What You and Your Board Should Consider when Having a Fundraising Auction

I.              Evaluation
a.    What do you hope to accomplish with a fundraising auction?
                                          i.    Thank donors and volunteers
                                        ii.    Raise needed funds
                                       iii.    Increase donor base
                                       iv.    Increase volunteer base
                                        v.    Increase community awareness for your cause
b.    Does your organization have the necessary resources?
                                          i.    Start-up capital
                                        ii.    Staffing
                                       iii.    Volunteer support
                                       iv.    Time
                                        v.    Will you need input from other organizations
                                       vi.    Professional consultation
c.    Does an auction compliment the mission of your organization?
II.            Plan and Name Your Goal
a.    Establish a realistic financial plan
                                          i.    Consider all possible expenses and revenue
                                        ii.    Estimate attendance figures
                                       iii.    Be realistic in your assessment of participation
                                       iv.    Set an expense budget and stick to it
                                        v.    Outline the worst case scenario
                                       vi.    Establish the break-even point
b.    Develop a step-by-step action plan
                                          i.    Plan training for volunteer needs and know your sources
                                        ii.    Evaluate possible locations for your auction gala
                                       iii.    Layout a game plan for reaching your target audience
                                       iv.    Plan for publicity
                                        v.    Recruit a planning committee and solicit their input on the plan
III.           Get the Word Out
a.    Involve as many as possible in the planning process.  Let others share ownership of the event so you will get more support and have a more successful auction.
                                          i.    Sell  your board on becoming involved
                                        ii.    Contact current constituents and volunteers
b.    Recruit new volunteers
c.    Reach out to the media
                                          i.    Personal invitations
                                        ii.    Write press releases
                                       iii.    Organization newsletter
IV.          Post Event Evaluation
a.    Goal Evaluation
                                          i.    Did the auction accomplish the goals you established (financial, new donors, community awareness)?  Why or why not?
b.    Support Evaluation
                                          i.    Did you have the support you needed from constituents, your board, the media, and volunteers?  Why or why not?
                                        ii.    Did you have the sponsorship support you planned?  Why or why not?
c.    What would you have done differently?
d.    Layout a skeleton action plan based on your evaluation to refer to when planning the next auction.
                                          i.    Have committee chairs give written reports
                                        ii.    Should this be an annual event?
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