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Big Tickets, Big Cash

March 18, 2014
It can be intimidating for any non-profit organization, no matter the size, to ask for larger donations. Smaller and mid-sized organizations in particular can feel intimidated to try and add zeroes to the end of donation checks. But there is only one way to get bigger donations: Ask for bigger donations.

Since we pair with organizations all the time to offer vacation auction packages sold on consignment, we hear the objections all the time, the thinking from some groups that their donors donít have the money to be able to bid on a trip. Our response is fairly straight-forward: Give your donors a chance. Just ask!

In order to do so confidently, it can help to remember these three factors that any organization has in its favor:
  • These people like you. A charity auction at a gala or other fundraising event is a celebration of like minds, brought together by a single passion or outlook on life. It is your organization, your passion, which is driving that room. These are not strangers, they are not people on the other ends of cold calls, but your non-profitís friends. If you canít ask your friends for help, who can you ask?
  • Shopping lists can line up with auction lists. Unlike a straight donation, a charity auction comes with its own tangible reward. Beyond the satisfaction of helping a group do good, donors can also win memorabilia, dinners and even the trip of a lifetime. Maybe itís a proud parent who was looking for a graduation gift for a daughter or son. Maybe itís an anniversary surprise. No matter what the reason, your donors may be in the market for a vacation Ė and surely theyíd like to help your non-profit at the same time.
  • All it takes is an excuse. Itís impossible to force someone to donate money. Strong-arming someone into opening his or her wallet is not charity. But, it can be easier for a person to donate more money if thereís a secondary reason behind it, or an incentive as big as a ticket to the Grammys, a ski weekend in the Canadian Rockies or just a much-needed vacation. Giving people another impetus to donate can loosen up pockets.
The biggest plus about consignment selling is that there is no risk to the organization. If a trip doesnít sell, it doesnít sell. But like the oddly-philosophical Wayne Gretzky once said, ďyou miss 100 percent of the shots that you donít take.Ē