The fund-a-need is the single most important element of the majority of fundraising auctions we conduct. The fund-a-need usually makes as much as or more than the combined total of the rest of the auction lots. In many cases, the fund-a-need generates three to five times more than the rest of the auction as a whole.
An item this integral to the success of your event and your organization deserves its own committee chair.
Typically, the fund-a-need falls within the purview of the live auction chairs. However, these are the people who have been tasked with soliciting auction lots, creating packages out of them, writing up their descriptions and then marketing them. They have a lot on their plate, and often they simply want to know what the staff has decided to do the fund-a-need for, and where to put it in the auction.
Make one person the chair of the fund-a-need, and enable them to focus on all of the small details that will help make the appeal more successful. The fund-a-need chair can:
- Work directly with staff to determine and define the fund-a-need;
- Identify ways to quantify the need so that it maps to every pledging level;
- Write the description for the catalog;
- Coordinate the testimonial for the night-of the event, including either the creation of a video or working to identify appropriate speakers; and
- Identify and solicit lead donors for each level of the fund-a-need.
With or without a fund-a-need chair, each of these steps is integral to the ongoing success of your fund-a-need. Putting one person in charge of all of them ensures consistency across the myriad tasks' timeline to help make it successful. Creating a fund-a-need chair also elevates the importance of the fund-a-need among those planning your event and auction.
A successful fund-a-need takes work, it seldom “just happens.” Getting other committee members to recognize that will change the perspective of the fund-a-need within your community, all of which will help make it more successful
It is the single biggest moment of your event, work to make it so.