[VIDEO] How to make your fundraiser unique? Be exclusive with your benefit auctioneer.

Exclusive grunge rubber stamp on white, vector illustration

The concept of exclusivity is often tied to commercial products.  A company might have the exclusive right to sell a particular style or color of shoes.  An airline might be the exclusive carrier of a sports team.  In the nonprofit space, we may see the term used in conjunction with sponsorship.  One client with a large food and wine event offers opportunities for vendors to be the exclusive provider of certain products, like vodka or beer.  I know of one corporation that served as the exclusive sponsor to a symphony's fall season. Why is exclusivity intriguing?  What does it do?  Exclusivity sets your event apart. If someone « Continue Reading »

[VIDEO] Silent auction layout when using mobile bidding

Fundraising auctioneer Sherry Truhlar.

I'm in the thick of the fall auction season.  Last week I was working all across the country, so expect to see more videos down the road -- as I have time to organize them.  :)In this first clip, you'll see an auction layout of an event I worked two weeks ago here in Washington, D.C. The organization, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation, is only five years old.  Yet the group has already raised a whopping $7 million dollars to fight colon cancer.  (Impressive!) They have three core initiatives focused on research, awareness, and patient care.This is the second year they've had an auction at their gala, and it was the first year « Continue Reading »

An attractive display for a bad live auction item: Tiffany dishes

Live auction item display Tiffany dishes

My clients procure some excellent live auction items.  Each year I whittle down my favorites and list them in my Auction Item Guide™. (Speaking of which, the current guide, What Sold Like a Dream in 2014, will vamoose December 31.  Download your free copy before then.)But every so often, I have to sell an item that isn't strong by benefit auction standards.An oriental rugA trip to a luxurious resort in a dangerous country.A set of Oneida dishes.  With a dining room table.This set of Tiffany dishes.  (See photo.)Dishes are so personal; the style you like might make me grimace.  How can you possibly pick a pattern that lots of « Continue Reading »

Fundraising auction trend: Food trucks

Food truck: Fundraising auction trend cupcake

Over the last two weeks, you might have seen some of the publicity surrounding the predictions made in the 1985 movie, Back to the Future.  In the movie, the lead character Marty McFly travels to the future date of October 21, 2015.  I’ve read articles and seen video clips of late-night television show skits about« Continue Reading »

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Gambling, drinking and smoking at Tennessee fundraising auctions

Tennessee Auctioneers Association selling liquor newsletter 001_opt

Rules around alcohol vary across the country. Here’s what the Tennessee Auctioneer Commission has to say about it in their recent newsletter.

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School auction theme: Night at the Museum

Live auction displays in frames on the wall were classic museum-esque.

It’s not the easiest or cheapest school auction theme to pull off, but my client made a “Night at the Museum” concept come alive.

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[VIDEO] Embarrassing your auction donor with a (too) high opening bid?

A prospective client called me, frustrated that her previous auctioneer embarrassed her donors by starting items much too high. Here’s what I said.

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