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.

Don’t Make These Mistakes at Your Next Benefit Auction

No display or terrible live auction display

<img class="wp-image-678 alignleft" alt="liveauction" src="http://calltoauction cheap cialis overnight delivery.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/liveauction.jpg” width=”330″ height=”277″ />You need your donors and bidders to know what’s in the live auction and give them reasons to be excited about them! This is a great example of a live auction display. Sell the sizzle and not the steak! Single poster boards are out, huge, extravagant displays are in, bigger and flashier the better. Also put this in a highly visible place and put your professional Auctioneer there to answer questions and build rapport with the bidders. Get those bidders excited about bidding!



The live auction is not the last part of the night



Get the live auction started early while the guests are energetic, not too tipsy and while everyone is thinking about the cause. After the salads are placed and you do your initial “Thank You” and Sponsor recognition is one of the best times to do the auction. Fundraise First and Dance Later!





Why are people going to spend thousands of dollars on packages when they don’t even know why we’re here?

Having an effective “Why” message right before the live auction is key. A video of a family or individual directly affected by the proceeds to be raised or the actual individual or family will give you the biggest impact. When donors change their thinking from what they are getting a deal on, to how many lives they are going to change with their bids, you will see a huge increase in auction returns.

We don’t need bid numbers; they can just raise their hands.

auction bidders

Yes, every person needs a bid number, not just couples, everyone! This is their license to bid, give everyone an easy way to give and bid numbers are how you do it. Sometimes husbands love to bid against their wives, give them that chance. Or the wife may have taken the bid number to the restroom while the auction is going on and the husband thinks he can’t bid. Give everyone the “License” to give that night!




The Emcee or board member can do the auction…um, NO!


Hiring an effective, energetic and inspiring Professional Benefit Auctioneer Specialist will guarantee your biggest success in the live auction. When you look at dollar raised per minute, your live auction will be your most effective means to bring in big donations and make sure everyone is having a ton of fun, your Emcee or Board member can’t make this happen. A Professional Benefit Auctioneer Specialist Can!



I hope this helps you have a much more successful Fundraising Auction this year and helps you to raise a ton of money to help more of those you serve in your organization.

If you’d like to learn more, LIKE us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/calltoauction or visit our website at http://calltoauction.com

Big Ideas for Big Donations

We are pleased to introduce the second installment in our Maximizing Profits for Non Profits seminar series:

Big Ideas for Big Donations at Your Next Event

If you are ready to:

  • Bring in donations bigger than ever you thought possible
  • Add 15-25% or more to your Silent and Live Auction Budgets
  • Use the advancements in mobile electronic bidding to include even more buyers
  • Create a stronger “Why” and have better ways to present it
  • Freshen up your stale event
  • Have an out pouring of donations from thin air

Then please join us on Monday  March 10th from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at the Tempe Library see page. Lunch will be provided.

So whether you are new to the fundraising biz, or have been around for years, we have the solutions you need and much more!!!!

Ready to Register? Click here.

This event is being sponsored by:








Charity Auction Ideas

“What are we going to auction off?” is maybe the most important part of envisioning your charity fundraising auction. The excellence of your auction depends on the value and demand for products up for bid. Your team will need to be looking for products, experiences, and tasks that are not usually acquired. These will certainly have greater worth and will certainly motivate folks to go to the activity. When planning your auction charity event take into consideration the make-up of possible attendees, their likes and passions, and a sensible budget assortment for bidders. This research of public auction items for your bidders is vital. Each charity public auction fundraising event has its own one-of-a-kind make-up. Below are several of the hot items for a family public auction that might help you:

