Fundraising Tips

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3 Tips for Planning a Successful Charity Event

Advice from Renee Jones, Expert Auctioneer and Fundraiser

Video Transcript
Some very important tips to remember to have a successful nonprofit, gala or benefit event is to understand the importance of a timeline and maintaining it. Don’t have it just as a secret between a couple of people on your team. Make sure everyone that’s involved, volunteers and staff alike, meet and actually discuss every element of the event. All vendors should be included in it, especially the hotel and event staff, including your caterer.

It is so important for your experience as a guest, and also as a staff member volunteer at an event, for there to be a good flow, whether that’s from the arrival of guests, to the check in with no waiting, utilizing technology, to the actual program itself.

Maintaining a constant inspirational and motivating environment, including a live auction and “Fund-The-Need” benefit part of the evening is so important but the main thing to remember in fundraising is it’s supposed to be fun.

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Nonprofit Tools: Google, Facebook and LinkedIn

Google, Facebook and LinkedIn all have various product offerings to help nonprofits and charities with their missions. Here is a quick rundown.

Google

Google for NonprofitsGoogle has made their premium Google Apps Suite including Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive free for nonprofit organizations. The promise of these apps is to “reduce your IT costs and help staff and volunteers work together more effectively.”

In addition to the apps, you can apply for Google Ad Grants (AdWords for Nonprofits) 10,000 per month of AdWords advertising, to promote your organization to people using Google’s search engine. It doesn’t stop there, as Google also has YouTube for Nonprofits and Google Earth Outreach. Go to Google for Nonprofits for more information.

Also, if you don’t already have a Google+ page for your organization, you should create one. You may think no one is using Google+, but in actuality its userbase is significant and growing. In fact, it is the 2nd most popular social network behind Facebook. Additionally, Google+ is great for improving your search rankings so if you have a blog, it is an important outlet to publish to.

Facebook

Facebook Donate ButtonFacebook made news recently with their launch of the Facebook Donate Button. For a closer look at what this means, I recommend reading Beth Kanter’s #FacebookAdGrants: What Nonprofits Need More Than a Facebook Donate Button article.

Most charities have a Facebook page for good reason – it is an excellent way to reach and engage with a large audience.

LinkedIn

Nonprofits on LinkedInLike Facebook, LinkedIn recently made some news with a new feature benefiting nonprofits. The
LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace seeks to “connect professionals to nonprofit volunteer opportunities.” In addition to finding volunteers, LinkedIn offers other nonprofit resources at nonprofits.linkedin.com.

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5 Ways to Have a Successful Silent Auction

abc_checkoutSilent auctions are one of the most popular ways to raise money for non-profit groups and engage prospective donors at fundraising events. This article will provide you with helpful ways to ensure that your silent auction is a success.

Choose a prominent location for your silent auction. It is very important that a silent auction is not invisible and silent. You need to choose the perfect setup in order for people to view all your items as well as place bids in a convenient and easy way. You need to have enough space in order to accommodate all people who are willing to bid for your items that you want to offer for the fundraising program.

Match the items with the attendees. Local businesses are great potential donors for auction items. In order for you to attract a lot of bids, consider a variety of factors such as who are those people that will come to your event, what are the particular services and items that they need and want and how much money they are willing to spend. For example, during Valentine’s Day, you need to put items and services that suit both men and women such as flowers, restaurants and gifts. These are items that most people are looking for. It is very significant that you match the event with the items that you want to bid in order to attain success in your silent auction activity.

Create a time limit. It is proven that in order to create a sense of urgency, run your silent auction for a limited time. We suggest opening weeks prior to the event. People can become familiar and engaged well before the event even begins. Also, because people use their own mobile decides, they don’t physically be there to participate. The potential for more time and additional bidders significantly impacts the amounts our charity partners are raising”

Know how to handle your unsold items. It takes some time to spur interest in a silent auction especially when it comes to the starting bid. It is important that you announce and project your auction items on screen. If there is no bid, you can return the auction item to your merchandiser and decide to auction it again on another event. Try to work with consignment companies that allow you to only pay for items after they’ve been successfully auctioned.

Mobile Bidding. One of the most convenient ways for guests to participate in a silent auction is to bid by phone. No more hanging out by the auction table all night, or filling out bid sheets. Not only is mobile bidding more convenient for guests, but realtime alerts help drive up the revenue generated. It can make a big difference in the amount of funds raised for your non-profit organization. Electronic bidding also streamlines the checkout process and getting fundraising reports when the event is over. Learn more about mobile bidding

Watch some of the Live Auction Ideas from our expert auctioneer Renee Jones

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