Fundraising Blog

School For Life Black Tie Ball

Increase in revenue 200%

School For Life saw an absolutely huge increase in their final fundraising revenue of 200% after making the most of some of the platforms features such as the pre-event bidding.

They launched their catalogue a week ahead and locked away 50% of their final total before anyone even stepped foot in the room.

Here's what Rachael Lannigan had to say about their experience.

Rachael what made you chose to work with GalaBid this year?  We were looking for a platform that would allow us to launch our auction catalogue before the event; that was easy for our guests to use; and that was easy for me to set up, navigate and run on the night.

And had you previously tried other electronic bidding systems? Yes we had used another system that did not meet these requirements and so we went looking for a superior product and came across GalaBid.

How did your experience with GalaBid compare?  The GalaBid training and support was excellentäó_As it was a self-run event, I needed to make sure I understood everything inside and out and Andy was happy to set up a demo auction so I could see it in action.  On the night, I rang Andy a few times and he quickly answered my questions and made sure I was on track.

So what features of GalaBid did you find particularly useful/beneficial to your event? The ability to pre-launch our auction catalogue; the ability to include buy it now, donations, silent and live auction items; the payment system and the reports that can be generated.  The thermometer is great for display on the night. I also think the back end information is very useful being able to monitor items, bids, targets and bidder information.

And what is your feedback on launching the catalogue ahead of the live event? Do you feel this made a difference to your overall result?  Yes this definitely had an impact on the amount we raised.  We raised 50% of our silent auction revenue before the night started.  Guests were excited that they could sign on prior to the event and scroll through the 100 items that we had on offer.  This allowed them to know exactly what they were interested in bidding on before they walked into the room.  It also gave them the opportunity to look at our pledge opportunities and the live auction items.  Launching beforehand also allows people that are unable to attend the event still be a part of supporting School for Life through a pledge or auction item.

And what about payment? How did you manage the dreaded end of night payment desk?! Payment was much easier than I anticipated.  Andy had been very helpful with advising me how we should set up our payment desks to deal with the numbers and it went very smoothly.  Having a number of payment desks/computers set up meant that guests only waited a few minutes before being attended to.  Having access to PayPal is fantastic as many guests took advantage of this service and meant our payments desks were not as busy as previous years.

And finally any tips for fellow fundraisers out there - you are obviously doing something right with such an amazing increase in support! Any words of wisdom on how to create a successful fundraising event?  Do your research; think outside the box for ideas; attention to detail is important; be collaborative with your team; design and create an event that is exciting and dynamic and that people want to come and then go away talking about!

School for Life Foundation relies on generous donations and grants to fund the everyday running of the school and vocational training centre as well as the growth of its operations.

To date, most funding has been generated through the donations of individual philanthropists as well as Sydney based events. Sponsorship programs are a pivotal part of School for Life's fundraising and ensure the running costs of the school and vocational training centre are covered.  To find out more about their work and their vision please visit their website or their social media pages: Facebook:

About GalaBid

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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