Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

The Kid Inside All of Us: Silent Auction Ideas for School Fundraisers

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Silent Auctions for School Fundraisers have some obvious Do’s and obvious “Don’ts.

Scratch that.

ALL silent auction fundraisers have some obvious musts and definite faux pas.

No matter what the setting, a silent auction fundraiser should have auction items that are geared toward the interests of the guests.

An added bonus is if the auction items can also be relevant to the setting itself.

What do I mean by that?

A golf outing to raise money for the high school golf team should have some golf-related auction items.

An evening gala held in an art museum should have some auction items pertaining to the arts.

This principle has been proven to work because the most successful auction items procure high bids naturally.

In other words, the setting of your event will either aid or detract from your auction items.

How does this pertain to silent auction ideas for school fundraisers?

Simple.

Remember that your guests are all kids at heart.

Let’s face it: no matter how much responsibility builds in adulthood, no matter how long ago our summer-long vacations were, we all had a childhood.

Parents, family, friends, leaders in the community – whoever comes to your fundraiser – we all turn our attention towards that season of life again.

So celebrate that season of life with your auction items!

There are endless opportunities to do this.

Here are three ways to celebrate.

Celebrate the old, the new, and a fusion of the two.

1. Celebrate the Classics

Celebrate what was once new and has now stood the test of time.

A perfect way to do that is through Autographed Animation Art or Autographed Celebrity Sketches.

The Peanuts Comic strips were the reason I woke up on Sunday/Saturday mornings.

The world Charles Schulz created was one of fun and lighthearted comical truths that I have related to at every stage of my life.

Stan Lee’s fantastical stories gave me such an itch for wonder and excitement. I wanted to be brave, full of integrity, and fight for the good side.

Those feelings and that truth didn’t leave me when I stopped having acne breakouts.

It’s likely that guests at your school fundraiser had similar experiences with what is now hailed as The Classics.

For the rising young professionals who are starting families and settling down, the classics are expanding to the later Disney and early Pixar movies.

Their childhood was spent watching The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Toy Story, and alike.

 

2. Celebrate The New

We tend to be interested in the season of life we are currently living. For parents, their life becomes inundated with KID everything.

A 28-year-old bachelor may love nothing more than spending his Saturday tailgating with his buddies.

However, the 30 year old dad cannot get enough of Disney Princess and Saturday day Brunch and Tea Time with his little girl.

Celebrate the here and now with auction items from the soon-to-be-classics that parents and the kids enjoy!

3. Celebrate the Fusion

Bring into your school fundraiser the fun of youth for adults.

Case in points are Seth MacFarlane hand drawn and autographed “Stewie” from Family Guy original sketch or Bono from U2 hand drawn and autographed “Self Portrait” original sketch.

It’s possible to have auction items that bring out the lighthearted atmosphere of childhood without the item being solely about childhood.

For more silent auction ideas and items for your school fundraiser, call or contact Charity Fundraising!

Baseball Themed Silent Auction Items

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

The World Series is currently being played with the D0dgers vs the Astros.

And here at Charity Fundraising, we have a great selection of Baseball Themed Silent Auction Items (autographed items from Willie Mays and Yogi Berra to name a couple).

As I thought about the rich history of Baseball in light of yet another season coming to an end, it got me thinking about why baseball has stayed timeless and been so loved by America.

The more I considered the games attributes, the clearer it became to me that the nonprofit world could learn a thing or two from the beloved sport. This is specifically true in regards to creating a successful silent auction event.

So what does the game have to offer?

Patience. Perseverance. And passion.

  

Warning: this blog post does not have “five quick steps” the will make your next fundraiser improve by a certain percentage.

However, these attributes we will discuss are the most overlooked and yet the most indispensable to a nonprofit, especially when the organization is in the mire of auction event planning.

Without these attributes, you can’t be successful. With these attributes, you can reach any goal you set.

PATIENCE

Cubs’ fans waited from more than a 100 years for their team to win the World Series. They never waned in their fervor for their team or for the game.

Likewise, it’s important to realize that it takes time to create a successful event.

From a broader point of view, it takes time to reach your goals you’ve set for helping your cause.

But little by little – perhaps year-by-year – event planning will come together more efficiently and effectively.

And consequently, you will get closer to helping your cause.

So don’t be discouraged in your second year, third year, or even fourth or fifth year of hosting a specific kind of event.

