Since starting my company over a decade ago, I've observed several types of bidders. In this post, I'm describing my live auction bidder archetypes. These are a tad tongue-in-cheek. Even so, I suspect you'll recognize some of your guests from among these descriptions. (I'll zero in on some archetypes in upcoming posts.) Remember that most guests at your gala are not going to participate in the live auction. Usually just 10% to 20% of your crowd is active in the live auction; the
These are real fundraising auction donations that have been sold by nonprofits. Vasectomy Vaginal tightening Various cosmetic surgery, cosmetic procedures, and diagnostics (e.g. injections, tummy tucks, impotence evaluation) Fertility treatment (IVF) I'm fairly certain that every donation received made the gala chair wince, followed by a "How am I going to sell this" moment. Though I have sold these types of donations in live auctions, they don't belong there. First,
Human psychology factors into fundraising auctions in many ways. The fear of loss propels a bidder to bid. Smart pricing strategies in a raffle influence how many tickets will be sold. Properly structured silent auction bid sheets generate 10% to 30% higher sales. Well-written auction donation request letters secure more "yes" responses than "no" responses. Using a proper method to properly close a silent auction generates higher sales on the most popular items. (E.G. Create an
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.
Two weeks ago while interviewing Lori Jacobwith about storytelling (Awesome call, by the way. Use all of her tips in planning your next Fund a Need), I asked her if there was a "right" number of stories to include in a fundraising event. Lori had a solid answer -- five. She explained what each story should do and who should tell it. (You can get details in our free call.) I commented that I often get a similar question -- "How many items should we sell in our live auction?" or "What's the