What’s the one thing that is missing from nearly all organizations’ pre-event marketing? The fact that this is a fundraiser!
Many groups have fun themes and catchy titles for their events, and that’s fine; that’s fun. Many groups communicate through their pre-event promotion that we’re going to have fun, that we’re going to have dancing and drinks, that we’re going to give a great award to a great individual, that the food is going to be unique and delicious…you get the picture. All those things are great.
But what doesn’t get title (or even sub-heading) text is the fact that the sole purpose of this event is to raise money for the organization. We’re going to ask you to bid in the silent auction, we’re going to have a live auction with fantastic items, and we’re going to have a “Donate Now” segment where we’re going to ask everyone in the room to give some amount of money. I like to refer to these things as “Bidding and Giving Opportunities”.
By giving guests a heads-up that we’re going to have “Bidding and Giving Opportunities”, they won’t feel ambushed when they arrive and you have them register their phone to bid online, hand them a bid number for the live auction and donate segment, and immediately approach them to buy a raffle ticket or participate in the wine pull.
Consistent pre-event communication through email and social media (and mail, if you’re sending save-the-date cards or invitations) that promotes giving- letting people know their giving will enable the organization to provide good things for the community- will result in greater proceeds and can be part of the strategy to turn attendees into perennial giving partners!
So, don’t undersell the auction! After all, if you’ve got the right auctioneer (wink, wink…) the live auction and ‘ask’ will be one of the highlights of the night!