How should volunteers be utilized at my Fundraising Auction Event?

Volunteers are an extremely important part of your
fundraising event!!  Here are a list of “jobs” that your volunteers need to be placed in for optimal success from Mike Grigg at Elite Auctions & Fundraising Services:

  • Live auction and fund a need recorders.  We recommend that you utilize three volunteers in this position to eliminate errors when recording winning bid amounts and donation amounts.  Make sure your professional auctioneer has a “pow-wow” with the recorders prior to the live auction and fund a need.
  • Selling raffle tickets or entries to games.  Always put your volunteers in teams of two to maximize their efficiency.  If you have raffles or games going on at your event then send out 2-3 teams of two to sell those tickets or buy in opportunities.  You want aggressive volunteers that are going to sell not just stand in a corner and chat with friends.
  • Check-in and check out.  You will need several volunteers to assist with checking in and out your guests.  This number varies dependent upon how many guests you have coming to your event.
  • Silent Auction Assistants.  You will need about two volunteers per silent auction table to answer questions, assist with set up, and shutting down silent auction.  These volunteers will need to be able to get bid sheets off the table as soon as auctioneer closes the silent auction, and then move items (if needed) to the proper check out area.
  • We recommend that you use professional ringmen rather than have volunteers as your bid spotters.  Professional ringmen are trained to get the best result from your bidders and leaving this up to volunteers simply causes more chaos than assistance.
  • Obviously, you will need volunteers to help with setting up and taking down your entire event as well.

Volunteers that are not used or managed in the proper way can cause more problems than they help with, therefore make sure you have a manager in charge of training your volunteers.  Also, don’t give each volunteer too much to do; If you overwhelm your volunteers they become less effective.  Good luck with your fundraising events and always make sure to hire a professional auctioneer/consultant to maximize your fundraising results!

Written by Mike Grigg, AARE, BAS with Elite Auctions & Fundraising Services