How many People should attend a Fundraising Auction Event to ensure SUCCESS?

Every nonprofit and school want to have hundreds of people attend their fundraiser, but is this really the measure of a successful event?

The question should be: “How many people will give and at what levels will they give?”

Just because an event has 800 people in attendance does not necessarily mean that the event is a success on the revenue side of things.  This is where mining your database of past attendees comes in extremely handy and really is an absolute must before you send out your invitations.  Look at past event records and see who is giving and who is not; it should become very apparent who you want to fill your seats with for your next charity auction gala.  I would rather have 100 people with the means to support your cause in the seats then 500 people who are there to simply party.  Not only will it cost the nonprofit a lot more to provide a venue large enough to house 500 people but it will cost immensely more to feed 500 people versus 100.

As an example: A room full of 100 power bidders may generate an average of $1,000 per person of revenue which equates to a gross of $100,000 versus a room of 500 people who generally came to party which may equate to an average of $100 per person or $50,000 gross with a much higher expense to house and feed them.

Your homework should be done several months in advance using data from the past 3 years of events to determine who should receive invitations.  I’m not saying that all events should have lighter attendance because if you happen to have 500 loyal supporters that plan on giving then invite all of them.

Don’t forget to hire an experienced, professional fundraising auctioneer and consultant like Elite Auctions and Fundraising Services to help insure your event’s success.  The results far outweigh the investment!

Written by Mike Grigg, AARE, BAS of Elite Auctions and Fundraising Services

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