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►Best Auction Items

August 28, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

This article made me smile!

I am always telling both nonprofit committees and auctioneers in the BOOTCAMP class I teach about the Best Categories for Auction Items, in order of desirability.

While most committees think they need to “get stuff” for the auction, in fact, “stuff” (physical items) often hasn’t the lowest potential for selling above retail value, because we all have enough “stuff” already, and we can all find out what “stuff” costs with a quick check of our phones.

But experiences? Experiences – whether exclusive, travel, attendance, pampering, indoor, outdoor, solo or group – experiences mean memories, the joy of human life.

And, according to this article http://qz.com/255963/another-reason-to-spend-money-on-experiences-rather-than-things-the-positive-benefits-of-anticipation/ research suggests that auction attendees will actually enjoy spending money more due to anticipation of a future experience!

anticipation of an experience is more exciting and pleasant than the anticipation of a material purchase—regardless of the price of the purchase”

So, ask your Professional Benefit Auctioneer to help you brainstorm unique experiences for this year’s gala, and up the anticipation (and excitement) for your guests.

Oh, and after Experiences, what are the other Best Categories for Auction Items, in order of desirability?

1. Experiences

2. Food and Wine

3. Travel Near and Far

4. Entertainment

5. Pampering

6. “Stuff” (tangible items whose value is readily found online)

Go get creative! Call me for help 🙂

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Silent auctions

►Live Auctions and Opening Bids

November 21, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Flummoxed about where to start live auction bidding?

Today one of the fabulous auctioneers who has attended my “BOOTCAMP for Benefit Auctioneers” course e-mailed me with this question:

There is much debate on “starting” bids at B&C (benefit & charity) auctions.  In commercial auctions we start where we think the FMV (fair market value) is….come down till we get a bid….and go till they stop.  I have used this technique in B&C’s but some people start way low and get more people involved.  I am really curious to get your perspective.  And….do you do it different if there is a minimum….consigned item?

If you’ve attended even one live auction, I bet you’ve wondered as each item is being described, “I wonder where the bidding is going to open?”

At your charity fundraising gala, many people in your audience have that question too! Attendees often come up to me at the Live Auction Preview Table and ask, “What’s the opening bid for this package?” My typical response is, “Well, it’s my job to help you win this item. Where would you like it to start?”

Where each live auction package opens for bidding sets the tone for fundraising. One school of thought says to open the bidding at a low level (10-35% of retail value) in hopes of getting more bidders to jump in and get caught up in the auction excitement. If the bidding starts low and doesn’t quickly get a bunch of bids, however, what does that say to the crowd?? It might be sending the message, no-one-wants-this-item, no-one-is-bidding, this-is-a-fire-sale-not-a-fundraiser.  Not the tone you want to set. On the other hand, if the audience perceives the opening bid to be so high that no one raises a bid card, you risk losing the auction participation and momentum.

Where to start the bidding on your charity gala’s live auction packages is a top concern faced by every similar event, and it’s why you want to trust your auction to a licensed, professional auctioneer who’s got both experience and specific fundraising training. A volunteer board member, DJ, or TV personality trying to be your auctioneer probably didn’t devote 90 minutes prior strategically gathering info at the Live Auction table, and he or she has much less experience with auction psychology, reading the crowd on the fly and knowing by instinct when to keep asking for a dollar amount and when to change things up.

I personally don’t like the technique used in commercial auctions of stating the retail price (fair market value) and quickly coming down (“Let’s start the bid at $5000, $5000 where, gimme $1000 and go…”). I’m not a fan of it when I attend an auction, and I think it’s confusing to a novice, non-auction savvy audience. Benefit audiences are on the whole unsure about the live auction bidding process, so I am always careful to be clear, easily understood, easy to follow and inviting to all.

I replied to my colleague that I honestly decide where to open each live auction package after I chat with all the attendees during the preview time. By then I know how much interest there is in each package and how much folks are expecting to pay. I auction by gut and by perceived value. For things $1000 and below, I often open at retail, but the values aren’t published, so I’m opening where I expect the crowd to join me. If it’s a private chef dinner for 6, then that certainly sounds more prestigious and inviting than $300 (the retail value) so I’d start at $300 and expect to go up. For items more in the $2K-$10K range, most of the time I open at 35-50%.