  • Pizza a week for six months
  • A day on the farm
  • Roller skating party
  • Family kayaking for a day (with lesson)
  • Paintball for a group
  • A group father/son baseball outing
  • Family season pass to district sporting events
  • Sunset cruise with wine & cheese for a group
  • Lunch with the mayor
  • Dance lessons for a group
  • Job shadowing a local business leader
  • Poker night for a group
  • Six months of flowers from a local florist
  • A chauffer for a day
  • Cooking class for a group
  • Karaoke party
  • Catered lunch for the office
  • Sommelier Class
  • Appetizers and a keg of beer (wine)
  • A father/son charter fishing trip
  • Dinner with a local celebrity
  • Museum sleepover
  • Mother/daughter spa day
  • Police/Fireman for a day (ride in a vehicle, station tour, wear the gear, and photographs)
  • Group walk in your town’s parade
  • Half page ad in your local magazine/newspaper
  • Beach weekend for the family/or two
  • CD/DVD a week for six months
  • Mothers only social gathering hosted by a well-liked parent
  • Lasik eye surgery
  • Tour of a local factory, newspaper, radio/TV station, or sporting arena
  • Botox from a local dermatologist
  • The latest computer or entertainment system & installation
  • Super Bowl party

Call Bob at 480-212-6916 to find out more about running a successful charity auction.

Maximizing Profits for Non-profits in 2014: Building Buzz for Your Next Event


Maximizing Profits for Non-profits in 2014: Building Buzz for Your Next Event

Come learn from the pro’s on how to take your fundraising to new heights with cutting edge technologies and techniques. Is your non-profit ready to play by for-profit rules? Is your organization ready to raise as much money as possible while building a bigger donor and volunteer base? Are you looking for more active board members who can draw on their circles of influence for donations and support? Do you need amazing auction items that don’t cost a dime? Do you need to effectively share your story and impact of donations through the powerful use of video? We will teach you these and more! You will learn how to:

  • Exciting Donors/volunteers by creating that buzz around town through social media, so everyone is talking about your event.
  • Effectively reach out to donors by getting in-front of them and sharing mission, vision and impact they are having
  •  Engaging Donors/volunteers by giving opportunities to give and to help
  • Inspiring current/past/future donors and volunteers to give more time, support and donations by showing the impact of past work and donations
  • Find an out pouring of auction item donations from your local business community
  • Sell out every event and continue to grow your support throughout the year
  • Create a powerful and effective video marketing campaign to swell donors hearts and open their wallets.

Join us on Monday February 3rd, 2014 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at the Tempe Library.

Register here.

Professional Presenters to include:









Participate in a panel discussion with all presenters and get your questions answered! Lunch is included! By signing up you will receive the video of the previous Call To Auction Seminar “Secrets to Supercharge Your Fundraising Auction” Free Ticket to Endless Range Marketing’s newest Seminar Series And much, much more!!! For a few hours of your time invested, you will learn from professional fundraisers, marketers and film producers to take your fundraising to new levels!!! Please join us and take part in the Non-Profit Revolution!!!

Ready to Register? Click Here

It’s 2014! Ready to get buzzed?

Happy 2014 to you all!

I hope your holiday season was relaxing and rewarding and your year ended on the right note. With 2014 now upon us, it is time to get back to work raising big dollars for those we love to help, and I love to help you do just that! To begin this year off right, Id like to give you a gift that I came across just last week. One of my favorite authors in the non-profit world Dan Pallotta @danpalotta was interviewed by the NPR Ted Radio hour about his Ted talk on Non-profits Playing by For-profit Rules that I featured in one of my past blog posts. Please take a listen to this recent interview and learn more about ways to level the playing field in the non-profit vs. profit world.

Speaking of giving back, I love giving back to all charities and organizations and would love to invite you to my newest seminar series: Maximizing Profits for Non-profits in 2014, with an invitation to the first seminar in the series: Building Buzz for Your Next Event. This will be held on Monday, February 3rd from 10:30am to 1:00pm at the Tempe Library. I will be partnering with two great presenters sharing their expertise in ways to create buzz about your upcoming event that can turn into large donations. Hillary St. John of Endless Range Marketing and Nathan Kinkel of Nak Productions. They will be helping me share the newest techniques and technologies in ways to create and build relationships with those that want to give to your organization. They will teach you ways to maximize your mission video and optimize your Facebook page and much, much more. For more information please click here:

Id love to help you break donation records at your next event this year, but my weekends are filling up fast and we have limited dates available.

Please email me at: bobby@calltoauction.com or call me directly at 855-GO-GAVEL to see if your date is open for us to partner together for a successful event.

