5 Strategies To Make Your Charity Auction a Success
Hosting your own charity auction can be a little bit intimidating for a beginner, how do you get started, how much planning should go into the event, and probably the biggest question of all, how do you host a successful charity auction if you have never before? If you are new to charity auctions all together a charity auction is most generally known as a nonprofit fundraising event where a nonprofit organization will generally raise money by collecting donations such as experiences, trips, items, gift cards, and more; and selling them to the highest bidder on a live, online or silent auction. If you are in the planning process of a charity auction or are hoping to plan one soon, we have 5 simple strategies to help you make your charity auction a success.
1. Choose the Correct Type Of Auction
Before beginning the entire auction process and planning stage, the first and foremost thing that you can do in order to help your charity auction succeed is going to be to choose the correct type of auction. There are live, online, and silent auctions, many people will even combine two of the three in a good combination and to also reach a wider audience. Choosing the correct type of auction will require proper research to find out who your donors will likely be, and how they will best interact with the auction. In order to connect with your donors properly you might benefit from sending out a survey that asks strategic questions that will help you understand your audience as well as what they are interested in, and how they will best interact with your auction.
2. Secure Your Large Items Far in Advance
This is a basic strategy that will help your charity auction to be a success. Don’t find yourself one month away from your auction with no large items secured. Depending on your situation and auction your “large items” might vary in value – but no matter what the dollar amount value is, be sure to secure those items as far in advance as you can. The more time you have them secured, the more time you have to market them and strategize the best way to sell them in your auction.
3. Use Proper Marketing
Proper marketing can take your charity auction to the next level. Invest in some paid advertising, utilize social media, and strategize how to get donors to the auction. For example, you could start a small raffle giveaway that starts online and the winner will be chosen live at the charity auction. This is a great way to gain exposure all while giving incentive for your potential donors and buyers to show up the night of your auction where they can see all of the rest of your items.
4. Remind Donors of the Cause
Reminding your donors and buyers of the cause of the auction is a great way to help your auction be successful. We would also recommend to be sure to provide your donors with various options to donate to the cause, not JUST through the auction. Utilize the buyers emotions, by being sure to share your cause in creative ways throughout the auction. For example if you are a non profit that helps local schools with an after school program for kids that are at risk, it would be a great idea to have a principle of one of the schools come and give a short testimony of how your nonprofit has helped them. There are many creative ways to share with your audience the mission of your charity or nonprofit. So hold a brainstorming session with your team and try to come up with at least 2-3 ways to share the cause with your buyers and donors.
5. Order Your Items Strategically
If you have chosen to utilize a live auction for your charity event, believe it or not the order that your items are sold can make a huge difference in the success of your auction. It’s a pretty general rule of thumb to start your auction with the smallest items that you have. Starting with small items and working your way up to the larger items helps the event build suspense for your buyers and donors. Generally it is recommended to sell your biggest ticket items at about ¾ of the way through the auction. This gives your audience time to anticipate the larger attraction items, and leaves just enough time after they are sold for everyone to settle down and focus back on the more middle valued items. If your large items are sold too soon in the auction, your bigger donors who would be interested in those items will likely lose interest in the rest of the smaller items and auction.
We hope that these tips will help you plan your charity auction and set yourself up for success. No matter how you choose to plan your nonprofit auction, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan, gather together a team, and think through the auction step by step.
If you need help getting started with your charity auction, or are looking for a auction house to help you host and run your auction, please take a look at our DBA Orbitbid Charity! We are happy to help you in any way that we can.