This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT REASON to Hire A Professional Auctioneer
A professional auctioneer is the ONLY item in your budget can actually pay for itself
Generally, any money that is spent on your event takes away from the cause or special need. While expenses are necessary to great a successful event – such as a great venue, great food, a celebrity, a high impact speaker and an amazing stage band, a professional auctioneer should actually add money for the charity.
It is the auctioneer who controls the highest impact dollar generating for your event. He or she will be responsible for getting your audience fully engaged to spend as much as possible thru selling the bigger ticket items as well as your fund-a-need request. The live auction/fund-a-need portion of your program typically comprises 66% of your total fundraising intake. Statistics show that silent auction items garner 70% of their actual value, while live auction items will get as much as 150% of their true value, sometimes astronomically more. Your live auction not only brings the most money, but it also brings the most value based on what items are worth.
Why is the live auction so valuable?
The live auction part of the program becomes a friendly game of competition amongst your donors. How your auctioneer manages this engagement is the difference between an average return on auction (ROA) and the potential of doubling, even tripling your efforts.
You may assume here we are simply talking about the stage performance of the auctioneer, but that is only a small percentage of a professional benefit auctioneer’s impact to your live auction. The impact of your benefit auctioneer begins months before your event, as much as a year in advance. By hiring a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist, you will receive many other benefits that ensure maximum success of your event. Below are some of these benefits, and should be considered when you assess the value of paying for a professional benefit auctioneer.
Year-Round Coaching and Consulting
Once you hire a benefit auctioneer, you have gained access to a trove of valuable information on the ways other fundraisers have exceeded their fundraising goals. Because the number of benefit auctioneers in the U.S. are less than 300, this collective group of professionals are a tight community, and provide continuous peer mentorship for each other through webinars, certification classes, ongoing training, and one-on-one coaching.
Each year, this group of professionals maintain their certification by attending training sessions that allow interaction and dialogue on what is working best in the fundraising arena. There is no question that goes unanswered, and each time we get together, I receive over 100+ ideas from fellow benefit auctioneers that can be implemented at your next event.
Why is this important?
Because the best way to increase your fundraising each year is to keep things fresh. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results!
One of the more valuable services a benefit auctioneer provides is hosting a workshop for your committee members and/or volunteers. The purpose of this workshop is to galvanize your volunteer efforts, and getting their full buy-in to your event planning. While some volunteers will do most of the heavy lifting, having everyone on the same page is crucial to your event’s success. Keep in mind that many of your volunteers will change from year to year, and need exposure to high level understanding of the nuances of hosting a successful fundraiser. Attending only one workshop will open the minds of your entire team to greater expectations of success, and allow for better utilization of the right strategies for your event.
For example, how many silent auction items do we need? How much should we charge for tickets to the event? What are the best raffle strategies? Every workshop I have participated in has been a huge success, creating renewed momentum for each year’s event.
Have you ever been in a meeting where your committee can’t come up with a consensus on an important topic? It is easy to get stuck, especially when the room is full of folks who don’t do this every day for a living and who are already pulled in many directions. As a benefit auctioneer, I can participate in and facilitate committee meetings, and help you get ‘unstuck’.
Spending time with thousands of donors over the years, has afforded me the opportunity to understand what it takes to get the right attendees to your event. Everything from the dinner menu to the number of auction items are part of a strategic formula that equates to fundraising success. These strategies are not only effective for the night of the event, but for long term donor development as well.
Item Acquisition Support
A Benefit Auctioneer has access to high impact live auction items that will bring you the best success to your event. Through my fellow peers who are benefit auctioneers, we share access to live auction items that may not be easily accessible in your area. For example, a ski trip may easy to obtain in Colorado, but it will sell much better in Chicago than Colorado, since attendees at a Colorado event already likely have access to ski discounts, and local accommodations. A benefit auctioneer can help you build an exciting list of items tailored to your audience that will get them excited and motivated to bid early and often!
Design and Conduct a Winning Fund-a-Need Strategy
Charities have found the Fund-A-Need to be one of the most impactful parts of their event or benefit. But the Fund A Need portion should be implemented correctly and at the right time in your program. A benefit auctioneer will easily double, triple, or even quadruple your results in this emotionally charged part of your event program.
Whether it is training for your volunteers who serve as “spotters” during the live auction, or providing professionally trained “spotters”, the benefit auctioneer knows the importance of having actively engaged “spotters” in the crowd to help draw the bidders attention, and ultimately more bidding. A professional “spotter”, or what we call “floor auctioneers”, will more than pay for themselves as they can negotiate with bidders, clarify their bids, and bring an extra layer of entertainment to the live auction. Should you choose to use volunteers, the benefit auctioneer provides training to make sure they understand the process of bid-calling, bid-accepting, and bid-closing.
In summary, your auctioneer should not be another event expense. Your auctioneer is on the other side of the balance sheet to pay for the event and bring long-term success to your organization.