charity auction planning

The multiplier effect of good sponsorship

Event sponsorship can have many potentially positive and negative impacts on an event, but the natural tendency is to focus solely on the positive. Planning committees tend to look at the amount sponsorship raised pre-event or the number of tables pre-sold. People seldom focus on, let alone proactively work to mitigate, the potentially negative impacts sponsors can have.

Good sponsors do more than "just" buy tables, good sponsors bring qualified guests who are prepared to engage with your event.

Good sponsors do more than "just" buy tables, good sponsors bring qualified guests who are prepared to engage with your event.

Obviously, sponsorships help generate income pre-event and can guarantee profitability before the doors open. Table sponsorships are an integral part of every large gala I work with and account for a significant percentage of the seats sold at many events. Raising money before the doors open is a good thing, but it is meant to be a means, not an end.

Challenges arise when sponsors make their pre-event contribution and then count their job as done. We see it frequently: the sponsor who uses their table as a chance to reward employees, clients, or some friends with a “fun party.” Or the worst-case scenario: the sponsor who doesn’t even bother to fill their table and lets it sit there, empty.

The opposite of this is when sponsors see their contribution as an opportunity and leverage their donation to help generate more donations. We need sponsors to commit to utilizing their position of influence to help create more supporters for your organization by bringing people of potential to the table.

The way they do this is by strategically seeding their table with individuals who have capacity and making sure that those individuals understand their role at the event. It doesn’t have to be as brash as, “I’m expecting you to come spend money and support this cause.” But sponsors believe in your cause for a reason, and if they share their passion for your work with potential supporters in their network, it will yield short-term and long-term benefits.

When sponsors take this approach, they apply a multiplier to their initial donation that can be felt the night-of your event. In this way, a $10,000 table sponsorship can yield $25,000 in contributions – if the right bidders join the sponsor at their table.

This approach also helps fill your donor development pipeline with potential long-term donors. Once a potential donor is “in the room,” it is up to you to meaningfully engage them, motivate them to contribute, and cultivate them for future support. But it only works if they are qualified individuals who come open to being engaged.

These sponsor conversations are not always easy to have – no sponsor wants to hear that their cash gift isn’t enough. It is important that the right person discusses it with your sponsors and that the message is couched in utilizing their generosity to help create even more success for your organization.

Sponsors support you because they believe in your work and they want to help you change the world. Engage them on a deeper level, it will be more rewarding for all involved.

Registration open for San Francisco workshop, October 26

Registration is now open for our upcoming San Francisco fundraising auction workshop: Raise More, Right Now: Advanced Fundraising Auction Strategies
This in-depth fundraising auction workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 26th at the Log Cabin in the Presidio in San Francisco, California. It is presented by Stellar Fundraising Auctions, Beth Sandefur Events, Greater Giving and The Lux Productions. 

This in-depth, highly interactive workshop will provide you with advanced strategies to raise more with what you already have. Learn how to get attendees to commit to supporting you before they arrive, new techniques for marketing your auction, new revenue enhancers that encourage spending, and more. Session topics will include:

  • Storytelling for your mission
  • Creating successful auction lots
  • Revenue enhancers, beyond the raffle
  • Strategies to refresh your silent auction
  • New technologies to stretch your audio visual budget
  • Marketing your auction

Hands-on mobile bidding session
Many organizations are looking for information about the most buzzed about trend in events: going mobile. This workshop session will include an overview of Greater Giving’s Mobile Bidding and Storefront functions. We’ll discuss how mobile bidding impacts your event and how you can incorporate raffle and other multi-item sales into your event using storefront.

Expert roundtables
The workshop ends with a 1-hour series of small group sessions with each member of our expert panel. We will break into groups by organization type, and spend an hour drilling down on the topics that matter to you most. Ask questions and get answers that are relevant to the needs of your specific event with experts in the field of fundraising auction planning, implementation and performance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - the Log Cabin in the Presidio, San Francisco
9:00am – 3:00pm
Check-in begins at 8:30am
Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Click here to register.

Save the date: two Bay Area fundraising auction workshops in October

Stellar Fundraising Auctions, in conjunction with Beth Sandefur Events, Greater Giving and Lux Productions is producing back-to-back fundraising auction workshops in the East Bay and San Francisco this October. Raise More, Right Now: Advanced Fundraising Auction Strategies is an in-depth fundraising auction workshop focused on maximizing your event’s existing potential.

Mark your calendars now for either Tuesday, October 25th at the Veteran's Memorial in Lafayette, or Wednesday, October 26th at the Log Cabin at the Presidio in San Francisco. The cost of either workshop will be $50, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

Session topics will include:

  • Selling your story 
  • Creating successful auction lots
  • Revenue enhancers
  • Silent auction
  • New technologies that stretch your audio visual budget
  • Marketing your auction
  • Mobile bidding

Registration and more information coming soon. 

Creative & memorable save the date card idea

The sheer number of fundraising auctions makes it difficult to stand out from crowd. Every event sends a save the date card, and most of them that come through my mailbox get a cursory once-over before they wind up in the recycling bin.

But this save the date card from the John Muir Health Foundation popped out from the first moment I saw it. Maybe it's a lifelong fascination with holograms, or maybe it is the fact that the card is vibrant and interactive. Either way, this save the date card is unique and eye-catching. 

What is the most creative save the date card you've seen or done?

The most creative save the date card we've seen in a long time, thanks to holograms!