Fundraising 101 – Introduction to Raising Funds

Why Have a Benefit Auction?

Benefit auctions help you accomplish a number of important endeavors in one event:

  • They generate a large amount of money in a short time
  • They showcase your organization, cause, and who supports you
  • They cultivate lifelong supporters
  • They allow others besides your staff to make a difference
  • They are FUN!

Set a Fundraising Goal

You have a reason you are raising funds. Is it for something new, operating, or other? What is realistic for your event? The dollars raised at a benefit auction are a factor of the number of people you have in attendance, their ability to spend, and whether you have enough of the “right” items to bid on.

Revenue Sources at a Benefit Auction

A benefit auction has other great revenue sources besides the silent and live auction. Don’t forget to include:

  • Underwriting of particular expenses by companies or individuals
  • Sponsorship with different levels of giving
  • Catalog advertising
  • Admission
  • Sales of whole tables
  • Raffles
  • Games
  • Centerpiece sales
  • Fund-a-Need

What's a Fund-A-Need?

A Fund-A-Need is a mini telethon style public forum where individuals give for a specific need. The Fund-A-Need can often out do the auction. A short emotional appeal can give an audience the motivation it needs to reach deep into their pockets.  And the best part is there are no items to acquire!

Selecting an Event Chair

Attributes of a good event chair include:

  • Leader–Doer–Motivator
  • Connected in the community
  • Convinced of the value and viability of the organization
  • Organized and detail oriented
  • Understands the whole is the sum of the parts
  • Humble–We NOT I
  • Creative Problem Solver
  • Has and will take the time needed
  • Flexible

Developing Committees

Effective Committees:

  • Have a finite piece of the event
  • Have defined duties
  • Understand those duties
  • Have deadlines
  • Work together to share the load
  • Follow through with expectations
  • Maintain regular and open communications
  • Have someone to check in with

Fund Breakers

As you plan your event be aware that first and last impressions can cost you the support of some of your attendees. Below is a list of parts of a benefit auction that can cost you if done poorly, but can make you money if done well. They include:

  • Invitations
  • Registration
  • Room Setup
  • Food
  • Alcohol
  • Schedule
  • Catalog
  • Self Promotion
  • Decorations
  • Check- Out
  • Pick-up
Fundraising Auctions