A close friend of mine was tasked with an exciting new initiative: to run a first-ever fundraising auction for the nonprofit where she worked. In an effort to “diversify” their revenue streams, a board member had suggested an auction, after seeing another nonprofit across town raise “gobs of money” during a recent effort. After doing careful research and putting nearly two months of effort into it, the big day arrived.
The auction was a total flop. Barely anyone made bids online or otherwise. Relations with local businesses had to be patched up after their auction items went unclaimed. The Monday-morning-quarterbacking began in earnest. My basic estimation, the auction can work, but not necessarily for every nonprofit.
So what should you know before heading into your own fundraising auction? How do you know if it will appeal to your supporters? What are the best practices for pulling off a successful effort?
Join #fundchat on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 12-1 p.m. EST for, “Going Once, Going Twice…Sold? How Fundraising Auctions Can Work For Your Nonprofit.”
Here’s what to do:
- Share this post with your social networks! Invite your colleagues to join the conversation.
- Suggest questions that we should ask during the chat to guide the discussion (use the comments section below).
- Participate in the conversation. Don’t forget to follow and use the hashtag. You can also use our live discussion page.
This week’s question line-up to guide our conversation (a new question posted every 10 minutes during the hour-long chat):
- Do fundraising auctions work well for certain types of nonprofits and why?
- What are the key ingredients for a successful charity auction?
- Fundraising auctions aren’t worth it because of high overhead. Discuss…
- How do you get the “right people” to attend your charity auction? Especially those that don’t already support you?
- What tools or tips do you recommend for online auctions to benefit your nonprofit?
- Possible bonus question this week!
#fundchat is a weekly conversation on Twitter where experts share and discuss topics related to nonprofit fundraising and marketing. Joining #fundchat is a snap. Just use our live discussion page to follow the conversation. When you want to offer a comment or question, the form will auto-fill the hashtag for you. Alternatively, you can use your favorite Twitter client to follow the hashtag (#fundchat!) during 12 – 1 pm EDT to see the conversation in action. When chiming in, be sure to include the hashtag in your tweet.