Three years ago I wrote a post listing eleven different options for benefit auction venues. And at various times, I've talked about unusual venues like this Olympic training facility or a car dealership. As 2019 ends, I thought it would be fun to take a review of my year and note where my clients held their fundraising auctions. Here were the most popular types of benefit auction venues in 2019. Hotels: Over 20 clients held their fundraiser in a hotel. Hotels are typically the ... Read On >
A fundraising auctioneer’s biggest worry: Good sound.
This past Saturday I worked in a new venue in Washington, D.C. that presented some obstacles for any fundraising auctioneer. To mitigate issues on gala night, the client invited the caterer, registration lead, and me to join her onsite a few months ago to give feedback. Some background points: Special access: The impressive venue was offered by a supporter and would have been unattainable under normal circumstances, so the client wanted to use the space. Anniversary celebration: ... Read On >
Different perspectives from the front and back of the benefit auction ballroom
When I was in the 5th grade, the room was arranged with an aisle down the middle and rows of three desks clustered on either side of the aisle. I was in the last row seated with two friends, Bryon and Tammy. As an adult in a classroom setting, I like to sit in the 2nd row next to a wall. But as a 5th grader, I was assigned to sit in the back. We snickered over 5th grade antics. Tammy and I would pretend Bryon had no brain and we'd talk "through" his head as he sat between us. It was ... Read On >
A unique auction venue sets the stage for Olympic-sized entertainment
One of my clients in the Adirondacks booked a new venue at the base of the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. The complex was built for the 1980 Olympic Games and now serves as a training complex for Nordic ski and freestyle aerial jumping. It wasn't enough to have this impressive facility serve as a backdrop. The Executive Director of the foundation took the extra step of having Olympic-hopefuls demonstrate their talent for the benefit of the gala attendees. During the silent ... Read On >
Breaking the rules: This Martha’s Vineyard auction succeeds by doing things differently.
Two weeks ago I worked with a nonprofit in Massachusetts which has a fairly unique benefit auction model. Though they share some of the same overarching goals as many of my clients (e.g. fundraising, donor stewardship, community awareness, etc.), the event has a long history of doing some things differently. Here are a few elements that make this charity auction unusual. It's a low ticket price -- $25 per person Guests dress casually; some wore shorts. It's an afternoon affair. ... Read On >