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Bachelor Auction How To

October 25, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor advises on bachelor auctions for charity

Considering a bachelor or bachelorette auction? Consider these factors first

So you’re thinking about a Bachelor/Bachelorette auction?

It’s been done for decades, and certainly can be a success with proper planning and promotion.

However, selling dates or gift packages (two different things – see the video) is a bit more complicated and potentially filled with problems than your typical auction outing.

Watch this quick series of videos to make sure that if you go this direction, you’ve thought of – and planned for – everything that could go wrong when you’re, in effect, objectifying people.

The 2-to-3 minute videos cover Appropriateness, Finding Bachelors and giving them tips and advice, Volunteers you’ll need, the type of Venue, how to get an Audience, how to Organize, Schedule and Budgeting, Decorating, finding the right Auctioneer, and setting up the actual Dates, if you go that route.

Check out individual brief video clips here:

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

►Cruise Raffle

August 23, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
lapel pin of blinking ship

Selling chances to win for that cruise or yacht trip!

Ah, the Chance to Win, doesn’t most every event have one?

Of course, the very first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with your state’s (and sometimes city) raffle, gaming, gambling, drawing statutes.

Did you know that in Florida, you can’t require anyone to pay for a ticket?

Print out the Florida statute here.

Once you know the rules, this is a great option for the “blinky lights” pin to show who bought a chance to win (and, obviously, who hasn’t yet).

Do you know that Holland America has a reduced-price program that your nonprofit might qualify for? It’s a great program with a reasonable fixed cost, and never expires. Check it out here.

If you’re selling chances to win a cruise or a yacht excursion, instead of generic pins consider these cute things, found at FlashingBlinkyLights.com. It’s themed, flashy, and if you don’t want to pin into guests’ fancy clothes, then simply attach each to a lanyard or a wrist-tie ribbon like my client.

Here’s to selling those chances and raising big money!

Categories: Better Buyers, Consulting, Event Logistics, Other Money Makers, Raffles/Chance Drawings

►VIDEO – Selling an Inside Joke!

June 21, 2017 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of auctioneer GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor

Sell More Memories, Less Stuff!

This might be my favorite video clip ev-er!

It starts at $100 and you’ll never guess where we end up 🙂

Watch the short VIDEO on my You Tube channel.

There’s a lot I love about this clip – this small crowd of 160 solid supporters, the clear joy of giving in the room, and the fact that I’ve done this event for years so we’ve built this great rapport!

(Sidenote: we really do have the best job in the world.)

Anyway, the winning bidder doesn’t even keep the hat! It’s all in fun, a vehicle for donations, and a few minutes we will all remember as a highlight. Can your event do that?

Sell more memories to make your event a signature celebration of your cause.

Not sure how? Just call me: 407-791-1360 in Tampa.

 

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers, Charity, Consulting, Live Auctions

►Another reason you need a female auctioneer!

April 17, 2015 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Gala Gal and team

Study says men give more when the person fundraising is attractive

This morning I read a piece entitled “Men Strive To Give More To Charity When The Fundraiser Is Cute.”

Believe it or not, researchers found that both men and women donated more to online campaigns after they saw how much others had given. The men, however, gave an even larger increase to attractive females.

If that happened just by looking at a photo of the female asking for donations, could it be that the effect is magnified in person? When you put a charismatic, attractive female auctioneer on stage and give her a microphone to engage people about your cause, might that increase the competitive bidding in your audience? Think about it, every single time he or she bids again, that’s more dollars raised for you!

Combining the “all eyes on me” aspect of live auctions with a smiling, friendly female face is your recipe for awesome auction results.

Just ask my clients!

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers, Better Buyers, Charity, Consulting, Live Auctions

►Dates Still Open!

August 21, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
image Jenelle Taylor Auctioneer

Summer’s already over! It’s auction time once again

August is wrapping up, winding down, and the Fall Fundraising Season is full of fantastic events! I’m currently working with nonprofits in Tampa, Naples and Orlando, catching up with returning clients and happy to add 3 new events so far this fall.

Just this week I’ve helped committee members select auction items, design bid cards, a choose mobile bidding provider, figure out how many volunteers they’ll need, edit the event timeline, and energize the Board! I’ve still got some dates open, so just shoot me an e-mail if you think I might be the one for you.

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers

►WOW! Does your auction team look like this?

May 1, 2014 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
photo of Gala Gal and team

Your Auctioneer and Bid Spotters can look like this!

I am so thankful to these four lovely ladies for joining me a few weeks ago for a fantastic live auction and scholarship Fund-a-Need for the 18th annual Starry Starry Night!