Live or silent auctions especially take time.

There are many components to develop: building a team with specialized jobs, understanding your audience’s interests, and executing the logistics of the event.

Start simple. And build with patience.

If the Cubs can do it, so can you.

PERSEVERANCE

In the game of Baseball, there is no clock. Basically, as long as a team is willing to fight, they are still in the game.

Each inning, like each fundraiser, is just another step in procuring the victory. Sometimes they leave you stagnant; sometimes there is progress, other times you may even fall behind.

It’s important to attempt to do these events annually, or at the very least every other year. The more you host them the better you will become and the more you will create a loyal audience (and continues to invite more people who care about your cause!).

But the important thing is that you keep going! This may be a simple point, but perseverance is the attribute that comes when you have the patience to see beyond the current event your nonprofit is in the midst of executing.

There is no clock – just a cause worth fighting for.

PASSION

Baseball is the sport of the Comeback Kids!

Any team can make a comeback…at any time (remember, this is no clock).

Football doesn’t usually have four interceptions and four touchdowns in a matter of minutes. Hockey is basically over after a three-point lead is taken. Basketball is determined by the amount of time left on the clock.

In baseball, the player’s passion is the determining factor between “pulling it out” or “throwing in the towel”.

Passion is the name of the game for baseball – and it’s the case with the nonprofit game as well. Every auction event is only as good as the passion that your team can put into it!

Remember: patience, perseverance, and passion will get your team were it needs to go! Enjoy the wondrous World Series and all the attributes the game has to offer you… and your cause.

For more information about the baseball themed Silent Auction Items, Contact Charity Fundraising today!

Utilize the Five Senses for Your Fundraiser Silent Auction Items

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Finding the perfect silent auction item for your fundraiser is easier than one might think.

What makes it so easy?

My answer: stick to the five senses.

Utilizing the five senses in your silent auction items will bring your fundraiser to life!

How?

Let me show you!

VIP Experience and Vacation Packages help your guests Taste, Smell, See, Hear, and Touch.

1. Taste

Bring the flavors out!

Wining and Dining is one of our most popular VIP Experiences.

      

Who doesn’t love to spend a luxurious time experiencing some of the best food and drink out there?

Here are just a few options to consider:

  • Tuscany Culinary Escape
  • Become a Sonoma Valley Winemaker
  • South Beach Wine & Food Festival
  • Samuel Adams Brewery Tour in Boston
  • Napa Valley South to North Adventure
  • James Beard House Dinner Party
  • Le Cordon Bleu Paris

2. Smell

Breathe in the ocean air!

When someone says the words, “vacation” and “beach”, it doesn’t take much more for me to smell the ocean air and feel the sand beneath my toes.

      

A Beach Vacation Package is almost always a coveted silent auction item.

Listen to the sound of these trips:

  • Escape to Bora Bora & Tahiti
  • Maui Wailea Resort Vacation
  • Australia & New Zealand Exploration
  • Cabo San Lucas Ocean View Getaway

3. See

Take in the Beautiful Scenery!

International Vacation Packages give your silent auction guests the opportunity to go to the places they’ve always wanted to see!

      

What could be better than helping out a charity you believe in and going to a place on your bucket list?

  • Ireland Adventure
  • South African Safari
  • Tokyo Metropolis
  • Paris Renaissance
  • Escape to Rome

4. Hear

Hear the music!

Songs have a way of encapsulating seasons of our lives — memories, emotions, and even convictions.

 

Two perfect strangers can instantly feel a connection when they find out they have a favorite band in common.

The connection that music brings to one’s psyche is a powerful one. That equates to a powerful auction item!

 

Silent auction items related to music come in many different shapes and forms:

5. Touch

As a kid, how many times were you told, “Don’t touch that!”?

The joy of tactile sensations brings me straight back to being six years old in an antique shop with my mother.

Curiosity always got the better of me.

I may be older now, but that curiosity has never really left. I still feel misplaced when I walk into a retail store with delicate decorum.

Because let’s face it, we all are kids at heart!

One of the fun parts about having a family is being able to be a kid again yourself!

Here are some silent auction items for families that might peak your interest.

What could be more sensational than a roller-coaster ride or swimming with dolphins?