I rarely have to deal with consignment (items that aren’t donated but are a cost to the charity) because I don’t encourage it, but for that headliner consignment cost trip I follow the same as above typically: start at cost if the payback amount is $1000 or below, and for higher cost consignment items (some packages can require a payback cost of $5000-$10K or more!) I start below the minimum and take my chances. Auctioning items with high minimum required payback costs is nerve-wracking and not for the inexperienced DJ or Board member to try!!

Because auctioning items with a consignment payback cost always has the risk the bidding falling off and not reaching the minimum amount needed to sell it, I work with my clients to get a commitment in writing for how they want me to handle it if a consignment item doesn’t hit the minimum. As the auctioneer, I can either pass the item (awkward!), keep asking (and asking and asking and asking..UGH!) or disclose there’s a price below which I can’t sell it. Since none of those are very good options, I encourage the groups I work with to strive for 100% donated auction items. You keep all the money with none of the potential headaches and hassles. But, to do or not to do consignment is a whole ‘nother discussion, so let’s wrap this up by sharing how my colleague responded to the reply I sent him:

I think I will change my practice here.  That makes so much sense….and I do like to work off the cuff so to speak and change as I determine what the crowd is doing.  You may absolutely use the question and my name if you like.

Thanks Jenelle.

No, thank you, David Runte of Worstell Auction Company in Texas, for spurring a valuable discussion and helping so many groups raise more money!

Categories: Auctioneers, Consulting, Live Auctions

►”Big things. Big. Huge.”

September 3, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

 

Book Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley

What will YOU do when you become a Key Person of Influence in the industry you love?

So many exciting things are happening in my life since last May, and it started with a 1-Day business seminar in Tampa called “Key Person of Influence.”

I am thrilled to be accepted into such an incredibly high-achieving group of professionals, and during this 7-month journey we are going to manifest some crazy, ridiculous, industry-changing new developments. The wheels are already in motion to debut services for nonprofits and auctioneers that I have been dreaming about offering for more than six years.

Stay with me, folks. Big things are coming. Big. Huge.

 

Entrepreneurs, the 1-day KPI seminar can change your life. I took 15 pages of notes, met founder Daniel Priestley, and leaned in. Get your own goosebumps at http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/usa/. Dates coming up in Tampa and Orlando.

 

 

Categories: About GALA GAL, Charity, GALA GAL Case Study

►Boost Your Benefit Auction – NEW Book!

August 19, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Cover Photo of new book Boost Your Benefit Auction

Advice for Charity Auctions from 50 Fundraising Auctioneers – New Book

I’ve been busy!

This has been a crazy summer, but this weekend I shipped the first copies of my 4th book!

Wow, was it a great project – challenging, fun, and an awesome end result.

I am so excited to bring this book to market BECAUSE…

there’s seriously never been anything like it.

50 auctioneer contributors.

42 auction companies from across the country.

More than 112 fundraising tips. (I stopped counting at 131!)

ORDER your copy for $29.95 at one of the following secure links:

Books and Seminars for Charities here:http://tinyurl.com/Solutions4Charities

Or (for auctioneers) Resources for Auctioneers here:http://tinyurl.com/Auctioneers-Boost
These shortened URL’s connect to the secure payment processor hosted by GreaterGiving.

 

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Grab Bag, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings, Silent auctions, Technology

►Your Auction is like this Carousel

July 14, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Albany Oregon carousel horse

Heartwarming story of calling in favors and working together creating a memorable, signature brand.

I had to smile at this lovely one-page story in today’s Parade newspaper insert, “Riding High: A Struggling Town Creates a Little Magic.”

I saw so many parallels to charities I work for:

  • affected by the economy
  • needing to reinvent itself
  • it began with one person’s idea
  • folks were skeptical at the start
  • started with only $150!

