In Kansas, we returned to school in mid August. Here along the East Coast, many schools start in late August or even after Labor Day.
Some kids will be excited. Others are already counting down the days until summer or graduation.
Which were you?
Here’s what I know: Whether you enjoyed school or not, learning is ongoing.
I’m a fan of education, but I’m not one who believes you have to go to college to get advanced training.
Sure, I’ve got some degrees (three, actually), but I’ve learned just as much from courses I’ve taken “here and there” than I did in formalized education.
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this post, you’re like me … a lifelong learner, seeking ways to improve.
To that end, here are 5 ways to get smart when it comes to advancing your fundraiser with fresh benefit auction ideas.
* Register for a workshop
These are usually one-off presentations, given by a subject matter expert. Invitations land in my email inbox or I’ll learn of them via my local nonprofit resource center. As for you, I’m offering two workshops in September — one in Chicago and another in Cincinnati. Near you? Then join me at the Great American Benefit Auction Roadshow.
* Attend a conference
At least once a year I make my way to a seminar or conference. Next up is September 4, 2013 when I’ll be headed to HSMAI’s MEET in Washington, D.C. Though none of the sessions are auction-specific, I pick up an idea or two I can apply. Conferences like these are often organized by associations. Check the calendar of your local independent school, fundraising, or event-management associations.
* Test the waters with a FREE webinar
If you’re not sure an instructor has the charisma to keep your attention, ask if they offer anything for free. Some offer ways to “dip your toe in the water” by taking a free course first. If they keep you awake (and you learn something!), you’ll be ready for more. For instance, I’m offering a free webinar on October 8, 2013, for NonProfit Webinars, which regularly offers free webinars for nonprofits.
* Commit to a paid “do it yourself” product
Auctions have many components. Where do you need help? Institute a Fund a Need by learning the latest tricks from around the USA. Get basic procurement help using audio tutorials. Ready to ditch the silent auction and replace it with a raffle? Here’s the “do it yourself” raffle tool.
* Invest in a LIVE webinar
Live webinars offer an opportunity to ask questions, which makes for a more interactive — think “better” — experience. My next live webinar is geared towards helping self-described “small auctions.” Learn more about my September 26, 2013, webinar Easy First Auctions here.
There is no shortage of ways for you to become educated. The challenge might be finding the right instructor! And as you get smarter, you’ll need to be more diligent in finding an appropriate mentor.
Oh, and another FREE tool?
My e-newsletter! It’s called Benefit Auction Ideas and it’s published every-other-Tuesday.
Jeesh, can’t believe I almost forgot it.
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