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San Francisco charity auctioneers and fundraising consultants » 5 Keys to Success

5 Keys to Success

For every hour that we spend on stage conducting an auction we spend at least 15 hours in preparations. At Reynolds & Buckley, we attend committee meetings, host conference calls and Skype chats,  meet with boards of directors, consult on best practices, and make recommendations that impact the success of the auction.

Our consulting focuses on five key components that impact the success of every event:

Laser Beaming Your Message

The most successful fundraising auctions are based on personal passion.  Support of this passion can’t simply be whipped up on the day of your event. Rather, it comes from the process of solidifying the connection between the charity and those who support its work.

Laser beaming your message, in clear concise terms, accomplishes this all-important connection. The result is that all involved with the charity (from the board of directors to auction volunteers to auction attendees) understand why you need to raise money, where it goes, how much you genuinely need, and the consequences of not reaching your goals.

We work with you to ensure your message is clear and to identify the many ways to communicate it. It is our belief that this year’s thank you notes are the first invitations to next year’s event.  Laser beaming your message starts there and flows through all communications right up to and during the night of the event. 

Donor Development

There is a reason that so many vintners donate to fundraising events beyond their own personal commitments: they know it is an opportunity to build long-term business relationships. Donating to a fundraising auction enables the donor to contribute to a good cause, in a public arena, while making new contacts.

For example, a bidder willing to pay $15,000 to bring a group of friends to a winery for a private tour, tasting, and dinner is that vintner’s ideal new customer. That vintner understands that once they’ve had a chance to entertain the winning bidder and their friends, they are very likely to become lifelong customers.

This holds true across many industries, and all level of donations including sponsorships.

Reynolds & Buckley helps you identify the ideal donors for your event.  We brainstorm with you about creative ways to building mutually beneficial relationships.

The goal is to create a pool of both committed donors, sponsors, and bidders .

Bidder Recruitment

Assembling a crowd of people who believe in what you do isn’t enough to create a successful fundraising auction.  You need bidders, not just supporters.   Bidders are people who believe so strongly in what you do that they come prepared to support you with cash. When you hand each attendee their bidder number, you are setting an expectation for the evening and their participation.

Some bidders arrive ready to spend a pre-set amount.  Others get caught up in the moment and spend whatever it takes to win. A few simply love the thrill of the chase and bid just to drive the price up.

We love all bidders because every bid counts…winning or not.  The more people who bid in a fundraising event, the more fun and successful it will be. At the end of the night, if we can generate two extra bids per lot, it will translate to an extra 20% in proceeds.

Attracting and retaining bidders is a process built on personal relationships. It starts with your message and ends with thank you notes after the event.  At Reynolds & Buckley, we help guide you on the road to building passionate, long-term supporters.

Audience Empowerment
There are countless details that can empower or inhibit bidding. All matter. If a high-bidder somehow becomes alienated and stops bidding, it can have genuine financial repercussions. Every event has obstacles to audience empowerment: some much larger than others.

With our many years of experience, we can help you empower your audience and lower the barriers to bidding. In the end, it will result in a more fulfilling evening. While we don’t expect everyone to purchase, we do want all attendees to enjoy themselves and leave with a feeling of goodwill for you, your cause and your bidding supporters.

Event Structure
The timing, structure and flow of your event are crucial. Every event walks that tightrope between a “party” and a “fundraiser.” Striking the right balance ensures your guests enjoy themselves while you generate the dollars you need.

Attendees genuinely appreciate respecting their time by using it efficiently. They also have expectations about socializing, imbibing, and dining. We work with you to balance all of these unique needs and design a structure that will function best for guests, staff, volunteers, and you.

We apply our expertise in these areas creatively to come up with solutions that fit each event’s unique community. Our goal isn’t to make each event the same, but to make each event as successful as possible – without running roughshod over your staff or volunteers.

Reynolds & Buckley’s deft touch and depth of knowledge can make a successful event better with a few small tweaks. Our wealth of expertise and willingness to partner with your team have helped many new events avoid the myriad pitfalls and reap the philanthropic rewards.

Reynolds & Buckley’s clients already know what your event has been missing. Call us today to discuss how we can help make your event as successful as you know it should be.