Video: Brand your fundraiser with a consistent gala auction theme

Gala Auction Themes - last kiss

A few years ago I worked with an American Heart Association chapter located in a less populated area. Because of their size and budget differences, they approached their gala differently than the larger chapter I worked with in Washington, D.C. To conserve money on design and printing, they collaborated with two other regional AHA chapters. All three used the same gala theme each year in their respective locations. The marketing materials, forms, and even some decorative pieces of the ballroom were shared among them. They split the costs of a designer who created the invitation, sponsor packets, and other marketing « Continue Reading »

In 2 weeks! FREE training: How to ask for auction donations, money, and more

I've got a complementary training coming up that EVERYONE involved in your auction should attend.  It's about learning how to ask. Imagine being so confident with the idea of asking for donations that your team was EAGER to pick up the phone, pound the pavement, or chat up strangers at a dinner party. Can you envision how would your auction change?  You'd get a lot more quality donations, bigger cash gifts, and nicer sponsorships.  That's exciting! Auctions begin with a confident ask. Given that so much is riding on your "asking prowess," I'm interviewing a guru on the subject, Marc Pitman. He's written several « Continue Reading »

VIDEO: Benefit Auction Gift Ideas for Guests

It's a rare bird who wouldn't like to leave a party with a treat, and that includes your auction guests. But gifts don't have to take the form of a traditional gift bags filled with your nonprofit literature, either. (I'd rather they not.) In this video, I share several benefit auction gift ideas I've seen at events, starting with the more traditional and mundane (think edible goodies) to the more exquisite and rare. Gifts are best when they support your mission, a sponsor's business, or both. I highlight one of these in the video, but you can learn more about how to secure sponsorships for your auction with « Continue Reading »

VIDEO: LEGO® is trendy, but is it a great silent auction item?

Given the popularity of this building toy, one might think it would be a good item to auction. Watch the video to see what I’ve observed lately.

Continue Reading

VIDEO: What’s my name again? (Why name badges help an auction.)

Most benefit auctions don’t ask guests to wear name badges. But personally, I like them. Here are a few reasons I think they help your event succeed.

Continue Reading

Video: Auction item donation from someone famous? How to play it safe when marketing it.

An auction planner was concerned about safety. “Do I want people knowing where the donor lives?” she asked. “How do I market this?” Here’s an option.

Continue Reading

Video: Silent Auction Strategies: 5 Easy Changes for Higher Revenues


If you’re seeking some ideas on how to boost your silent auction revenue, here is a free 60-minute webinar I conducted, hosted by Bloomerang.

Continue Reading