Auctions, Raffles, and Cash Calls, Oh My!- Response to Tony Martignetti NonProfit Radio Podcast

This is a quick blog post in regards to the recent podcast from the Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio Show “Auctions, Raffles and Cash Calls Oh My!”. I’ve been listening to Tony’s podcasts for quite some time now. I’m always looking for insights into the non-profit sector and how I can implement those ideas and thoughts into helping our clients. I was so excited when I saw this in my feed as I’ve always thought that he should do a show on fundraising events, namely fundraising auctions. The three guests he had on were all members of different non-profits in the New York area and seemed to have some experience in fundraising auctions and events.  Here are a few of the great things they shared with the podcast listeners:

Neil Bogan on the Cash Call

  • Create and focus impact messaging throughout the night to build up to the Cash Call or Call To Action
  • Get the donations immediately that night
  • Start the giving high with a pre-secured lead gift
  • The spirit of giving is set from the lead gift and will allow all to give at a level that is meaningful to each person
  • Committee or Board of Directors sets the stage with their guests and asks if they will participate in the Cash Call and sets expectations for the night

Yolanda Johnson on Live and Silent Auctions

  • It has to make sense to have an auction and complement the tone and style of the event
  • Match items to what donors want
  • Analyze donor data to find what sells great and what doesn’t
  • No one will want it if it’s random
  • Guests love auction items that include food and travel experiences as well as mission centric items
  • For smaller items, you can package them together to make a great package
  • The auctioneer can bring a huge value to the event, and needs to be charismatic and outgoing
  • The style of the auctioneer needs to match the event
  • Make sure the paperwork/backend is completed and correct
  • Sell multiples of items in Live Auction
  • The Auction needs to have choreography and a production value

Tracy Drayer on Raffles

  • Raffle item acquisition is key
  • For a large raffle with many items, a list of items can help
  • Place ticket sales near the registration and use preprinted labels to place on each raffle ticket sold
  • 2 types of raffles: One large receptacle for all tickets or separate receptacles for different raffle items
  • Deliver items to table after drawing them; Draw Grand Prize at the end of the night
  • Follow your local gaming regulations and acquire necessary permits
  • Donation policy: donors give the item to the organization and cannot have back

Thanks Tony and your guests for bringing to light the importance of doing fundraising right at your next event! Maybe we’ll get to chat more someday about how to create events that engage more donors, excite the attendees and inspire those that support the organization to give more than ever before.

You can listen to his episode here:

I created a video in response to this that you can watch here! Part Two


  1. tony martignetti on January 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you for your informative post AND video and for loving Nonprofit Radio so much! I’m just so grateful for your support.

    I do takeaways for the Facebook page after each show but you took-it-away to many levels higher!

    Many thanks, Bobby D.!

    • Bob Ehlert on February 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for all you do Tony! I am but a student of yours:)

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