And I see several inspiring lessons in this uplifting tale:

  • get small parts of your big picture dream sponsored by supporters
  • use every person’s connections to call in favors and ask for whatever you need to be given (‘somebody’s aunt knows somebody’s uncle who comes down to lend a hand.’)
  • as parts of your larger project are completed, promote them around town for visibility
  • encourage lots of people in the community to get involved

If you think of your silent and live auction acquisition plan like this amazing carousel project, you can create an auction event for your guests that is unique to your organization and serves to raise your visibility in the community.

Think about what amazing auction package(s) you can design by calling in favors from your supporters. Your idea might be a behind-the-scenes experience at a sporting event or concert, an amazing private dining event with music, luxury transportation, and fine wines, or a “spa day for six” package. Brainstorm every aspect of the experience you’ll need donated, and then ask everyone to call in favors from folks they already know (no cold-calling required!). As you get great auction items confirmed, promote them on your website, on Twitter updates, and on your Facebook page.

You’ll gradually build support for unusual, creative auction offerings which raise your profile in the community and involve many supporters in your future success.

Categories: Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Sponsors

►Jazz Up Your Save-the-Date Cards!

July 8, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Image of Save the Date card

Creative social media spin on a boring Save the Date card

Do you send a Save-the-Date card to your mailing list? Do you send it as soon as you sign the contract for your venue, or wait until 2-3 months before your big day?

Here’s a great, creative example with a hip nod to our obsession with social media, available on Etsy for $35 http://tinyurl.com/etsysavethedatecard

 

This sample was part of  the “10 Geeky Wedding Invitations” article http://tinyurl.com/geekyinvitations packed with fresh ways to get guests to save your special date on their social calendars.

Check it out, and this year, add some personality to your standard Save-the-Date card.

 

Categories: Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Templates

►Planning Your Fund-a-Need Appeal

July 1, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Fund a Need donation appeal, 5 steps to success

Structuring a Successful Appeal

 

Determine your Fund-a-Need goals. 

    
Do you envision presenting the audience with one group goal, such as building the playground or raising enough to buy the $250,000 piece of hospital equipment? This strategy has the advantage of helping everyone in the audience feel able to contribute, regardless of amount, and works well with handheld bidding technology. Alternatively, some appeals promote several specific levels for donations, and tie these to the mission by explaining what those dollars can provide. For instance, $2500 furnishes a room in our shelter; $1000 provides legal service to a battered woman; $500 provides transportation assistance; $250 funds clothing and necessities.

Prepare the presentation.                            

In order to inspire giving, you need to communicate on an emotional level. Some groups show a video of their programs in action, and others invite a recipient to speak. The most important part of your message, however, must be a compelling story. Statistics rarely motivate people to give, but genuine emotion can. Take note, however, that even the most tragic story must be delivered with a hopeful resolution; your supporters want to feel uplifted by the transformations your services provide.

 

Let people know you will be asking.        

In the weeks leading up to your appeal, ask for commitments from your best supporters. It helps your audience tremendously when a bid card goes up in the air as soon as the auctioneer asks for money. Having donors already identified and ready to start the giving encourages the rest of the audience to join in.

 

Use matching incentives to boost funds.

Ask your major sponsors to offer a challenge match if a goal for dollars raised or number of participants is reached (“ABC Company will donate $10,000 when we raise $10,000”).

Know how you will track the donations.

Will the auctioneer call out bid numbers? Is there an envelope on the table? Will volunteers be coming around?

Categories: Consulting, Event Logistics, Other Money Makers

►Dine Around the World auction idea

June 24, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
image of the world

Image courtesy of tungphoto/freedigitalphotos.net

One of my favorite ideas is Dine Around the World! Have the Board members or committee gather donations for 12 different types of cuisine, typically gift certificates for $100 or more, and sell it as one delicious culinary adventure anyone will enjoy 🙂

Try any combination, starting with

French, Brazilian, German, Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Greek, Italian, Thai, Chinese, Indian, African, British, Jamacian, Vietnamese, and many other yummy options!

