Which sells better? Two different descriptions from identical auction packages

Fundraising Auction Catalogs for sale

An identical item was sold in two different D.C. charity auctions in different years.  Of the two item description examples, which do you prefer? (I changed the donor's name.) ================== Don’t Fake It, Make It Private cooking class for 10 at the acclaimed ABC Cooking School You and 9 guests will be guided by your chef instructor in creating a fabulous three-course meal.  From 'Classic French Cuisine' to "Sushi' and 'Summertime Smoking and Barbecue,' the reward is yours when you sit down to enjoy the meal you've prepared.  Your instructor will work closely with you to create a menu perfect for the occasion and « Continue Reading »

How a school auction theme attracted a new auction donor

Quick selfie at the hotel before I headed out!  (I also had elbow-length gloves, which I put on later.)

About half the auctions I work have a theme.  Auction themes are most often used by school fundraisers, though just last weekend I worked a wine auction for the Amarillo Symphony which adopted a classy 1920's theme.  (See my selfie on the right.) Some auction chairs hate themes.  I can appreciate their opinion.  They don't want to worry about finding the "right" outfit.  They want to feel comfortable.  They don't want to look silly. But today I want to share a story I heard from an Auction Chair that gave me a new appreciation for auction themes. One of the smaller school auctions I work with does a fabulous job decorating « Continue Reading »

Anatomy of a live item sale: selling Taylor Swift tickets

School auctions are typically noisy, rambunctious affairs.  The parents know each other.  Many are close friends because of their children's ties.  And because they socialize together outside of school, the auction itself is just another party. I love school auctions, but they can be demanding on an auctioneer.  School auctions are like house parties, giving parents -- especially younger ones (K-8) -- the opportunity to leave the kids for a night. Whereas nonprofit events are often more civilized affairs, school auctions are raves. As an auctioneer, my job is to command the attention of the crowd, reeling guests « Continue Reading »

Wine silent auction idea: Sommeliers drive bigger bids

Wine silent auction idea sommeliers

I’ll be working a wine auction later this month in Texas and thought I’d share a wine silent auction idea I witnessed at another event. If you’ve got a lot of wine in your auction, why not have a sommelier onsite to educate guests and  “talk up” your packages? At a school auction earlier this« Continue Reading »

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Live auction display ideas for vacations

Live auction item display Greece

If you’ve got a vacation or two that will be sold in your live auction, it helps to geographically show guests where the city / resort / hotel is located. When I’m serving as auctioneer for a group, I create my own “displays” to help market items. I often don’t know what the client will« Continue Reading »

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Video: School auction theme? Mumbai

If you’re considering different school auction themes, here’s how one school incorporated Mumbai into their event.

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Part 3: The raging debate on silent auction bid numbers versus names

Silent auction bid sheet numbers versus names

This is a 3-part blog post, explaining why benefit auctions should identify guests with bid numbers instead of names. The first post looked at the benefits of using numbers in a Fund a Need. The second post examined the use of numbers in the live auction. Today we’ll turn to the silent auction. +++++++++++++++++ Why« Continue Reading »

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