A fundraiser is a fantastic way for an organization to celebrate, raise funds for a specific need & to have the organization & friends of the organization become well acquainted. The better planned the event = the more money you can raise. It can be hard with large events, because there is a lot to plan. We suggest tapping your resources.
Do you have a volunteer that manages events for a living? If possible, you might consider reaching out to an event planner, or the venue manager of the location of the event, and seeing if they would be in charge of the details. It can even raise you more money in the long run to pay someone to organize the event. Counter-intuitively, having a paid point person in charge can help to make sure that the big visions of the organization are followed & that all of the details are managed in 1 place. Having many different committees working on little parts can create double work & even double costs, with no one having the whole vision.
While we can suggest some tips, here are some miss-steps that we see pretty regularly for you to watch out for!
Underestimating the amount of auction items that will fit on a table.
If you are using 6’ table (usually a 30 or 36” width – remember to ask), and you have a clipboard that is 10” wide, you can only fit 7 items per side, without the items taking up any space. Over estimate the amount of space you need so that you have the tables / linen on site when a last minute donation comes in.
Having tables block the entrance.
Make sure that the entrance (registration / coat check) is in a place that allows people to enter and get registered as quickly as possible. Conversely – make sure that check out is convenient & as quick as you can make it, so that you don’t get stuck with any items because someone didn’t want to wait in line.
Not having enough bars / having them in tight locations.
Not creating easily accessible bars in multiple locations. The more you let people get a little loose – the more you will “sell, sell, sell”. Make sure that people can get a drink. Have staff or volunteers pass wine or champagne, have several bar locations with professional bartenders & you will ensure that people have a good time!
Not announcing silent auction close times.
People typically love to “win” items in auctions & those last 15 minutes are critical to getting prices high. Make sure that everyone knows when what is closing & have it announced so that the entire group can hear & have time to make last minute bid’s.
Not having places to store auction items.
Make sure that you have a location to store boxes / bags (label them!!) for the items & have a plan to take any left items home at the end of the evening for secure storage.
Final Tip: Keep it simple & fun. Make sure people can get in, get food & drink & bid on items & they will rave about the event & bring more guests next year. Good luck & call us with any additional questions on your specific fundraiser!