►Don’t Risk Your RevenueJuly 18, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Whether you’re the Development Director of a non-profit or a volunteer on the planning committee for a gala fundraiser, you’ve got hundreds of decisions hanging over you.
Buffet or sit-down dinner?
Cocktail or black tie?
Band for background, or dancing?
Online silent auction or traditional?
All of these decisions affect your event, it’s true. But if the money matters, then give at least as much weight to your choice to conduct the fundraising.
That’s a big choice. A weighty choice. A choice with ramifications, no doubt. So you’re not just asking someone. If it was that simple, it’d be no big deal. In fact, if your choice didn’t really matter, you might look to cut costs, perhaps even look for someone to do this for (gasp!) free.Since this particular event (this event you’ve worked on for months) only happens 1 Night, Once-a-Year…well, everything, EVERYTHING, is riding on that person, that night.
No, what you’re really doing is entrusting the financial outcome of your event to one individual.
I talked before about what “the free guy” will cost you. There are fantastic ways to involve your Board president, the DJ, the TV news anchor, or a celebrity in your program. Those well meaning folks can leverage their personalities and knowledge of the crowd in a support role (check out 9 Ways to Use Your “Talents”), but it pays to entrust your one shot at revenue raising to a career professional trained in both specific fundraising techniques and auction psychology.
Keep asking questions until you find the auction professional you trust, and remember, there are many ways to compensate auctioneers. Yes, fundraising specialists earn their living consulting and performing for your benefit. But they are the only ones MAKING money for you that night. The band, the food, the decorations are necessary, but return little for your dollars out.
The right auctioneer will net you 3-10x return on your investment!