  • San Diego Theme Park Adventure – SeaWorld San Diego & LEGOLAND California resort admission
  • Kennedy Space Center Adventure
  • Orlando Theme Park Adventure
  • Disney World Family Adventure

Call or contact us today to learn more about our VIP Experiences & Vacation Packages!

The Best Ways to Showcase Autographed School Fundraising Items

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

School fast approaches. August is here!

Schools need our support.

But do school fundraisers – especially with silent auctions with fancy fundraising items like autographed sports and celebrity memorabilia – actually support our schools?

Here are the facts…

Education causes makes up a little less than 20% of all charitable giving.

77% of all Americans have contributed to school fundraising, which primarily comes from friends and family

Nearly all schools participate in fundraising, with 1-5 fundraisers a year per school.

More than 2 billion dollars is raised through school fundraising per year.

Clearly, school fundraising is important.

It isn’t a question on “if it should be done”,  but a question of “how?”

An auction is a great way to school-fundraise because of its guarantee success rate. Autographed auction items have been a proven staple in an exciting and procuring event.

So if it’s not a question of “if”, but of “how and when?”, let us fill you in a couple of secrets of the trade!

The best time to showcase autographed auction items for a school is when the auction item list is….

  1. Small
  2. Relevant
  3. Convenient

1. Keep it small – 10-4, Roger!

Keep your school auctions following the 10-4 method.

10 items maximum, 4 items minimum.

Why?

An abundance of items will dilute the attention given to a priceless showstopper item.

The best school fundraising items are rare.

And when there is a long line of tables full of run-of-the-mill items, like most school fundraisers, it can begin to feel like a glorified garage sale or gift exchange.

A school’s team is comprised of a community who want to see their children and their district have supported education.

That’s great!

The problem that can often creep up is a shuffling around of products and services that are local.

You may be asking, “Why is that a problem? After all, my guests at school fundraisers are primarily the parents and friends of my students! The moms love to bid each other on a free spa day close to home. The dad’s love to fight over the chance to play golf at the local country club.”

While that may be true, and a very important aspect of a school fundraiser, those two antidotes are the better options out of the myriad of possible “local service exchanges”.

Additionally, How many years can you offer the same type of auction items and still keep your guests interested?

Having an abundance of these types of auction items will become tiresome and they will crowd the items that bring a buzz of excitement.

Keep your auction small by only providing the most relevant and the hottest school fundraising items.

This will keep your auction exciting and direct for all of your busy guests who don’t want to go through rows of tables chalked full of the “same-old items”.

Side Note: Don’t forget to rotate your local options/donations throughout the years! There is relevance to local product and service items, but you don’t have to use all the local showstoppers at once.

2. Tag it on! – Dual Purpose Events

Many schools hold more fundraisers than the average American is willing to participate in –

Not only that, add up the extracurricular activities, sports, music groups, religious affiliations, clubs, and volunteer projects and you have an exasperated parent with a ridiculous schedule!

It is then possible (and probable) that a family will be affiliated with more than one school at a time for their respective children.

This is an important factor to take into account because the timing in which you present your fundraising events matter to your audience.

In short, remember who is on your team.

Remember their needs.

It’s nonprofit 101 to understand that the team is a long list of people!

It is…

The organization itself: the employees, the board members, etc.

The volunteers.

The sponsors.

as well as the guests and donors that attend each event!

We can spend so much time thinking about putting on the perfect event for our guests. We can expend so much energy worrying about winning over our guests. But here’s the biggest secret to running a successful fundraiser: your guests are apart of your team by their very presence! They are on your side!

Remembering the needs of your team players includes making your auction event work for their schedule.

Considering tagging silent auctions onto already-scheduled events for parent and friends.

Perhaps an Autographed Sports Memorabilia at the next sports banquet?

Arnold Palmer Masters Flag?

Tickets to the Superbowl?

Maybe add an Adele signed Sheet Music to your next choir recital that fills the auditorium/gym with friends and family?

3. Make it Convenient – Go Mobile!

Family can take a lot of time. Parents want to do what is best by and for their kids. Education is important to them. But time is not on their side.

The double doozy about auction fundraisers (live or silent) is the upfront man-hours that are necessary for pulling one off! Event fundraising is profitable,  but they often take the most volunteers.

That’s why we encourage you to consider online auctions! Fast. Easy. And time effective for your busy audience.

Never run an auction event before?

Easy!

Contact Charity Fundraising for all your needs. We have worked with hundreds of Schools – from offering the best school fundraising items to advice in running the event itself.

