Every organization wants many and diverse items for their fundraising auction. The challenge is how to ask for, and receive, those items. Business owners can become weary of being asked for donations, which makes it imperative that your organization stands out from the crowd.
A great starting point for securing the items you need for a successful auction is to get your entire organization involved in the solicitation process. The board, staff and volunteers can all contribute to securing auction donations. Each individual has their own personal interests and circle of influence. It’s as simple as having each person following those interests and contacts to seek a donation. Some in your organization might even be able to come together and get creative to offer a package deal worth bidding on. With all hands on deck, your auction items will be as diverse as your stakeholders.
Now that you have everyone involved you will need to arm them with a great “ask”. Traditionally, a donation request letter is sent out with those seeking donations. This is always a good idea, as many business require this type of request to make a donation. Have your Executive Director or Board President sign the letter. Don’t leave it at the letter alone or you risk having your organization’s request getting lost in the stack of other requests! Make your request stand out with additional information about your organization and your event. Try including a FAQ sheet. Include your event location, date and time and any opportunity for on-line bidding. Also include how the funds raised will be used to reach your clients and better your community. Don’t forget to include your tax-exempt certificate. Again, many businesses will require this information to make a donation.
Beyond the basic “ask package” you will want to have a way to document the donation. A donation form which includes information about the donation, including a detailed description of the item and its retail value, and the businesses information will be helpful to keep donations in order. This can also serve as a receipt for the donating business.
It can be easy to get discouraged as your team goes out to ask for donations. Ask each team member to start by asking people they already know. These will be easier asks and will build your team’s confidence to go out and ask some more! It is a good idea to designate one or two members of your team to research these sites and put in requests. Theme parks, entertainment venues and other such businesses run their entire donation process online. It is worth the investment to make these requests.
Sounds like a lot of work and not always successful.
Then there’s Geronimo! We make the process of obtaining auction items easy! Vacations and golf are the most popular items at fundraisers. We’ve already gathered the vacations and golf for you! No need to chase vacation home owners down for donations. We provide all the tools! Please, see our website and watch our video. Let us help you create the most efficient fundraiser!