How to Convince Your Committee to Try New Silent Auction Ideas

By Charity Fundraising - October 2nd, 2012

Non-profit fundraisers are often planned by a committee of volunteers, the organization’s board and employees or perhaps an outside event planning firm.  Whatever the method, your non-profit intends to use to plan the upcoming fundraiser, it’s important to communicate effectively to your fundraising committee, your donors and your prospective guests.

Your organization, like many, may host an annual fundraising event to meet financial goals.  It is often difficult to keep the evening fresh and exciting for donors while preserving the organization’s brand.  Donors that attend year after year want to feel at home, but should be entertained and hosted by pleasant surprises throughout the evening.  If your fundraising event is a live or silent auction each year, keeping the merchandise new and exciting can be quite a challenge if your committee isn’t willing to look outside the box. If your fundraising committee or board keeps recycling ideas, themes and auction items because “what’s worked in the past, will work every year”, it’s time to shake things up.

Convincing your fundraising committee to try something new at your upcoming silent auction isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Before you pitch your new and unique silent auction ideas, here are some tips from the team at Charity Fundraising to gain the approval of your fundraising committee.

  • Understand your Audience

Fundraising Committees can be made up of professionals that serve on a board of trustees.  Likewise, if your event is a school fundraiser, you may be presenting to a group of teachers or PTO parents.  It’s important to know your audience and be prepared for your presentation.  You may need to sell your ideas with documentation, statistics and a professional touch.  Or your pitch may be a casual conversation over a cup of coffee.  Research and understand who the decision makers are and communicate with them at their level.  Misinterpreting the formality of your discussion could make the process more difficult than it needs to be.

  • Communicate like an Professional

Research and be ready to answer questions.  Even though you may feel like your fundraising ideas will yield a blockbuster event, having evidence and experiences to back up your opinions is critical.  Make a list of questions  that the committee may ask and research and formulate answers in preparation for your presentation.  Polling other charitable organizations regarding their successes/failures can assist in making qualified decisions.  Finally, remember that it is always better to be over-prepared than underprepared.

  • Promote the Benefits

It’s important to have a healthy mix of opinions and facts when presenting a new idea.  Highlight the benefits of your ideas but don’t oversell or provide false promises.  For example, if your organization is hosting a live or silent auction, specialists like Charity Fundraising can provide unique auction items on a zero risk consignment basis so there is no upfront cost to your organization.

Hosting a memorable and successful blockbuster event for your non-profit organization can be easy.  Contact the professionals at Charity Fundraising today to assist in the planning of your upcoming charity auction.  Charity Fundraising serves over 2,000 charities, schools and non-profits worldwide, providing fundraising ideas and charity auction items to help them exceed all fundraising goals.

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