Fundraising events are the backbone of all non-profits and when executed well can have an enormous impact on revenue. They are however time-consuming, costly and labour-intensive. It is therefore imperative for your organisation to make the most out of your fundraising efforts before, during and after your event. With some creative thinking, the right connections and an impressive auction software platform, St Finbar's was able to triple their original target and produce an incredible and inspiring fundraising campaign. So how did they do it?
Step 1: Go Online
After years of holding small live auctions at school events the move to go online when raising money for a new bike shed by way of an Art Auction, seemed obvious. "St Finbar's Primary School was looking at ways to fundraise for school improvements without continually tapping into our own small school community. We had held small live auctions at school functions before, and items were often sold well below market value due to the small pool of people wanting to bid on them. The idea of taking an auction online meant that members of our school community could participate in the auction, but it also meant anyone could participate" says Kate MacKenzie. She continued, "Our market was endless. A decision was made to hold an art auction online, with an aim to raise $5,000-10,000 after expenses. Some savvy marketing on social media, particularly Instagram saw the auction accumulate a strong following, and we were delighted with the result. $18,500 was raised, exceeding our expectations." In recent years, many charities and schools, such as St Finbar's, have realised that moving to an electronic platform means a wider supporter database. Many individuals outside your non-profits direct network are often quite happy to contribute to fundraising initiatives even if they are unable to make it along to the main event. This means locking away much needed fundraising revenue. In fact, on average GalaBid clients raise 60% more fundraising revenue than those using traditional fundraising methods.
Step 2: Find the right package for you When making use of GalaBid's revolutionary auction software platform, fundraising efforts such as collecting donations, selling raffle tickets and running a silent or live auction become a whole lot easier and much more efficient. This ensures a more pleasurable experience for both the guests and event staff. MacKenzie states,"The support from GalaBid was instrumental. The straight forward user interface made it easy for bidders to participate. The SMS function was a great way to communicate with registered bidders, successful bidders and also invite unsuccessful bidders to make a donation. This was all supported by a simple landing page we set up, giving our auction and polished, professional and enticing look."
Step 3: Be resourceful and expand your reach
St Finbar's 2016 Art Auction received donations from some amazing artists such as Ken Done, Katie McKinnon, Kirsten Jackson and Barbara Kitallides. But the support did not stop there. With encouragement from St Finbar's, the artists used their own social media networks to promote the auction. Not only did this extend the reach of the auction to a wider audience ensuring valuable exposure for the nominated cause, it also made certain that marketing initiatives were targeted towards the right people.
Step 4: Use tangible donations
In addition to the auction, St Finbar's also offered supporters the opportunity to contribute money towards buying particular items for the bike shed including a bike, bike pump, stand and toolkit. Tangible donations can be extremely effective at engaging all audience members no matter their budget. "Adding the Donation option saw us raise over $1,000 that we would have otherwise not raised," MacKenzie reveals.
Step 5: Get help!
Whether using an onsite or remote service option GalaBid's professional and friendly staff will work with you throughout the entire event. On a final note, MacKenzie affirms, "An Account Manager that can be contacted by phone was invaluable and something that sets GalaBid apart. We felt we always had excellent support - no question was too big or too small." Find out how we can help at your next fundraising event. We'd love to hear from you... let's talk!