Tips for Fundraising at Charity Events

Over the past four years Gesture has witnessed a high variety of events, which has enabled us to compile best practices. As experts in silent auctions, this month we want to share how simple decisions can increase the number of bids at your event.

The following four tips are suggestions Gesture Team Members share when discussing upcoming events with our charity partners:

  1. The Ticket Matches The Event: Set a ticket price that is appropriate for the setting of the event. A higher ticket price will attract the right kind of bidders for an upscale event, such as, a black-tie gala. Be mindful, you don’t want to get caught with ticket prices that will deter people from becoming potential guests. For example, a hoe down at Bob’s BBQ will have a much lower ticket price than the black-tie gala.
  2. A Leaky Faucet Draws Attention: Leak the “big ticket” items to your donors in advance and allow guests to view the available auction items before the big event. If they see something they want in advance, they will be prepared to bid high and often.
  3. Early Birds Catch The Auction Items: Allow bidding to begin before the event starts. By opening your auction early, bidders can preview items and start bidding. Some guests like to set up an auto-bid which allows them to set it and forget it.
  4. Diversity Creates Equal Opportunities: Be creative! Present a diverse selection of items that will appeal to the different interests of your guests. People love unique items they don’t see at every other fundraising event. (Maybe we will share our list of creative items one day soon…) When packaging these unique items, don’t forget to be diverse in your pricing. Bundle them in a way that will allow for a range of starting prices. Using a percentage of the Fair Market Value allows you to control the price and creates consistency across the different items. Don’t let high starting bids leave money in the room.

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