Go with the Flow – 6 Tips to Effective Timing at Your Next Fundraising Auction



Why is having a correct flow of show so critical at your next fundraising event or gala? It can increase your donor base and their engagement,  increase the overall dollars raised and make it more likely that donors will participate during future events. Don’t forget these 5 tips when putting together your flow of show:

  1.  Donor’s attention: The purpose of the night is to raise at much money as possible right? Wrong, it’s to celebrate and embrace your current donors and to find and secure new donors. Well, you can’t do that by having them leave early or be bored throughout… so keep your donors as your target audience and play to their attentions.
  2.  Motion creates emotion: By having a lively, quick paced event you not only respect your donors attention, but you will actually engage more donors to bid or give during the live auction or the “Fund A Need.” By enticing them to be a part of the night through an exciting program, you will see more engagement and more dollars raised.
  3. Speeches: NO BS! Yes, you heard me right, no BS (Boring Speeches). Script each speaker and limit time on stage at the podium from 60 to 200 seconds. That is quick I know but you will honor the speaker by not requiring them to have a lengthy speech and putting them in an uncomfortable place (99% of Americans fear public speaking). If the speaker is comfortable being on stage and in front of an audience, a script will keep them on topic, on point and short and sweet. Let’s move on to the fundraising!
  4. Fundraise first, Awards and Dancing later: That’s right. In order to raise as much as possible grab the attention and energy of your donors first and then you can grab their dollars and support. If you wait too long into the night, you will raise zero dollars from 100% of those that left for the evening.
  5. The video must be short and awesome! This is your chance to sell your story, show who you serve and illustrate your need for donations. Think of your event as the Super Bowl and the “Why We’re Here” video as your commercial during a time out. Make it catch the attention of your crowd and get to the point. Any longer than 3 minutes and the phones come out and conversations start taking the focus. Keep your donors engaged towards the task at hand, RAISING MONEY, not status updates or babysitter check-ins (those kids will be fine)
  6.  Guests love to arrive fashionably late and leave extremely early. That’s right, most events we’re conducting are showing the majority of donors arrive 30 minutes after their scheduled start and leaving 30 minutes early. Make sure you time the event to strike with the wallet is open.

Thanks for your time to learn about the ways to maximize the flow of your show to raise more dough!

What are some things that you’re seeing at events that are keeping guests longer? A music act? After-party? Coffee and cake bar? Let me know and we’ll share with the world to help more like you!

If you are in the Phoenix area, come out to our upcoming seminar “Facts, Fiction & Fun of Fundraising” on August 5th. Find out more HERE.

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