Your silent or live auction prize mix can make or break your fundraiser. It takes a lot of door knocking, phone calls and the odd rejection to pull together a great set of prizes. A single prize item can therefore be an appealing proposition. But can a lone item really have enough appeal to make your fundraising auction a success? Absolutely! In fact a single prize item can work even better than multiple items but you do need to think carefully.
If you're thinking about having a single prize item you need to think big. A lone bottle of wine or soap collection won't cut it (unless your auction is super low-key). Because your whole auction will hang on one item a single prize needs to have serious 'wow' factor! Marketing, promotion and ticket sales will be driven by the lure of this spectacular prize â€“ so it needs to be good. Very good. Think exclusive, money-can't-buy experiences or attractions. GalaBid is currently working with a client who has a single prize item of backstage access to a major UK music festival. Unless you have a niche interest audience (e.g. car enthusiasts, sport fans or music lovers) a single prize item needs to have a broad appeal to attract the interest of multiple bidders. If you have a general interest audience seek out opportunities where it's likely they (or someone they love!) will be desperate to win the prize. Look to singers or bands that have a huge fan base. An exclusive concert experience to see Adele or Ed Sheerhan is guaranteed to have a wide appeal (and plenty of excited bidders). Sporting events with a multi-event schedule e.g. Commonwealth Games or The Olympics are also good for cross-sector appeal.
Once you have a few prize ideas you need to start working with potential providers. Although you're only targeting a single prize option it can still take a lot of work to secure your item. Marquee or prestige prizes will be targeted by other fundraisers too. You need to make sure your organisation's story is compelling enough to win the favour of the provider. Do your research and find out if there is any existing connection between the provider and your organisation. Everyone has a cause that's close to their heart â€“ you're much more likely to get support from a prize provider if they are already sympathetic to your cause. When discussing the prize with a potential provider don't forget to remind them of the marketing and promotional opportunity it presents. As the sole auction prize their brand will receive a unique promotional opportunity that is more powerful than if they were one of a number of prize options.
Just because you're only offering a single prize option doesn't mean you have to ignore donation only options. Whether it's cash only or funding for cause specific items e.g. school books, specialist equipment etc. donation items are a nice way for bidders who miss out on the main prize (or who may not be able to afford to bid for the main prize) to participate in the auction.