Last year I ran a course called Easy First Auctions. It was designed to help nonprofits launch an auction correctly so they avoid volunteer burnout. I could have just as honestly promoted it by writing, “Here are the elements your auction should include in the early years, so you don’t get a divorce.”
(Intrigued? The DVD of that class is available here.)
Auctions put enormous stress on school volunteer chairs. Though I’ve talked about this extensively in my Profitable Auction Blueprint™ course, I haven’t spent any time addressing it on my blog. Until today.
It’s easy to focus on the glamorous side of the benefit auction. “We’re raising money!” “We’re throwing a fun party!” From the outside, those are positive elements to focus on. Personally, I know my clients pay me for the energy I carry into an event, and likewise, YOUR committee will be inspired by YOUR energy in the planning stages. Focusing on the rah-rah is necessary.
But even us benefit auctioneers fall into this trap of only talking about the niceties. We’ll show photos of the gorgeous venue we worked. The extravagant decorations. A smiling high-profile or celebrity guest. It’s easy to make it look like all wine and roses on Facebook.
The unspoken side is that the personal demands of chairing a school auction — full-fledged in all its glory — can be enormous. Time and time again I’ve heard an auction chair say, “I can’t ever do this again. My husband told me he’d divorce me.”
With that, I present my video today.
(This is why I poured hours of research into my Easy First Auctions class, designed for groups that haven’t a clue of how to run an auction, but have an inkling that they might want to dip their toe in the water. See, when you’ve got a limited volunteer force and are trying to figure all this auction stuff out, I think it’s stupid to spend your time on elements that don’t generate maximum income. The stress is already high and you’re a volunteer … do what you’re happy with and be done with it.)