I’ve said it, and I’ve heard others say it: Charity auctions should emphasize the mission of the nonprofit.
- Maybe part of the program is devoted to telling the nonprofit’s story.
- Maybe every live or silent auction item sold has a tie to the mission.
- Maybe the benefit auctioneer inserts one-liners like, “Remember, .90 cents of every dollar you donate feeds the homeless.”
I agree with a mission-focus.
But galas also need to be fun. It’s rewarding to hear about improved health care and nutrition for famished kids, but it’s not really “fun.”
It’s satisfying to hear about reductions in heart attacks, but it’s not really “fun.”
These mission-based statistics make me feel good, but they aren’t “fun.”
Yet when people have fun, you can get them to eagerly engage in activities they ordinarily may not like to do. They’ll pick up trash … recycle bottles … reduce their car speed … exercise. They’ll do all sorts of things if they have fun while they are doing it.
For proof that we’ll do almost ANYTHING if it’s fun, watch this video before reading the rest of the post. It’s one video of a series from a project by Volkswagen called “The Fun Theory.”
If we incorporate fun activities into your gala, you’ll raise more money. And by “fun activities,” I don’t mean “wild crazy party.” That’s not typically constructive to the larger goal of your organization.
But I do mean things like auction games, interesting raffles, competitive activities … all of those are fun at galas.
Over 20 of these activities are taught in my new video tutorial course called “Charity Auction Bells & Whistles, auction games, raffles and activities that make money while guests make merry.” (Note: We change programs every so often, and this program is no longer available. Check out the “Store” for what’s current.)