Categories: Charity, Consulting, Live Auctions, Silent auctions

►Selected as a Presenter, Summit 2013

June 13, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Selected as a presenter for the Benefit Auction Summit, National Auctioneers Association (NAA)

We’re celebrating!!

Just got word that the committee for the Benefit Auction Summit chose my session “62 Ways to Create More Prepared, Engaged Bidders”!

This is the only national conference specifically for fundraising auctioneers, and it is a BIG honor to present to such an accomplished group of professionals from across the country.

I’m excited to share the “62 Ways” 90-minute session because it’s all about helping my peers help YOU raise more money. We understand that you only have this 1 night, once a year to host your attendees, so we want to work with you to maximize every way to make it easy for people to spend money!

I’ll be covering

  • 20 ways to create the best Live Auction display tables
  • 22 things your auctioneer can do to help people get excited by the auctions and also
  •  20 things you can do as the non-profit to help your audience come prepared to both attend AND spend.

The best part for you?

All of my GALA GAL clients – the organizations I help with their events – you get all 62 Ways to Create Prepared Bidders included, everyday, as part of our consulting relationship. (If you want this for your event, shoot me an e-mail to check if your date is available here.) You’re the reason I do what I do, and why I’m excited to share these ideas with other high-profile auctioneers across America.

To learn more about what Benefit Auctioneers do when they get together each year, you can find content from the Summit in 2010 (my presentation here), and I’ve shared some takeaways  from the other presenters that year here and 2011 Summit here. Apparently I still have to post notes from last year!

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Board members, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions

►”America’s Worst Charities”

June 10, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Tampa Bay Times

“America’s Worst Charities” June 9, 2013 3-part series

Back in the headlines, and not in a good way.

“America’s Worst Charities” is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Tampa Bay Times and California-based The Center for Investigative Reporting, the nation’s largest and longest serving nonprofit newsroom dedicated to watchdog journalism. CNN joined the partnership in March.

I’m all for investigative journalism, and I agree that this story needs to be told. We all want any unscrupulous groups to be exposed, so that America’s donated dollars go instead to groups where they’ll do the most charitable good.

We’ve talked about this before, however, lamenting the possibility that today’s overwhelmed reader takes in the negative sound bite “worst charities” without putting the headlines in context. This year-long series focuses on 50 of  5,800 groups identified nationwide that spend the majority of funds raised on expenses rather than causes. It’s great information that’s important to expose…but there are 1.6 million nationally registered non-profits (and nearly 200,000 congregations), so those 5,800 offenders represent about 1/3 of 1% of America’s charities.

I wish there was such sensational press coverage about the more than 99.6% of known non-profits striving to do the right thing with donors’ dollars. The article says,

“several watchdog organizations say charities should spend no more than 35  percent of the money they raise on fundraising expenses”

Many of you have expenses much, much less than 35% of your intake.

All the more reason for you to tell your amazing story. Share where donated dollars go via your website, Facebook, Twitter, and annual reports. Take 10 minutes to get the Guidestar Valued Partner badge and issue a press release!

You’re out there killing yourself to raise money so you can feed more families, clothe more kids, finally find a cure. It’s okay – no, it’s imperative – that you take time to share your story. We can’t let the bad press be America’s soundbite.

Categories: Board members, Charity, Consulting

►First-time Event Done Right, 12 Do’s

May 22, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

You may have heard that I got invited to Paradise Island, The Bahamas (made famous by the Atlantis mega-resort) to do an auction last month.

The Purple Paws Live Auction was a first-time event, and yet it was a smashing success, exceeding all expectations and likely to double in revenue generated next year.

