Live Fundraising Auction Warm-Ups

Michael Faith

Get Everyone Involved!

How much would you pay for a glass of water? How about a $50 dollar bill? If you’re a guest at a benefit auction or fundraiser, you might just pay $1,000 or more! We’ve witnessed it and it can be an exciting and beautiful ice-breaker at fundraising events!

The sole goal of a warm-up is to demonstrate for your audience just how much fun it can be to spend way more than the actual value of an item, knowing the “extra” money goes straight to your organization! Try it at a newer event, or with an inexperienced crowd – to deter the “bargain shopper” mentality. As fundraising specialists, we impart the idea that charity events are neither the time nor place to score deals – rather, they’re the perfect time to display your generosity and be a true supporter of the cause.

Get Everyone’s Attention

Warm-ups are also a great attention-getter – who DOESN’T want to see just how much money a glass of water can fetch?! Grab their attention right off the bat and you’re more likely to have people still paying attention later, for the ever-important special appeal.

Other Ideas

If selling water or a $50 bill isn’t your thing, there are many other ways to get your audience in a giving mood. One method we love is a Bid Card Frenzy (BCF), used right before the live auction. BCFs offer several gift cards for sale in rapid succession at or around face value. The first bid card in the air and acknowledged by the benefit auctioneer wins the card, and so on, until they’re gone. This fun strategy immediately builds excitement in the room, encourages people to raise their bid cards AND increases competition. Win, win, win!

Another popular warm-up is selling a magnum of champagne to the highest bidding table. Competitive audiences, or folks looking to impress their table hosts, are often willing to spend overvalue to ensure their table receives the VIP treatment and extra bubbly. An added bonus: additional social lubrication can animate your program!

How Can We Help You?

We’ve experimented with many unique fundraising event warm-up offerings. We’d love to tailor some of our ideas to fit YOUR event! More crowd involvement means more fun, more excitement and more participation in your live program, leading to – naturally – more money for your cause!

If you want to reinvigorate your live auction, reach out. We can’t wait to work with you!

Here’s to changing the world by doing more good together.

 

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