the ballroom with the adorable dog, laughing about how surprised the kids will be in the morning. People get caught up in the moment, and in their excitement, buy things they didn’t even know they wanted.
Many people in the room will be willing to spend additional money that night to support your cause. The key to fundraising success is to present them with opportunities and options. After all, these are patrons of your organization and the fact that they are attending your event means they have already made some financial investment in the cause.
What if you could offer something at your event that people were already going to buy anyway? When you offer auction trips as part of your fundraising event, you do exactly that. In a recent survey, Winspire asked 400 people who purchased trips at charity events in the past 6 months about their travel habits. An overwhelming 70% said they take at least 3-6 leisure trips a year. Over 60% of survey respondents said they budget at least $7,500 for vacation travel annually, with 40% budgeting a whopping $10,000 or more each year.
Whether they book their trips on the Internet or use a travel agent, a majority of the patrons who attend fundraising galas are people who like to travel and have the money to do it.
Are they really going to spend thousands of dollars on vacation travel packages at a fundraising auction?
Of course! Take a second to think about it from the perspective of a couple who is already contemplating where to plan their next vacation. While they may not have anticipated purchasing this getaway at a fundraising event, it is a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. They can fulfill their vacation plans while supporting the very cause they came to support!
The key is to present these jet-setters with auction trips that are so appealing that they can't help but raise their hand when bidding starts. Someone in the room will jump on the chance to enjoy a VIP tour of Napa Valley with wine tastings and a trip on the Wine Train. To someone else, an authentic Jazz & Dining Experience in New Orleans might sound ideal. Other guests will be ecstatic to have the chance to attend next year’s Country Music Awards show and cross that experience off their bucket lists.
If you haven’t offered auction trips as part of your fundraising event before, you might be pleasantly surprised by how receptive people are. In our next post we will discuss what goes into developing high quality travel, sporting and entertainment auction packages and how your organization can use them to turn a profit.