Here are 12 of the many things the BAARK! all-volunteer team did so right:

  1. Awesome Chairperson.  Passionate about the cause, well connected, and tenacious.
  2. Get businesses to underwrite major costs and write sponsor checks. 
  3. Get help from an auction consultant on item descriptions, displays, order of sale, the evening’s timing, volunteer roles, etc. Sarah used the AUCTION! book I sent her, and we talked extensively in e-mails and phone conferences.
  4.  Venue with appeal.  Use committee and sponsor connections to get the place folks have heard about but never had the chance to see.
  5. Sold-out event. Start with a small venue so you can sell out, and use Facebook and social media to really push ticket sales. If you don’t have a mailing list or Facebook Fan Page with hundreds of folks yet, build THAT first. 
  6. Auction items matched to your guests. Nothing random. Each item specifically sought after because of its broad appeal to the attendees. Plan before you ask.
  7. 100% donations. For a first-time event especially, there’s no point in paying for auction items, as that takes your hard-won donor dollars and gives them away.
  8. Prepared Buyers! “Bodies aren’t bidders” we say. Sarah and I made sure that the guests were fully aware of the Live Auction Opportunities and How to Bid, using prior e-blasts, displays, handouts, Power Point, and microphone announcements. 
  9. Zippy Schedule. Keep your guests entertained and attentive, with food, games, Live Auction and Fund-a-Need donations all flowing nicely from one to the next.
  10. Mission Message. The 3-minute video they created was perfect before the Fund-a-Need, showing clearly the huge impact of more dollars and donations.
  11. Event Support. Well trained staff and volunteers add so much to a great guest experience. We all met in person prior to the event to answer questions and build a confident team.
  12. A Gala auctioneer. Truly, a fundraising event NEEDS to be equal parts entertainer, ambassador, and marketer. Not only was the audience laughing and smiling the whole time, but they were reminded to give generously to the cause, and 72% of the Live Auction items sold for more than they were worth.
Your Mission.
Accomplished.
I look forward to the chance to do it again. Maybe with you 🙂 Just shoot me a note.

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, GALA GAL Case Study, Live Auctions, Sponsors

►Don’t Make This Critical Mistake With Your Schedule

May 10, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Clock Face Microsoft Clipart

The Trick You MUST Know About Benefit Auction Timing

Today I got an e-mail from a client stating,

we will be advertising the event as starting at 7pm and ending at 10pm”

“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,” my brain screams, as I scramble to hit the “Reply” button before I read even one word further.

This is one of the MOST important tidbits I share with Benefit Auction clients:  the 30-1 Rule.

 

Here’s my hastily typed plea:

Ooh, ooh, ooh, this is one of those things I must speak up about 🙂

 

If you want people to be engaged in the event between the hours of 7:00-10:00, then you must must must advertise as 6:30-11:00, because people never arrive right when doors open, but 15-20 minutes after, and then have to park, walk, register, etc., so the earliest folks are beginning to engage in the event just before 7, with the majority trickling in AFTER that.

 

And then at the end, people mentally check out of an event when they believe they have experienced all that was included in their ticket price. If we say it runs until 11:00 BUT we internally plan to have all money raised and everything wrapped up by 10:00, then they feel they are getting home “early” and leave with a good impression that we were efficient.

 

If you advertise that the event ends at 10:00, people will be looking to leave by 9:00-9:15, hoping to let the babysitter go early or perhaps to beat the line at valet, and those departures before our event goals are wrapped up can really create a bunch of problems for checkout and put a damper on the evening.

 

Please please please add the 30-minute cushion to the front and 1-hour cushion to the end 🙂 I promise you that doing this will allow us to have guests engaged and content to be in attendance during the “action” hours of 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

 

Jenelle

Categories: Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Other Money Makers

►Sponsor Recognition

March 19, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

What else can you do to thank your event sponsors and cost underwriters besides just listing them in the program?

It’s good to do more, since your guests may never open those programs you spent so many hours (and dollars) on. Since you want your sponsors to feel honored and appreciated, consider adding as many of these other recognition tactics as you can:

  • Offer a Patron Party with auction preview and menu tasting one month prior
  • VIP reception an hour before general admission
  • VIP post-auction reception with gelato, decaf cappuccino and swag bags
  • Give sponsor tables Auction Bucks (incentive bidder credits) for their guests
  • Provide champagne, a dedicated server for the dining table, premier seating
  • Make sponsor thank you foam core boards and place on easels at the entrance
  • Project sponsor logos on the wall
  • Make a Power Point slide show which loops during dinner of sponsor logos
  • Have a parting gift with a sponsor thank you card attached, such as:

Sponsor Thank You card tied with ribbon to some kind of parting gift, like a mini bag of chocolates. This recognition piece might say…

“Please join us in thanking these sponsors for their generosity. When you support them, ______________ benefits!”

or

“Tonight’s festivities made possible by these fine sponsors. Please consider supporting them with your business!”

or

“Thank you for supporting ___________this evening. Please consider patronizing these sponsors who made tonight possible”

 

What other sponsor recognition ideas have you seen? Please share in the comments!

