How important are recorders for your live auction and fund a need?


One of the most important jobs at a fundraising auction event are the recorders.  These are the people that are logging in the winning bid amounts and donation amounts from the live auction and fund a need.  They will also be the people running the recorder sheets to the check out personnel.  Sounds simple right?  We see more mistakes made here than almost any other volunteer job… it is a tragedy because this is where serious money can be lost!

Here is the formula for success with your recorders: 

  1. Don’t have volunteers that like to drink alcoholic beverages handling your recording.
  2. Assign this job to three people with identical recorder sheets to prevent missed bid amounts or bidder numbers.
  3. Have pre-designed recorder sheets that are simple to understand.  Lay out your live auction sheet in the same order of the actual live auction and let recorders know if there are any items that have the potential to sell twice.  Design your fund a need sheet in columns with the same levels your professional auctioneer will be asking your guests to give.
  4. Make sure that the three recorders check each other’s sheets and combine to one sheet for the checkout personnel.
  5. All recorders need to be placed in a quiet corner close to a speaker, so they can hear, and just listen, logging in data based on what the auctioneer says.  DO NOT HAVE RECORDERS TRY AND FIND THE BIDDER NUMBERS THEMSELVES; THIS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!
  6. Have the recorders meet with the auctioneer prior to the event to go over the system.

Written by Mike Grigg, AARE, BAS