What makes me different than others?
Here’s some food for thought.
1. I’m a true specialist in fundraising auctions
All fundraising auctioneers have 24 hours in the day, but how we opt to spend it is completely different. I focus 100% of my time on understanding how to improve fundraising auctions.
But don’t take my word for it — conduct your own web search.
A Google search will show that you won’t find any other website revealing that I also spend time selling real estate or personal property.
No one can be a specialist in multiple things, so my expertise is 1″ wide and 2 miles deep on understanding fundraising auctions. It’s all I do.
2. Speaking of which, I do this full time
Some auctioneers are devoted to working fundraisers as part-timers. You’d be surprised at how many people who consider themselves auction professionals have full-time jobs in unrelated fields, and spend what time they have left on their business.
Hey, more power to them.
But as an auction planner, this impacts you. When you have a quick question or need to meet your auctioneer, do you want to be limited to evening hours, squeezed in between dinner and a favorite TV show?
3. Lots of happy customers
You can read through comments left by hundreds of happy customers and guests.
You know what makes these testimonials special? They’re from real people. They have first and last names, photos, and even videos.
What you won’t see are any questionable testimonials from people with names like “Susan L.” or “John W.”
4. A respected expert
With regularity the media covers my fundraising auctions or seeks my insight for an article.
Many writers are from magazines and newspapers you know, including Town & Country, The Washington Post Magazine, The Florida Sun-Sentinel, Northern Virginia Magazine, Missouri Meetings & Events, Martha’s Vineyard Times, The Spokesman-Review and others.
I’ve also done my share of speaking, often asked to present to my peers at numerous national and state auction conventions.
5. The secret sauce for nonprofits
It’s varied over time, but some clients have committed me to non-compete agreements so I don’t work for any other nonprofit in their city. I can talk to other nonprofits, but I’m not allowed to oversee other fundraising auctions.
These nonprofits see me as a competitive advantage.
Taking it a step further, a number of my clients feature my profile on their website and in “Save the Dates” as one of the reasons a guest should attend the gala. I’m billed as entertainment.
In other words, I’m the secret sauce that makes their event different than all the other fundraisers in town. (See the photo for one example of this promotion style.)
6. Free stuff
At any given time, you can find complimentary auction resources on my site designed to help auction planners.
Some of the tools I share are what other auctioneers would charge you to have.
I like to think that I’ve got so much good stuff in my coffers that I can afford to be generous.
7. A current blog
Does an auctioneer with a blog mean he or she is a good auctioneer?
Not at all.
But a blog can give you some good insight into an auctioneer’s business approach and quality of consulting.
Are the posts well-written? Useful? Is the blog updated regularly or once in a blue moon, suggesting a poor work ethic?
With over 500 blog posts to my name, you’ll have a solid idea of who you’re dealing with when we start working together.
8. Terrific educational tools for auction planners
I co-wrote a book The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofitts with some other fundraising gurus. (I wrote about silent auctions.)
I’m also widely quoted in The Event Planner’s Essential Guide to Balloons by Sandi Masori. (Balloons can be used in many wonderful ways at auctions.)
But I’m most proud of my training programs.
Ever heard that saying, “If you want to learn something, teach it?” Nothing forces you to simplify a process than knowing you’ve got to teach it to a volunteer!
My courses are designed for the volunteer Auction Planner. Planners learn about silent auctions, live auctions, raffles, Fund a Needs, games, class art projects, auction checkout, themes, decor, centerpieces, sponsorships, volunteer management, and more. My clients have access to these, as part of our engagement.
9. A lot of personal education
Frankly, I’m not one of those people who thinks education is necessary to be good at something. My parents never went to college, but they were still successful entrepreneurs.
That said, I recognize that the lessons learned while pursuing an education can be just as important as the knowledge obtained. If you’re of that mindset, here’s my list of educational achievements:
- BA in communication – Emporia State University (Emporia, KS)
- BS in public affairs – Emporia State University (Emporia, KS)
- MA in international relations – University of Wollongong (Wollongong, Australia)
Certificate / certification-based programs
- Certificate in Event Management – George Washington University
- Auctioneer training program – Missouri Auction School
- Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) – National Auctioneers Association
- Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) – National Auctioneers Association
- Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) – Convention Industry Council
10. Energy to share
Auctions are hard work. Lots of hard work. And as a volunteer, you can have a tough time going it alone.
Outside of all the expertise, sound advice, and tools, I often also serve as motivation for the committee.
I’m your private cheer squad and the upbeat whisper in your ear. Some say that my contagious energy about auctions brings a smile to their face.
I’d like to think that my energy – in turn – drives money into their bank accounts.
That’s a few things I think are worth considering.
Curious? Schedule an appointment with me to visit about your fundraising auction.