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►FUBI: Funny, Useful, Beautiful or Inspiring

July 26, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Funny Useful Beautiful Inspiring

Don’t Interrupt – ATTRACT!

As I was preparing my 90-minute presentation on Branding and Marketing for the National Auctioneers Association annual conference, I came across this GREAT article from a cool-looking group: The Emotional Intelligence Agency. Their tagline is, “Be as interesting as the internet.”

In their recent article in Fast Company magazine, they explain how marketing has changed.

The buzz word now is “emotion,” and how to connect in memorable ways with your target audience.

There are “four kinds of emotionally compelling content: funny, useful, beautiful, and inspiring.”

(Read the entire article here)

They condense this to FUBI – an easy thing to remember when planning (or posting) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, You Tube, your website, or anywhere else.

You don’t have to be all of these, and, in fact, you should consider having a different tone on different platforms. Maybe your posts are funny on Twitter, useful on Facebook, and beautiful on Instagram. You might even assign a different person to manage each distinct “voice.”

So, for my presentation, I made this 4-leaf clover image, because if you focus on being funny, or useful, or beautiful, or inspiring with your posts and content, I bet you’ll get luckier with your results.

Categories: Consulting, Grab Bag, Other Money Makers, social media, Technology

►Working Women of Central Florida

July 12, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of speaker Jenelle Taylor

Thanks to Jessica Rivelli from Working Women of Tampa Bay for the invite to speak!

Did you miss it?

I’m happy to speak to your board, your staff, or civic groups like Rotary, Kiwanis or chambers of commerce.

Of course I can talk about auctions, and how to best support the causes you believe in, but some people don’t know that I also speak nationally on branding and marketing.

Things are changing all the time in social media.

Isn’t it time you got some help?

Call me to chat: Jenelle @ 407-791-1360 cell

Categories: About GALA GAL, Consulting, Grab Bag, social media, Technology

►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

►”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

►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

►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

►Sell Your SIZZLE!

July 9, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS

Summer gives me time to catch up on all the reading I wish I made time for during the year. In an October 2011 article in Toastmaster magazine entitled ‘The Elevator Speech,” I saw some good reminders about summing up your essence to get people’s attention.

Why should you care about an Elevator Speech?

Image of Elevator

Elevator Pitch – Sell Your SIZZLE in 1 Minute!

Because every day, your non-profit is competing for the attention – and dollars – of the public. Being able to wow folks with WHAT you do, WHY you do it, and HOW you’re the best will help others see the value in helping you and your cause.

The article (more…)

Categories: Board members, Consulting, Other Money Makers

►Board-erline Frustrated?

July 1, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Photo of GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Avoid this at your non-profit!

Are you frustrated with your Board members?

Are your Board members frustrated with you? or your expectations?

A colleague from NSA-CF (National Speakers Association, Central Florida chapter) recently broached this topic in his newsletter and blog.

You know how they say that

(more…)

Categories: Board members, Consulting