Who is giving you the big bucks at your auction fundraiser?
If your auction trends the way of many groups, your largest donors are likely 45+ years old. They are at least Baby Boomers, but most may be older. Certainly many of the most successful auctions I conduct are filled with 45+ year old guests.
So what are you supposed to do if you’re trying to hit a $40,000 goal and your room is filled with Gen X and Gen Y buyers?
Can you hit your mark when young professionals dominate your crowd?
I’ve got a suggestion, thanks to some data published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s recent post on How Americans of Different Generations Give to Charity.
Here’s a snippet of what the research shows.
Gen X: born 1965-1980
- Of those who give, 32% give less than $100
- 37% give between $100 and $500
- Average amount to top charity: $272
Gen Y: born 1981 to 1991
- Of the 54% who give, most of them — 58% — are giving less than $100
- 28% of them give between $100 and $500.
- Average amount to top charity $161
If the average donated amount from Gen X and Gen Y is $161 to $272, you need to fill your event with low-valued items.
Lots of ’em.
These folks will buy (the majority of them are giving to multiple charities already), but if you are hoping to sell a $4000 condo in Beaver Creek, CO, reconsider.
(Unless the condo will sleep 10 comfortably and you’ve advertised in advance. If you’ve done that, it would allow your Gen Ys and Gen Xers to pool their cash and buy it together.)
Think twice before you package items in the silent auction.
Keep the price point within reason … don’t build enormous baskets worth $900 when Gen X and Gen Y are filling your silent auction.
Offer more items, but at lower price points.
For your cash appeal/ Fund a Need, consider dropping the levels.
Offer lower levels of giving at the $50, $25, or even $10 point. Better to get just a little cash and be able to capture that donor’s address for your records.
You’ll be able to continue to market to him or her with your passionate stories, and that $10 donor could develop into a much bigger donor ten years later.
Keep your Gen Xs and Gen Ys information in mind, and you’ll have a great auction, regardless of the age of your younger attendees.
Sounds like you had a great auction, Darron. Keep at it!
Darron Meares says
This is why you are my hero! HA HA HA… I just conducted an auction with a room full of Gen X and Gen Y folks. You could hear crickets chirping in the background when we started the live auction – funny thing is, it was Baby Boomers and Generation Jones that stepped up to the plate… as always!
Thanks for reading, Dick.