Are you thinking of buying new software to help manage your benefit auction?
Give me 75 minutes and you’ll know the best benefit auction technology to use at your gala without wasting your time, your charity’s money, or your committee’s effort.
In 2011 the Virginia Chapter of Meeting Planners International (MPI) asked me to speak at their convention. MPI members are professional event planners, and they wanted to hear about the new technology tools available in the benefit auction industry. But they had one pertinent request.
“No hype, Sherry. Give us the INSIDE SCOOP.”
They wanted to know what I — as a benefit auctioneer – privately discussed with my clients about all the new tech tools flooding the market. They wanted to understand the advantages and potholes … the ins and outs. They wanted to know what was worth it. They wanted THE TRUTH.
Hence was birthed this idea of offering you a webinar to simplify the subject of benefit auction technology.
So … what about YOU?
Are you searching online for new tools to make running your benefit auction easier … or more profitable? You might be participating in demos, calling vendors, and reading marketing lingo.
Chances are, you’ll spend days – if not weeks – doing the research. You’ll confusingly stumble through the marketing lingo.
But now — using this webinar — you can QUICKLY get up-to-speed on all the technology hitting the benefit auction market. Use this carefully compiled presentation to find the best tool for your gala, better negotiate with an existing vendor (because you know all the competition), or spark an idea you can adopt next year.
Knowledge is power!
1. You’ll AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES, like selecting the WRONG technology for your auction.
My Dad is fond of saying, “You need to use the right tool for the job.”
In your auction, what “job” are you working on? What are you fixing?
Whatever it is, it’s not identical to everybody else’s. Your auction committee faces different challenges than the nonprofit next door. You might even be facing a different problem THIS YEAR than you did last year.
- … a weak acquisitions team means that procurement is giving you fits.
- … complicated manual bid sheets are a thorn in your side.
- … you’re launching a large event with a small live auction, so registering guests is paramount.
- … your silent auction is stale. You’re contemplating electronic bidding to fix the doldrums, but how do you know if it’s COOL to have but not a NEED to have?
- … there’s another scenario and you seek fresh ideas.
Rather than spend too much on a tool — or under-invest and realize you need to buy something else to address the problem — you’ll learn the primary processes these tech tools were designed to fix. Get the RIGHT tool to AVOID SPENDING MONEY needlessly.
It’s not hard to become overwhelmed. A quick search on Google for “auction software” delivers 6+ million leads. Yikes!
In the webinar, we’ll look at benefit auction technology vendors as they affect specific processes in your gala such as:
- Procurement: Some tech vendors help you acquire donations. A couple of vendors I’ll share are “bleeding edge” current. We’ll also cover a newer model in consignment. You’ll learn about the two primary payment models offered, and how one plan is much better if you’re a smaller auction raising less than $50,000.
- Packaging/Production: What helps with registration to check-out … and the bid sheets in-between? Many vendors crowd this space, and each has an angle.
- Online auctions: From fee-based to free-based, vendors specializing in this area are building out their technology.
- Volunteer Management: Got headaches with volunteers? These tech tools will organize your confusion.
- Event Registration: If you simply need a basic registration system, several vendors have good ones … and many nonprofits already use one of these vendors for a completely other purpose
- Spur / Encourage Giving: Mobile and e-bidding using text messages or electronic devices for your silent auction and cash appeal are the rage. Over 15 vendors have crowded into the space. These tools have perks, but not every story has a happy ending. (I’ve seen it hurt your emotional appeal unless you change the format of your “ask.”) Let’s talk.
- Cashiering (Money collection): You just need an easy way to capture all the dollars. Is that too much to ask? Not at all. Cool new tools are on the market.
Isn’t it good to know that there are a lot of vendors? Even NONPROFITS ON A BUDGET will be excited to find tools that will work for them.
3. You’ll SAVE LOADS OF TIME. Instead of spending hours calling other nonprofits for advice or researching on the internet (forcing you to wade through dozens of websites), you’ll be able to zero in on a few select few vendors.
If you’ve just started your research, you’ll learn about competitive products you didn’t know existed.
If you’ve been slogging through demos trying to get an understanding of providers, you’ll quickly understand the vendor landscape. You can then focus on the best solution for you.
4. BONUS! Receive your own Resource Guide with 60+ providers’ names, organized by the auction process they were built to help.
It’s taken me five years, dozens of phone calls, and hours of research to craft an easy-to-understand document that clearly identifies who competes against whom. You’ll get it in an instant. You’ll immediately know other products to evaluate before you buy.
Here’s what you’ll get:
This is a 100% digitally available product. You’ll have access to download two electronic files.
The webinar recording (81 minutes, updated August 2013). Upon purchasing, you’ll immediately be sent instructions on how to access the webinar. (It’s sitting on a password-protected page on my website.) Once you log-in, I encourage you to download the.mp4 recording to your computer, so you can watch the training today and again whenever you need a technology refresher.
- Bonus! A Resource Guide (6 pages listing 60+ vendors) The Guide conveniently sorts vendors for you by their initial service offering. For instance, if you’re adding an online auction to your gala, turn to page 4 of the Guide and you’ll see 16 companies listed. Or maybe you’ve heard about mobile bidding but were shocked at the high price quote you received when you inquired about it from one vendor. No worries! Go to the Guide and you’ll find a list of 17 OTHER mobile bidding vendors you can call to get a quote. I bet at least one vendor will fit your budget and service requirements.
