By Shannon Eason, Fundraising Auctioneer  

One thing Covid times have taught us is to be adaptable. The tried and true fundraising structure may need a refresh for your audience. This article will hopefully provide you a few ideas of what we call “revenue enhancers.”

Revenue enhancers can supplement or even replace some of the traditional fundraising elements you may have used in the past. The typical event has a silent auction, a paddle raise, maybe a live auction, and a raffle of some sort. Want to hear some new ideas? Stay with me here….

Our crowds are excited to be back in person and want to be engaged and active. How about some physical revenue enhancers? Ok, I’m not talking about a push-up contest or burpees. Just three quick ones that come to mind: 

1) Instead of the standard wine pull, how about a wine toss? Think back to carnival days and how you would toss rings for stuffed animals? You can have both wine and a variety of alcohol bottles that have been donated from a Committee or Board Meeting. 

2) Looking for a new creative idea for your gift certificates? How about a punch wall with the certificates hidden behind the wall? So fun and some of those holes can have certificates that say “try again” and they punch through another hole. 

3) You know how people love to shoot hoops at the arcade! How about bringing in one of the arcade games and having people toss to win? 

Have you been offering a “Best of Live” auction raffle and undoubtedly, the winner always picks your most expensive trip or experience? Try our new GOLDEN TICKET RAFFLE! The winner can select from four trips/experiences or a case of Tuscan wine. You sell 100 tickets for $100 each with a gross of $10,000. The trip costs you $2,000 so you net $8,000 on this revenue generator resulting in a win-win for your organization. AND, you are still selling 100% of your live auction items. This keeps your expense of the Golden Ticket locked in, instead of losing a $4,000 puppy or an $8,000 trip to Paris. I love this raffle and we are seeing success all across the board. Rarely have any of our clients not sold their 100 tickets. And in the worst case scenario you only sell 50 of them, you still make $3,000 (that’s a pretty good worst case scenario if you ask me!) We’d love to give you more details on this one!

Speaking of live auctions, are you missing an item that brings the “WOW” factor? Are most of your donations repeated every year and you want something new and different? Don’t count out the opportunity to fill any gaps with a consignment item. In October, I had the opportunity to sell multiples on one consignment live auction item that resulted in a NET to the organization for over $88,000!!!!! Another organization saw a NET of over $20,000 by selling multiples of ONE LIVE AUCTION ITEM!!!! Yes, it’s easy and doable and we’d love to show you how a consignment can be a great add-on feature to your live auction.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to end the evening on a high note and celebrate the generosity of the night. We have a great last sweep of the room that has been tremendously successful by everyone turning in their paddles (giving a small donation) for the chance to win a prize. We promote it as “reduce, reuse and recycle” that paddle! For details on any of these ideas, please feel free to reach out to any of our Raising Paddles team members and we’d love to help.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are surrounded by your loved ones this season!