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Mythbusters 5!

December 05, 2018
Do you feel lost when someone says “fundraising auction”? Are you a veteran planner with that nagging feeling that you could be raising more money at your galas?

On December 18th, our own Senior Vice President Michael Upp will again partner with Kathy Kingston of Kingston Auction Company for the fifth installment of their seminar series, Mythbusters. It’s a free tele-conference where the dynamic fundraising duo lays out some of the “conventional wisdom” of the billion-dollar industry and tells the real story.

Need some examples? Here are a couple of myths they’ve busted in the past.

More is More: Your donors will remember a well-curated auction better than one with a longer list of items. This requires a little more work, in a way; you have to know your audience well enough to know what it’s looking for, you have to expand your horizons in terms of what’s possible, you have to mix up the cost of each item, to make sure to reach everyone, and you have to offer at least one “once in a lifetime” lot, one that will build excitement throughout the evening. But the rewards will be more funds raised and a more memorable night.

Free Auctioneers Save Money: It seems so easy to grab your fastest-talking board member and have them act as auctioneer. It’ll save money too, right? But an auctioneer is so much more than someone to take bids. There’s only one line on your gala budget that, on its own, raises more funds than it costs, and that’s the professional auctioneer. They know when to try and goose the audience for bigger bids, and when to hang back. They know how to present your items in the most appealing way, to get the most money. And they’ve got the kind of public speaking skill to make sure your organization’s story is front and center.

Our Donors Can’t Afford It: A lot of money walks out of the room when you limit your items to only what you think your audience can afford. Give them a chance to surprise you; if you offer them the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime vacation package, for instance, they might be so moved both by the cause and the amazing trip that they’ll dig a little deeper. (And if you use a Mitch-Stuart trip, for instance, then you’re offering it on consignment anyway, meaning you don’t pay for it until a bidder buys it!)

How many of these did you believe? And what else may you be able to improve at your auction? Sign up for Mythbusters 5 and then call in to find out!