All 5 of us are Florida-licensed auctioneers with specialized training in fundraising, and they did an awesome job working the crowd as Bid Spotters for me.

Would your big event benefit from an all-female team?

Your auction doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. It can look like this 🙂

Categories: About GALA GAL, Auctioneers, Live Auctions, Other Money Makers

►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

►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

►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

►Congrats to the Red Wagon Gala Committee

April 22, 2013 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Red Wagon Gala Christ Child Society Naples

GALA GAL Jenelle Taylor conducts the 2013 Red Wagon Gala for Christ Child Society Naples

Here’s a quick example of great post-event press coverage, Red Wagon Gala in the Naples Daily News.

This nice summary and accompanying photos ran just days after the event, and serves multiple purposes:

  • appreciating those who just attended
  • publicly thanking major sponsors
  • recognizing the hard work of the committee and volunteers
  •  and raising visibility for the organization.

This kind of coverage has to be arranged in advance, so that a reporter and photographer are in attendance.

For your next event, take the time, no – make the time –  to reach out to local papers, TV stations, society magazines, or even area event website managers to get a commitment for coverage for this 1 Night, Once a Year event you’re pulling off!

After all, we all know that once it begins your event whirls by so fast that you’ll probably need  to read about how it all went too 🙂

Categories: Charity, Event Logistics, Live Auctions, 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

►MC or not MC?

July 3, 2012 - Author: Jenelle Taylor, CAI BAS
Emcee for your event

Who’s your MC?

I got cc’d on an e-mail that one of my November events confirmed a local TV anchor to emcee (or MC, if you prefer) their gala. This is a common practice which you’ve no doubt seen or done.

There are so many logistics to juggle when you’re planning a fundraising event:

which venue, what entertainment, ticket pricing, getting folks to attend, staffing, auction items and on and on. And who’s going to run this thing??

If your event has a live auction or Fund-a-Need appeal for donations, there’s just too much riding on your 1-Night, Once-a-Year event to risk with just Joe Anybody. Hire a professional who does fundraising for a living, all year long. Once your fundraising is safeguarded, consider asking this auctioneer to serve as MC for you. Benefit Auction specialists will be charismatic and able to command the crowd’s attention. Doubling up like this will save you time and money, since you won’t have to do the back-and-forth to confirm and manage another person or pay for another meal.

If you want a different voice to host your event for whatever reason, then certainly invite a community dignitary,  involve your Board president, a TV news anchor, or even a celebrity in your program.

But whatever you do, don’t hand over your fundraising

to anyone who is a professional something-else!

 

Those well meaning folks can leverage their personalities and knowledge of the crowd in a support role. Use your special guest in direct interaction with your attendees, but leave the auction psychology to the fundraising pro.

Your celebrity or community dignitary can best benefit your event by:

  1. Donating a Chance-of-a-Lifetime opportunity to the auction. (Actress Cheryl Hines   donated a private poker party with her to her favorite central Florida gala!)
  2. Hosting his/her own table for the dinner portion and inviting folks to bid for the chance to move to that VIP table
  3. Working the Live Auction on the floor, shaking hands and encouraging those who bid
  4. Drawing attention to your high-end items by visiting with folks at the Live Auction table during the 90-minute preview time

Your Board president can best benefit your event by:

  1. Hosting a pre-event VIP reception for last year’s big spenders and this year’s sponsors and special guests, giving them an initial hour to sip champagne, schmooze, and shop the auction unencumbered by the masses. These guests might even get a mini live auction with 3-5 things that are only offered to this elite VIP group.
  2. Promote the importance of fundraising by escorting VIPs and likely deep pockets personally to the Live Auction display table and facilitating an introduction with the auctioneer. This serves your guests by making them aware of the opportunities only available that night, and it initiates the rapport important to getting more bidding.
  3. Thanking the event sponsors and really explaining how their large gifts allow you to provide services.

Your TV news anchor (or Board member, CEO, staff member, or services recipient) can best benefit your event by:

1. Sharing the emotional appeal of your mission by putting faces and personal stories to the services you deliver. Getting the right person to introduce the video, deliver a keynote, or set up the Fund-a-Need appeal is crucial.

2. Being available to the guests throughout the night, mingling and adding a welcoming warmth to the festivities.

While several folks are appropriate for various aspects of MC hosting, the money you need to operate for months will come from the auction and appeal proceeds, so entrust the opening bids, the increments, the snap and sizzle of the numbers to a benefit auction specialist.

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

►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