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Why Host a Benefit Auction?

Posted by Ian Lauth

Winspire Benefit Auction Items

Over the past decade, Nonprofits have had to make some changes in how they receive funding. According to Nonprofit Finance Fund, 43 percent of Nonprofits reported that state funding has decreased in the last couple of years. As these funds decrease, organizations have to rely more on alternative fundraising sources such as special events to not only help their mission, but to survive.

While Nonprofits across the country dabble in a wide variety of fundraising initiatives, many struggle to obtain the kind of results they need to thrive. Benefit auctions, when done effectively, can be the key to your success. 

Auctions are a great way to raise money because it gives your donors the chance to spend large amounts of money on things they actually want, thereby putting more money towards your cause. Benefit auctions can also make donors feel more connected to your mission by putting you face-to-face with them to explain the intricacies of your cause, your progress and your goals for the future.

Unlike a typical bake sale or car wash - which believe it or not, many organizations still rely on as their main revenue source - benefit auctions can bring in the kind of money that will help you meet and surpass your fundraising goals faster.

Successful auctions, however, require procuring high-yield bidding items. If you want your donors to contribute larger sums of money, you need to go the extra mile to acquire better items, such as autographed memorabilia, an exotic trip or unique experience. Once a few great items have been obtained, take the time to advertise and promote them to your attendees before the event to build excitement.

Benefit auctions also - well - benefit from hiring a professional benefit auctioneer who will help you garner more interest and bids on your items, as well as make the night a lot more fun for your guests! Hiring professionals may mean you have to spend more money to put the event together, but the return will be much higher. Think of the money that you put toward your event as an investment. Just like your own personal investments, there is always a risk, but the potential payoff is greater.    

Events that include a live or silent auction also contribute to your revenue and ultimately your cause by increasing awareness. Donors who attend a really fun, engaging and lucrative event where they actually purchased something will no doubt be talking about it within their own social circles. Getting your Nonprofit’s name out is important for bringing in contributions. Donors would rather give money to an organization that they feel connected to in some way, and sending out letters, emails or making phone calls alone isn’t going to cut it.

Hosting an event gives people the chance to talk with members of your organization face-to-face. By talking and listening to different speakers and Nonprofit employees, your supporters will gain a better understanding of the cause they're supporting, feel a deeper connection to your organization and become a much more valuable donor at future events.

Is it time to start planning your next big event? Consider hosting a benefit auction and start making an impact!

To learn more about how blow your donors away by hosting a live or silent auction, talk to one of our professional Event Consultants. Sign up for a Free Event Consultation.


Winspire Communications Director

About Ian Lauth

Ian Lauth has been working to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue since early 2012 when he was hired by Winspire to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes. You can also find Ian on .

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Fundraising, Donor Relations, Event Production
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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