The Big Five Types of Spenders at Fundraising Events

Bidders are bidders, right? Not necessarily!

There are not-so-subtle differences in the types of folks who are likely to pull out their wallets at your next fundraising event. You can cater to their desires directly if you learn a bit about their psychology – their preferences, likes, dislikes, what gets their motors running, what turns them away to check their phones. There are five types of folks who commonly attend and support fundraising events. Here’s what we know of their habits and how you can cater to them. We’ll go in depth on each personality type in future blogs, so be sure to keep checking in!

  1. Philanthropists  Oh, how we love having philanthropists in the room. Philanthropists often are uninterested in acquiring things, but they believe strongly in your cause or they wouldn’t be there. You probably won’t find them posing for snapshots in the photo booth or playing Heads & Tails, but they are likely to pump up your special appeal with lead gifts and substantial donations. They’re also the folks motivated to equal other guests’ generous special appeal donations, with matches and challenges. Philanthropists demonstrate their support of you financially and often like to fly under the radar – giving anonymously or with quiet recognition. They’re the guests you must develop and maintain close relationships with. Learn their stories and what makes them tick. Provide opportunities for them to support you in their preferred ways.
  1. Competitive Bidders  There’s lots to love about the personality type we call competitive bidders. They generally love to spend and bring the party! Competitive bidders enjoy being the center of attention – you’re likely to find them loudly challenging other bidders, engaging in bidding wars, standing on tables in the midst of all the action. They love loads of verbal recognition, being called out by name and always being in the spotlight! So get to know them, appreciate them, and acknowledge them for raising the energy in the room while raising the money. Win. Win!
  1. Gamblers  The element of chance always appeals to gamblers. Raffles, drawings, balloon pops – any game of chance is going to be a big hit with the gamblers in the room. Target your gambling crowd by offering plenty of games of chance and/or opportunities to win something at moderate or lower price points. Need help coming up with them? We have an extensive best practices library of super fun games specifically designed for the gamblers in your crowd – read more about them here https://www.marquamauctionagency.com/weave-mission-moments-live-fundraising-events/ .
  1. Shoppers  Shoppers are going to treat every event like it’s Black Friday. They are born to chase the deal and love finding a steal while supporting their favorite charity. If you have a lot of shoppers in your crowd, entice them with the following: Low-dollar games that carry high stakes, silent auctions with multifarious price points, and moderate- to low-price- point raffles. Shoppers want a small buy-in with a potentially big reward. They’re not likely to give big at the appeal, so let them get involved in other ways! Check out our tips on how to engage the shoppers in your crowd here (https://www.marquamauctionagency.com/celebrate-shoppers-crowd-silent-auction/).
  1. Staff/Volunteers Finally, let’s take a closer look at the staff and volunteers in the room (they generally participate in the same types of revenue streams). Staff members work for the organization – while they no doubt love your mission, they are obligated to attend the event. What appeals to them? Affordable games, like Heads & Tails. Low buy-in raffles. Gift certificate walls are attractive to staff members as well. As for our invaluable volunteers, they generally have huge hearts, but not necessarily huge spending power. They love the energy of events, getting dressed up, and supporting you with their most precious asset – their time – in lieu of large fiscal gifts. Bottom line – we can’t always count on big bucks from staff or volunteers, but we can count on the immeasurable value they bring to your event in other ways. (BTW, YAY for volunteers-you make the world go ‘round! We treasure you and couldn’t do any of this without you.)

We’ve just scratched the surface of what appeals to the Big Five types of spenders at your fundraising event. Check back often – we’ll get more in depth on each in the coming weeks. Need help? Reach out! We’re always ready, willing and able to help you fund your cause!

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