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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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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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U.S. Mobile Bidding Leader Expands Silent Auction Fundraising Platform with Live Auction Solutions

Gesture appoints auctioneer veteran Renee Jones who has managed auctions from real estate sales in 30+ states to the disposition of assets on behalf of the US Trustee for the Enron bankruptcy

Chicago, Ill. – January 21, 2014 –Mobile bidding technology leader, Gesture, today announced the appointment of industry veteran Renee Jones as national director of live auction services.

“Our philosophy is centered on being the best partner to the thousands of charities that we work with annually,” noted Jim Alvarez, Gesture president and co-founder. “With the appointment of Renee, we plan to offer a full-service auction solution for our charity partners to continue enhancing relationships with their donors.”

Live Auction ExpertJones has earned a reputation over twenty-five years as one of the industry’s most knowledgeable and experienced benefit auction professionals. She has worked with hundreds of non-profit organizations across the country and in the Caribbean as a professional benefit auctioneer, planner and consultant. She was the youngest competitor to win the National Auctioneers Association’s (NAA) prestigious International Auctioneers Championship. Jones has called auctions for the FDIC, US Customs Service, US Marshal Service, as well as federal and state courts, and municipalities.

A sought after speaker, Jones lectures at dozens of national, regional, and state industry related conferences annually. Jones earned a B.S. degree with honors from Texas Woman’s University and graduated from the Certified Auctioneers Institute at Indiana University. She has served two terms on the NAA board of directors and as Chairman of its Education Trustees. Jones is a designated Benefit Auction Specialist and Certified Estate Specialist.

“What differentiates Gesture is that we have now combined technologically-advanced mobile bidding for non profit events with live auction services in a manner which cannot duplicated in the industry,” Said Ms. Jones. “We provide organizations with a unified system and personnel from start to finish ensuring a streamlined and professionally executed event no matter the size or location.”
Jones will be responsible for developing the company’s live auction strategy, portfolio of live auction services, and its operational implementation.

“We are excited to add a very accomplished industry expert to our Gesture team,” said Alvarez. “Renee’s expertise is focused on education and competency. She complements our event team’s knowledge and our relationships with the best and brightest auctioneers across the country as we expand to manage over 1,000 events next year.”

Ms. Jones added, “Every organization and every event is important and unique, so to maximize the outcome requires a thoroughly customized program from beginning to end. Gesture will blend its state of the art bidding technology with providing the best in live auction event and advisory services.
About AuctionsByCelluar

Based in Chicago, Gesture was founded in 2011 to help non-profits improve fundraising efforts by harnessing the power of technology. The company’s technology platform is responsible for helping to raise over $60 million at hundreds of events annually for organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, American Red Cross, Make a Wish, American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs, universities such as Notre Dame, Purdue and DePaul, and Chicago-area hospitals including Rush Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Wheaton Franciscan. Visit /.

Join the conversation with @GestureTeam or www.facebook.com/Gesture
Contact:
Monika Rydzewski, 847.409.7189 or pr@gesture.com

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