What is the role of a professional charitable fundraising auctioneer?

What is the role of a professional charitable fundraising auctioneer?

A professional charitable fundraising auctioneer is responsible for conducting an auction to raise funds for a charitable organisation or cause. Their main role is to facilitate the bidding process and encourage guests to bid generously in order to maximize the amount of money raised.

The professional charitable fundraising auctioneer can work closely with the event organiser to plan the auction, select the items to be auctioned, and set the starting bids and bid increments. 

During the auction, the professional charitable fundraising auctioneer will take bids from the guests, announcing each new bid and encouraging others to place higher bids. They will also create a sense of excitement and urgency to encourage guests to bid quickly and generously. They can also run as part of the fundraising activities at the event a pledge to enhance the opportunity to raise funds.

Once the auction is complete, the professional charitable fundraising auctioneer will help to collect payment from the winning bidders and can depending on the item ensure that they are delivered to their new owners. 

Overall, the role of a professional charitable fundraising auctioneer is engaged to help raise as much money as possible for charitable causes, while also ensuring that the auction runs smoothly and is an enjoyable experience for all involved.

Professional Charitable Fundraising Auctioneer

And why should you as an event organiser and manager consider using a professional charitable fundraising auctioneer?

A professional charitable fundraising auctioneer can be a valuable asset to a fundraising event, as they have the skills and expertise to drive up bids and increase the amount of money raised. Here are some ways that an event organiser and manager can work with the professional charitable fundraising auctioneer to maximise the fundraising potential:

  1. Selecting an experienced professional charitable fundraising auctioneer; ensuring they have experience in fundraising events and have a proven track record of achieving good results. Someone who is relevant to and can engage with guests, by creating excitement, and encouraging bidding will be more effective in generating donations.
  2. Planning the items that will be auctioned and setting realistic goals for how much money you hope to raise. Consider offering a range of items but not too many (this will depend on the size of the audience) that will appeal to different interests and budgets, such as unique experiences, luxury items, or practical items – some big, some medium and some smaller ticket items to encourage as many guests as possible to bid. Be sure to set realistic reserve prices. These reserve prices should be based on the actual value of the item, and not just how much you hope to raise. This will help to avoid disappointment if an item fails to sell, and will also encourage more bids if people feel they are getting a good deal.
  3. Promoting the auction at the event (especially if it is just one part of a larger programme of activities at the event); creating a buzz around the auction. They highlight the use of social media to encourage guests to shine a light on the event and the good work the organisers are doing in aid of the charity.
  4. Creating a competitive atmosphere; encouraging healthy competition between bidders by highlighting the value of the items being auctioned and emphasising the benefits of winning. Have the auctioneer provide entertaining, appropriate commentary and encourage bidders to raise their bids to beat out their competitors.
  5. Consider offering incentives to encourage bidding: recognition of the highest bidder (eg a photograph with a major celebrity if there is one in attendance). This can create a sense of urgency and encourage guests to bid higher.
  6. Creating a pledge; a pledge is an opportunity for guests with more limited means typically to contribute towards the fundraising efforts (especially if they are unable to afford to bid for one of the auction lots or they have been unsuccessful in their bidding). It is therefore best to run a pledge at the end of the auction. It is crucial that the professional charitable fundraising auctioneer establish an atmosphere where all guests understand that this is their opportunity to donate towards the cause (especially if they have not already done so).
  7. After the auction thanking and recognising donors for their contributions. This can help build relationships and encourage future support for your organisation.

At a recent fundraising auction that HHC ran, I successfully auctioned off all eight auction items and followed this up with a pledge where we were raising funds to install lifesaving equipment in an ambulance. The pledge raised over £10,000 – a terrific achievement especially when you consider what had already been raised and it allowed all the guests to feel like they had contributed and made a difference towards the charity and its lifesaving activities. On arriving at £8800, I realised that the incoming pledges coming in had slowed to a dribble. Therefore, I asked for 24 people to generously offer £50 each so the focus was shifted from those few who were giving a lot, to virtually the rest of the room just having to give a little. The result was almost instantaneous and as such we exceeded the £10k target I had set in my mind. It was also this that pushed my total of money raised as a charity auctioneer over the £2.5m mark.

Top tip – remember all your effort could be in vain in you don’t promote your fundraising auction effectively and sufficiently in advance to ensure it reaches a wide and relevant audience (ie they will need some disposable income). You can use social media, email marketing, and traditional advertising channels to spread the word about the fundraising event but in the end, we have found that relationship-based marketing is usually the most effective when it comes to fundraising events and as part of that, that guests really care about the cause the event is fundraising for.

Finally, by working closely with an experienced professional charitable fundraising auctioneer and following these tips and steps, event organisers and managers can maximise the fundraising potential and generate significant support for their cause!

In addition to being a professional charitable fundraising auctioneer James Hasler of HaslerHill Consulting is a professional event host, MC/Emcee, moderator, “frontman” and anchor. He is also a professional Toastmaster, The Man in the Red Coat, as well as a voice artist working across industries and geographies with clients to ensure their events achieve the impact in the market that they want. If you are interested in discussing further your needs with James, you can fill in the form or the contact page of this website or alternatively, he can be contacted via email at james@haslerhillconsulting.co.uk or by phone at +44(0)7773 229909

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