17/5/17

5 Must-Avoid Fundraising Auction Mistakes

Did your fundraising auction fail to generate the funds you hoped for? Is your previously reliable annual fundraiser showing signs of donation fatigue? Are you struggling to generate substantial bid activity? If so, you might be making one or more common fundraising auction mistakes. But don't worry, mistakes can quickly turn into opportunity once you know what to change and how to drop the Not:

Not Telling People About The Auction Ahead of Time

If you want people to attend and support your fundraising event you need to tell them about it. It's a no-brainer and most event planners are well versed in cross channel event promotion, from email to outdoor posters to social media. Although you may be running an excellent pre-event marketing campaign, are you missing the opportunity to get the auction humming before the event even starts? Silent auctions are normally run via a web link and can accept bids from the moment the link is live. Promoting auction access ahead of time is a great way to give people time to have a good look at the prizes on offer and to get early bids up and running. By including the silent auction within your event marketing you'll start the actual event with a healthy bid sheet that provides an excellent springboard for the event's bidding.

Not Making A Change

Your fundraising auction may be tried and tested and a reliable revenue generator year on year. But if the returns are starting to become static, or even gong backwards, now might be a good time to make a change. Sticking with the same fundraising auction formula over and over will eventually become tired. Guests may view the event as an obligation rather than a pleasurable experience. Donation and participation fatigue may set in. Even small changes can rejuvenate the auction experience. Mix up the prizes on offer, change the MC or think about a venue change.   Introduce new technology that can create a totally different bidding experience. Live display leaderboards for example can create a vibrant and competitive atmosphere that gets the bids flowing.

Not Acknowledging Supporters

Fundraising auction events are blessed with in-built good will and generosity thanks to supportive participants. But when the event is over it's important to acknowledge the help and support of your guests, bidders and donors. Personalised correspondence may be appropriate for the handful of people who made a significant contribution, but a simple email to everyone else is enough to make people feel appreciated. It's also a great way to update people on the event's success stories and keep them engaged with the cause and its ongoing aims.

Not Sharing Fund Intentions

It's easy to assume that bidders and donors are fully across the auction fundraiser's aims and intentions. But if you forget to offer specific detail about how the funds will be used you'll miss an opportunity to make an important connection. Connecting bidders and participants to specific projects or resources increases their engagement. Knowing how the money will be spent (and that their direct contribution will determine the viability of the project or resource ) will act as a huge incentive for people bidding during the auction.

Not Thinking About The Prize Mix

It's important to have a mix of prizes that appeal to different budgets. Unless your fundraising event is wholly made up of multi-millionaires, a prize pool that consists entirely of luxury holidays will exclude a percentage of your potential bidders. Making sure there are is a good array of items at various price points will ensure everyone can participate. Also think about the nature of the event and your cause. Does your charity support musicians and artists? If so it makes sense to have a focus on music related memorabilia and experiences. Event guests are likely to have a connection with the cause's themes – cater to their interests with related prizes that they'll be desperate to experience or own.

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GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.

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