Bring Excitement and Interest to your Silent Auction through Celebrity Autographed Memorabilia

Monday, September 11th, 2017

We over complicate silent auction items and events in an attempt to find a “new idea” to create excitement and interest.

This can be through out-of-this-world expensive silent charity auction ideas, display strategies, venue choice, catering selecting, etc.

But at the end of all tricks, secrets, and helpful how-to’s,  there are two simple truths to charity silent auction events:

1. Your supporters are interested in helping you succeed in your mission! They want to help out.

2. Your supporters already are interested in life, which is already full of excitement.

Don’t believe us?

Exhibit A: Astronauts on the moon.

Exhibit B: Mary Poppins.

These people, their stories – they ignite our souls!

The giants of Space exploration went out and did the impossible.  Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyck exude wonder and childhood magic in Mary Poppins.

Life is already full of excitement, wonder, and cherished memories.

People of action – our heroes – are in a position of leadership.

They inspire us.

They remind us.

They encourage us to love the things we love!

Celebrities are influences on our lives in powerful ways.

Their voice matters to us.

So the question becomes: why not have their voices at your silent auction?

This is what autographed celebrity memorabilia does. It will inspire your audience, it will remind them of what they cherish, and it encourages them to love the things they love!

Is it expensive having these voices at your silent auction? Not at all! We offer our silent auction items with ZERO-risk! Learn more about our totally free guarantee.

So why not partner with these heroes? They bring life into your auction!

Life in Music: From Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift 

They both started out in the genre of country, but let’s look at a snapshot of their lives and success:

Johnny Cash – the King of Country – is considered one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Selling more than 90 million records worldwide, he is definitely one of the best-selling musicians of all time. His music was sometimes raw – calling it how he saw it – and sometimes soulful  – a deep belief in there being something more.

His life was full of challenges and hurt. Johnny Cash marks the atmosphere of life for a lot of Americans in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Taylor Swift, from an early age, has stolen the spotlight in the 21st Century. She is a powerhouse that writes the thoughts of her generation as well as her own personal narratives. Though she has moved from country to mainstream pop, drastically changing her style from album to album, her influence and success are due to her ability to connect with her listeners.

Swift is also one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums—and has appeared in Time‘s 100 most influential people in the world, Forbes‘ 100 most powerful women (2015), and Forbes Celebrity 100 (2016).

Life in Sports: From Magic and Bird to LeBron James

A picture is worth a thousand words – and this picture of these two athletic giants sure does have a story. Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird’s rivalry on the basketball court and their friendship off of it is epitomizes the fierce competition and comradery of not only NBA basketball, but also sports as a whole!

LeBron James is arguably one of if not the best all-around basketball player we have yet to see! His stats are unprecedented. His stature and mass is a force unstoppable. His feet are quick and light. Some of his successes include winning three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and is the NBA career playoff scoring leader.

Life in Narratives: From The Godfather to Harry Potter 

Movies tell a narrative. Narratives are a funny thing – the specificity of them seem to show us more of the bigger picture. Movies have a tendency to take us outside of ourselves. They also can bring together all kinds persuasions that all care about its beauty and message. Two narratives that do this are The Godfather and Harry Potter.

The Godfather.

The movie is iconic.

It’s hard to imagine a world of present-day cinema without the presence and influence of Coppola’s masterpiece. The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films, now ranked as the second greatest film in American cinema by the American Film Institute.

This movie set a standard for modern films that is still being used today in gangster genre and beyond.

The references to the Godfather throughout pop culture are everywhere. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” is imitated time and time again.

Harry Potter.

I’m not sure if there is a cult following as large and as deeply devoted as the Harry Potter fans.

From the books to the movies, from young to old, from bookworms to the socialites, the narrative of Harry Potter attracts the multitudes.

Songs have been written about and by fans, spoofs have been made, clubs have been formed.

The fight for good, the characters you grow to know and love – it’s what life is all about!

All of these heroes  – be it in music, sports, or narratives – are analogous to the support of a nonprofit. We follow the lead of the individuals who spearhead the way to inspire others, to remind them of what they cherish, and to encourage them to love the things they love!

So let these peers help you by lending their voice and bringing life into your auction. Let’s bring the interests of your audience to your silent auction fundraiser through Autographed memorabilia, be it sports, music, or movie celebrities!