The fund-a-need is the most crucial component of almost every fundraising auction. The fund-a-need raises more money than any single auction lot and often raises more money than the rest of the auction lots combined.
All of which underscores why the fund-a-need deserves prominent placement in your auction catalog or your written program for the evening.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that everyone attending your event knows what you are raising money for. Take advantage of the opportunity to market your mission in a heartfelt manner, and encourage newcomers to become supporters by enabling a very specific component of your mission. The fund-a-need is your chance to tell your story in a more focused way to engage existing donors and potential new donors alike on a meaningful, empowering level.
The catalog provides you with a means for educating people about your fund-a-need: laying out the case for supporting you and quantifying how they can help you change the world. Even if you have a spectacular speaker, or an incredible video, you should still make an engaging case for your fund-a-need in your catalog.
Spell out exactly what the fund-a-need will help you do, and quantify your ask in very specific ways. It always helps to quantify your need in increments that map directly to the levels you will be asking for in the fund-a-need. For example, if you know you’ll be asking for $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, $500, $250 and $100, tell people exactly what a donation at each of those increments will help you do.
And make sure your quantifications carry heft. People are more likely to respond emotionally if they have already arrived at a logical conclusion. Guide them to that logical conclusion in the catalog, so they can get emotional with their paddles when the time comes to make pledges in your auction.