Awesome AFP Arizona State Conference

Hello all of my Fundraising Superheroes, especially my friends that I met at the Arizona Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference on July 19 and July 20, 2017 in Tucson, AZ.

What a fantastic day filled with fellowship, fundraising best practices and FUN all culminating with the World Premier of Fundraiser: The Musical presented by Call To Auction (YouTube Video coming soon!)

We had a few questions come up during our conversations and wanted to answer those here:
Question 1: How many items do we need for our Live Auction? 
The answer is 0 to 10+. All depending on goals, culture of your event, previous event feedback, demographic of donors, timeline, auctioneer, marketing, etc.  It is our philosophy in fundraising that you have 45 minutes of dedicated donor focus on live fundraising, whether that is a Live Auction, Paddle Raise/Call To Action, Fundraising Games etc. Every minute over that 45 minute time limit, you will see a decrease in maximized revenue.
It is our recommendation for an optimal fundraising event to have 3 – 5 absolutely amazing Live Auction experiences followed by an  short inspirational statements by those directly effected with from your donations and then conduct a Paddle Raise/Call To Action by your professional fundraiser. This will maximize your donation potential but most importantly your donor experience.
Question 2: How do we do a Paddle Raise?
This is the biggest question being asked around the nation about special event fundraising. Paddle Raise, Fund A Need, Cash Call or what we refer to as, the Call To Action. This is the most effective method of live fundraising at your special event in regards to ROI of time and dollars as well as donor experience, engagement and interaction. Your Call To Action can raise $1000’s if not $10’s of thousands of dollars a minute. Our most successful clients have raised millions in their Call To Action when done effectively. How do you do this asking?
  1. Prepare your donors: Let donors know that you will be conducting an Ask and that they can give at a level that is inspirational to them
  2. Set the Stage: Great lighting, mood, video, etc. to get all guests focused
  3. Tell a short story: An individual from your organization that has been directly effected by the funds is usually the best person to tell a 100 second story.
  4. Make the Ask: Have your professional fundraiser make that ask, sincerely, graciously and powerfully to inspire the giving.
  5. Collect the funds: Make sure every guest has a giving card/bid paddle to make it easy for them to give emotionally
  6. Celebrate the success: Woohoo!!! You just raised a ton of money, let your guests now donors know that you love them
  7. Say Thank You: At the event and after the event. Let all those that gave a big “Thank You” and messaging where their dollars are going and who they are impacting
Question 3: We had a really awkward Live Auction, how do we fix this? 
Easy, hire a professional. Sure the MC, Celebrity, or Board Member has no problem behind the microphone and being funny. But your Live Auction and Call To Action are your biggest fundraising opportunities of the night. Don’t take a chance. Invest in someone who is specially trained, has 1000’s of hours of experience and knows how to excite, engage and inspire a crowd and utilizes effective fundraising psychology to get your donors to give as much as they can. By hiring a professional, you are investing in creating a positive donor experience that will live on much further than the funds that were raised. Maya Angelou said it best, “People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you make them feel…” Can we help your donors feel amazing!
We would like to invite you to our upcoming seminar workshop titled “Smash the Ceiling: Secrets to create 6 Figure Events”.
You can learn more about the event and register below
It was great meeting you all and let me know if you have any other questions or more clarification about these questions. Please call 855-GO-GAVEL.
Thank you!
Bobby D

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