One of the first questions we have when we start consulting with an organization is, “Which should we do first, the live auction or the Fund A Need?” That’s like saying, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Ask any auctioneer and you’ll probably get a different answer on which to do first. One thing we know for sure…no matter which you do first, do it intentionally with a Mission Moment preceding the FAN. Whether you call it a Fund A Need, Mission Moment, Call to Action, or Special Appeal, it’s important to set it up for success with a touching video or testimonial.

But wait, let’s back up with a few tips on your Run of Show….There are many ways to run the event, but this is a simple timeline that has been successful for many events.

1) Welcome your attendees and thank sponsors

2) Dinner (Preset salads and desserts is ideal)

3) Live Auction starts during desert

4) Mission Video

5) Fund A Need

6) Any special remarks, recognition or awards

7) Thank you’s

A few things to keep in mind….

If you have someone that is speaking, call them “remarks” and let them know you have them scheduled for 3-5 minutes. Don’t tell them they have around 10 minutes or you’ll end up with a speaker going “rogue”. Make sure you are giving them the detailed timeline with their time slot clearly identified. They will realize you’re really serious on your schedule.

Do not wait until the end to do your fundraising. Some guests will leave and others will be worn out and disengaged.

 Remember that every minute is money. If your goal is 200,000 and your event starts at 7:00 and ends at 9:30, you have 150 minutes to hit your goal. That means that every minute is worth $1,333. Does that seem crazy? It makes you analyze: What items are making you money during the run of show? Performances? Bands? Speakers?

You have a specific amount of time to make your budget and hit your goal…so don’t fill your timeline with “filler”. Every minute needs to be intentional.


We’re happy to supply sample templates of Run of Shows and Scripts if that’s helpful. Please feel free to reach out to any of our team. Happy Fundraising!