Categories: Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Sponsors

►Donation Card Designing

March 15, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of Jenelle Taylor GALA GAL

A benefit auctioneer should conduct your Donation Appeal

I was talking with a fundraising auctioneer pal yesterday about “donation cards” – the little cards that are either placed at each seat or peeking out of the program.

 

As your fundraising consultants, benefit auctioneers work with you to raise the most money for your cause. Donation cards are one option, but that approach lacks both urgency and peer encouragement. Your guests might never pick up that donation card, or may take it home with good intentions and no follow through.

Since auctioneers know how to handle a microphone and a stage, we are always going to recommend a traditional “direct appeal”, meaning a well planned part of your evening with an inspiring testimonial and the call to the “raise your paddle”.

In fact, a structured, auctioneer-led ask routinely raises $20,000, $60,000, $100,000 and up with professional auctioneers across the country. Whether you call it Fund a Need, Fund a Cure, Fund a Cause, Paddle Raise, Call for Donations, Cash Call, Donation Appeal, Direct Appeal, Planned Appeal, Bid to Give, or any other name, we believe that nothing connects your mission to your audience more than a straightforward but tactful conversation with your supporters, all working together toward a common financial goal. Then, when you add in Challenge Matches and similar giving incentives…the Paddle Raise concept is very hard to best.

However, if for whatever reason you still want to stick to donation cards on the table, I did a Google Image search of Donation Card and found tons of examples to help you plan and design! Check them out here: http://tinyurl.com/DonationCardSamples

Categories: Auctioneers, Charity, Consulting, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers

►Voting with Dollars – Genius Quick Tip!

March 14, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Image Credit depositphotos.com

Does your event have a contest component where guests “vote with dollars” such as a costume contest or dance contest?

 

Typically, guests purchase lengths or bundles of tickets, and then they “vote” by putting tickets into containers (paper bags, glass bowls) for their favorite contestants. As the night goes on, they can purchase tickets again and again to help a particular candidate win with the largest number of tickets.

(As a side note, the same process works for the Bucket Chance to Win, previously called Chinese Raffle.)

 

So, hundreds of people have been piling tickets into containers for hours, and now you have to quickly count them up to announce the winner. What if you have a bunch of contestants and tons of tickets? How can you count all that super fast, you ask?

 

Thanks to seasoned Orlando fundraiser and Femmes de Coeur President Judy Conrad for the solution:  Borrow a super-sensitive and perfectly calibrated gold measuring scale from a local jeweler…and simply compare ticket weights to find the winner, no counting necessary!

 

GENIUS! Thanks, Judy 🙂

Categories: Consulting, Event Logistics, Grab Bag, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings

►Get the AUCTION! bible, 1 Week Sale!

March 1, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Cover image of the 250-page Charity Auction Manual called AUCTION! The 98 Solutions to Every Charity Auction Challenge by GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor CAI BAS

Write-in workbook to plan your Benefit Auction, step-by-step, used by Professional Fundraising Auctioneers and their clients across the country

Save $100 off the regular online price! It’s the March Madness sale at GALA GAL, so snatch up your 250-page AUCTION! manual by March 7th, 2013. Get “The 98 Solutions to Every Charity Auction Challenge” at your fingertips.

Read a detailed and helpful “Questions to Ask” excerpt here, and just shoot me a message with your e-mail and I’ll send you our mailing address for a check, use a credit card via secure server with discount code Sale49 here.

                 This is the first sale since last July (8 months ago!) so get your copy now 🙂

Money-back guarantee of course.

