I suspect many auction planners consider their auction catalog to be a necessary evil. It might be viewed as a “must do” because allowing advertising in the piece is one of the few sponsorship benefits a company or individual receives for investing in the fundraiser. Others see it as a vehicle for sharing information about the nonprofit, describing the auction items, or even as a place to hold less interesting content, such as benefit auction rules or checkout procedures.
But catalogs (or “programs,” as some groups call them) can be used more strategically, if a bit of thought is put into them.
Every so often — usually when I’ve developed a mad case of deep cleaning my house — I’ll pull together collections of auction catalogs and offer them for sale on my website to get them out of my home. People love them! Those programs offer a wonderful way to see how other groups are organizing their fundraisers.
Flipping through a catalog is a bit like being a fly on the wall of someone else’s gala. You don’t get to eat the food or bid on items, but you can be inspired with ideas that will usually encourage you to change your own gala a bit.
In today’s video, I show you two catalogs from events I worked this fall. You’ll see how each group — one being a Texas public school foundation and the other a New Jersey senior resource center — used similar concepts in different ways to encourage guests to take their program home and use it.
Are you putting anything “extra” into your benefit auction catalog that is similar to these organizations?
If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve done that is unique.
In the video, I mention that getting guests to take home your catalog can start to help you with sponsorships.
Do you want to bring in more money via event sponsorships?
I have a highly-rated webinar that teaches you how to enrich your sponsorship program. In it, you’ll see countless examples of how my clients have thought “outside the box” to use sponsors creatively at their auctions.
When you start using fresh approaches to showcase your sponsors (and by the way, sponsors do NOT want tickets to your auction! That is NOT a good benefit for them!) you’ll build stronger relationships with them.
A solid sponsorship program can add $1000s of dollars to your event revenue. And I’m not kidding, even a little bit.
Learn about Sold Out Event Sponsorships.
And if you’ve got ideas on how to personalize a catalog, post those below.