Here’s a “sneak peek” of what you’ll be watching:
What you might not know about your presenter.
Benefit auctioneer Sherry Truhlar consults with schools and nonprofits nationally about their technology needs. You can hear from some of these clients at the bottom of this page. As someone paid for her expertise and knowledge of the industry — and not just her skill as a bid-calling auctioneer — she has a vast understanding of the technology available to help your benefit auction succeed.
What’s the investment?
I know you are going to find a lot of useful info in this presentation – past recipients have loved the content!
Benefit auctioneer / auction educator
P.S. Here’s another way to look at it. This $47 course is what you buy BEFORE you spend $1000, $3000, or $10,000 on technology.
My 100% Money Back Guarantee
I want you to be happy. I’ve put hours of research into this presentation, and I know you’re going to get more than $47 worth of information. (The MPI attendees paid considerably more and even they were happy.) Fact is, this is high value content that is impossible to find in such a simple format anywhere else on planet Earth.
But if for some reason you believe I didn’t cover the talk as described, and you didn’t get your money’s worth, I’ll refund your money — no questions asked. Send me an email and I’ll have my team credit your card. It’s that easy.
When Gail Perry asked me to present this webinar to her Fired Up Fundraising Community in 2012, here are the survey comments she received.
- Gail, this was one of the most appropriate and helpful seminars I’ve heard … Even though I’ve been actively reviewing many of these companies, it was very helpful to have a comprehensive list and how they all came together. I also learned some new resources that I am definitely checking out!
- As you said – an objective overview! It’s soooooo hard to find! I wish I’d heard this before talking to EVERYONE! 🙂
- This was extremely helpful in deciding how to proceed with our auction.
- Learning that there are other resources for procurement was so helpful!
- I feel confident in my choices of the companies with whom I choose to work.
- Thank you Gail! I missed Sherry’s last one and I am definitely going to listen to it soon!
This morning we got the PTA Chairs to approve the software agreement. I believe we can pay the full cost of the software with sponsorships. Well, as of this morning we have two more sponsors for our auction webpage. I didn’t even have any printed materials to show people—but they were willing to support our cause.
We are all ready to take this auction to the next level!
Maria Emanuel, Auction Co-Chair 2010
Key Elementary School (Washington, DC)
Before hearing Sherry speak, I wasn’t advertising, using any kind of technology, and not packaging the donations well so that we would make more money on each item. From her talk, I received lots of information on different auction technologies that are out there and how, for larger auctions, a live auctioneer is really very vital to increasing the highest bid and making the most money for your charity/organization.
I’m now planning to do an online auction for the highest valued donation item so that we can get the most bids possible and raise more money. I am also planning on having fewer items for bid and making sure I’m packaging them well so the perceived value is greater and will hopefully generate high bids.
My advice for those thinking of getting training from Sherry is that it’s definitely worth it. She provides some great insider knowledge and offers up a ton of great ideas. She encourages you to think outside the box to help you raise more money at your next auction.
Jennifer Blair, Sales Manager
Crowne Plaza Virginia Beach (Virginia Beach, VA)
Wow, what a difference 90 minutes makes!! There was more useful information in the 90 minutes I spent talking with you than in years of fundraising seminars and programs I’ve participated in.
Can’t wait to put the ideas to use and see what happens with our event. Thank you so much for passing along you knowledge and expertise!!
Mary M Hoffman, Volunteer Program Director
Henderson Harbor Water Sports Program (Henderson Harbor, NY)
Our non-profit gave Sherry Truhlar the challenge of a lifetime when we asked her for a consultation last spring.
Our event is designed to raise money for our OB-GYN practice that sees any patient regardless of income or insurance. Forty percent of their patients are crisis pregnancy patients that have nowhere to turn. Over $500,000 is given away in “free” care every year but our gala is raising only about $250,000. Our gala is run fully by volunteers, many of whom are pregnant or have little ones filling their days. We know that every dollar we raise goes to these poor women so we are very stingy about our costs.
Someone told us that meeting would Sherry would be worth the money and bring us great ideas for making more money so we finally agreed to try a consultation with her. As the Gala Chairwoman, I was especially nervous about this meeting – would people be upset that we spent this money just to “talk” to someone?
The Challenge! We asked Sherry to meet with 10 of us and cover two pages of questions in her minimal consultation timeframe. We also had 15 kids and babies running, yelling and pulling us away from the table as she talked. At times, it was so loud in the room that we had to lean in to hear her. Our biggest concern was to find a software program that would fit our auction needs.
Another was how to make our auction fun without it feeling corny. Imagine two pages of questions of this depth!
Sherry won the challenge. She popped through the questions with the ease and speed of – well – an auctioneer! She was able to stay on focus despite the kiddie chaos and gave us many good ideas without pressuring us into any one direction. She was friendly, likeable and able to pull lingering topics back on task with professional ease. We especially liked that she didn’t try to upsell us or make us feel bad for not having her as our auctioneer. When the meeting time came to the end – our two pages of questions were checked off. We were fully out of questions. Wow.
After she left, we all felt like we had certainly gotten our money’s worth. We were full of information, enthused with ideas to try and happy that Sherry was able to meet our challenge. We all agreed that, if she could handle a meeting like this in a room of screaming kids, she would be a great auctioneer for us someday. Meanwhile, we knew that we had a friend and a valuable source on our side who could pass our test. Thanks, Sherry!
Patty Whelpley, Chairwoman 2011
Divine Mercy Care Gala (Fairfax, VA)