Categories: Board members, Charity, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings, Silent auctions, Templates

►How’s Your Charity’s Reputation?

February 27, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
What Are They Saying About You?

Protect your charity’s reputation with the public

What’s the public perception about non-profit organizations, and, by extension, your non-profit?

Yesterday’s headline on Slate.com “Why America’s Charities Are So Uncharitable”  http://tinyurl.com/YourCharity immediately tightened my stomach. ‘Arrgh, bad press,’ I thought, worried before I’d even read a word. Arguably, that’s part of the problem. Is it possible, even likely, that thousands (or millions) of Americans will read only that headline?

How can you proactively address any negative press about charities and turn it to your advantage?

In the text, author Ken Stern (long-time nonprofit executive) comments on the number of nationwide charities (1.1 million, not counting congregations) and the sometimes questionable causes the IRS approves for 501(c)3 status. He sees problems with lost revenue, increased competition, and yes, damage to the public perception of non-profits in general. He provides several examples of nonprofit organizations which seem to be benefiting their profit margins more than the public good.

“When so much of the American charitable sector seems so uncharitable, it is perhaps time we remind ourselves what a charity is really supposed to be.”

So, what can you do to protect and enhance your charity’s reputation?

Show and tell your story:  the behind-the-scenes actions you are taking, impacts you are making, lives you are changing. Get photos onto your Facebook page (several times a week!), put 1-2 minute video clips up on YouTube, and write longer content on your web pages.

Want to earn the public trust? Show and tell your way to greater visibility and transparency. If you don’t, those supporter dollars could go to another organization.

Categories: Consulting

►Google says ‘Content is King’

February 19, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Image credit skookummonkey.com

Your mission. Your good works. Your non-profit org.

Without a doubt, Google IS the key to getting found online, and it’s about to get easier for you! After years of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tricks, industry buzz says Google ranking methods have changed.

According to Geekless Tech blogger Alex Clifford,

Google is ranking people by who has the best content. They’re trying to put the best content at the top. Now you’re in a battle with your competitors to create the best content! There are no more underhanded tricks (and if there were Google will soon eliminate them).

The 2 pillars of Content Marketing Optimization (CMO)?

  1. More “long form content” means adding longer, meaty, helpful and valuable text to your website
  2. More “rich media content” means photos and videos

Read the brief article here http://geeklesstech.com/step-aside-seo-you-need-to-think-about-cmo-now/, including a great resource of 11 content optimization tips from Jason Acidre.

Write something fresh (and in depth) about what amazing things your org is doing this month. And don’t forget to boost your visibility with VISUALS.

See you online!

 

Categories: Consulting, Technology

►It Pays – Awesome Live Auction Donated Experience!

August 8, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

How partnering with a true fundraising auctioneer pays

Image of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s Parade Tickets are an Awesome Auction Item!

So excited to find out that one of my groups scored Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade passes from a lead I shared with them during our consultation!

That’s right, on September 15th we’ll get to find out which lucky folks will be in the heart of iconic Manhattan for the chance-of-a-lifetime viewing of The Rockettes!! Oh, and the balloons, of course, and the celebrities, the excitement, the Instagram photos…

And as exciting as it will be to see who donates the most and ends up the high bidder, it’s JUST AS EXCITING to be the auctioneer who gets to deliver to good news, “SOLD! You did it! You’re the winner!”

I’m delighted for them, for all the attendees who will witness the excitement, and for the Alzheimer caregivers and their families who will benefit from the funds raised from this 100% pure donation.

Yep, it pays to partner with a professional. I love my job!

P.S. Want to place a reserve bid on these Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade passes? E-mail me at Info@GalaGal.com and I’ll get you the absentee bid form or online link 🙂

Categories: Auctioneers, Charity, Consulting, Live Auctions

►Don’t Risk Your Revenue

July 18, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Danger Symbol- choose an auctioneer wisely

Don’t Risk Your 1-Night, Once-a-Year Event with just any Auctioneer

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. (more…)

Categories: Auctioneers, Board members, Consulting, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers