Meeting with a benefit auctioneer

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May 16, 2014 What is Your “Free” Auctioneer Costing You?

Many charitable organizations get a “free” auctioneer to conduct their live auction. This free auctioneer can be an auctioneer who sells cattle, real estate or personal property or even a board member or celebrity, chosen in the name of “saving money”. But I’d like to caution you that there are other costs associated with this “cheaper way”, most especially the cost of leaving money in the room at your event. Do professional fundraising auctioneers cost money? Yes. Is there a return on your investment? Absolutely! Unlike the expenses nonprofits incur for a band, the venue and the food, professional fundraising auctioneers are the only expense that generates revenue for your event.

It pays to understand that the mentality of a fundraising auctioneer professional is different. While I personally come from a real estate auction background, when I entered the fundraising business I learned that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. The auctioneer “chants” may be similar but that may be where the similarities end.

A professional fundraising auctioneer does several things for a nonprofit that a free auctioneer doesn’t.

Chief among these are consulting (pre- and post-auction) and auction day services. Pre-event your professional fundraising auctioneer will ensure the evening’s flow is set up to maximize fundraising. We will suggest extra revenue generating games your guests will enjoy and can incorporate an Appeal to tap into every dollar available. Auction day, we will conduct a high-energy event where guests are reminded why they are there – not to just “get a bargain” but to support your cause. Then after your event the professional auctioneer is included in the post auction wrap-up to help evaluate the fundraising activities and improvements for next year’s event.

By investing in a professional fundraising auctioneer, your non-profit’s revenue will be increased over and above your investment. Plus you get guidance and support for your staff and committee during the entire process. While not “free”, this type of support can be invaluable and “priceless”.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!

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