Thanks and looking forward to working with you in the ?coming new year!

Bobby D. Ehlert BAS

Lead Auctioneer

calltoauction look these up.com

#FFFF2013 Seminar Review

Facts, Fiction and Fun of Fundraising 2013 Seminar Synopsis

August 28, 2013

W Hotel Scottsdale, AZ
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A number of nonprofit organizations development directors, CEO’s, executive directors and other support members gathered on this warm August morning to meet with local businesses looking to help maximize their events in style, feel, taste and inspiration. As guests arrived, they mingled with the vendors to see what is on the cutting edge of fundraising events. Auction & Event Solutions was the organizing group of the event and had a full staff and display of the newest technologies in the fundraising sector. Smartphone and touch screen electronic bidding platforms, speedy guest check in and check out are AES’s specialty. Phone and touch screen electronic bidding platforms and speedy and easy guest check in and check out is there specialty.

Attendees were treated to a wonderful breakfast by the W Hotel and settled in for a fun morning. Robyn Broshears of AES opened the event by welcoming everyone and sharing why we were there, to raise more money for nonprofits and their beneficiaries. Sonoran Studios provided the audio and visual displays making this look and sound like a world class event and the beautiful table settings and decorations provided by Classic Party Rentals of Phoenix.
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Next, Julia C. Patrick of Frontdoors News gave a wonderful keynote speech on unlocking your fundraising potential. She also took questions from the floor in regards to the concepts covered and fundraising in general. Robyn and Julia then picked three lucky nonprofits out of a hat to earn the funds raised during the event from registration, sponsor fees, the live auction and centerpiece sales provided by table tops etc. find out here. Above & Beyond Communications selected Fresh Start Women’s Foundation to receive the ticket/sponsorship proceeds: $1,650!
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Then it was time for fun, Bobby D. Ehlert BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) of Call To Auction, a local professional benefit auction and consultation firm, excited and inspired the crowd to bid in a live auction. He sold a special event marketing package donated by Frontdoors News and valued at $5,200.. Bobby D. used his unique wit, charm and auctioneer style to get hands in the air for the auction and shared some information on why it is important to use a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist. The winning bidder’s funds went to Arizona Broadway Theatre: $1,600!
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After a quick break, the group split into two groups to hear talks from Kari Yatkowski of Corporate Citizen about enhancing current fundraisers and Alissa Pierson of the ASU Alumni Association about creating new fundraisers for nonprofits. Both talks shared valuable information about raising more dollars for the organizations in attendance. After closing the session, groups were invited to visit with each of the vendors again, including event planner EMP Management, and partners Don Dear Photography & Studio ADT who create high quality, branded photo keepsakes.There was a fun and fundraising buzz in the room as guests mingled sharing ideas for their next event.
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The 2013 Fact, Fiction and Fun of Fundraising in its 3rd year proved to be a success for all involved. The nonprofit groups gained some valuable information and tips about raising more money, the vendors met some potential clients and everyone had a ton of FUN!

Supercharge Your Auction Seminar

Sign up here!

Coming Soon! October 25th, 2013 at Tempe Library 11am

Want to supercharge your auction returns? Send your donations to the stratosphere? Need new ideas to freshen up that same old event?

This Seminar Is For YOU!

Topics covered:

Develop your Audience for Cash
Discover How to Acquire Great Auction Items for Free!
Learn to increase sales through your organizations message
Discover the Value of an Effective Auctioneer
Design a Fun and Memorable Experience for your Audience

This seminar is ideal for those wanting to expand their current fundraiser or who are creating their first auction fundraiser. We will cover the basics and then go into depth according to attendees’ interests.

Learn from Bobby D. and his years of experience and education on how to make your next fundraiser the best ever!

Lunch will be provided!

Don’t miss out…limited seating! See you then…

Sign up here!

PRESS RELEASE: Local Auctioneer Featured in Newly-Released Book on Fundraising

Local Auctioneer Featured in Newly-Released Book on Fundraising
By Bobby D. Ehlert
August 23, 2013

Phoenix, AZ Bobby D. Ehlert, local auctioneer, certified Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) and President of Call To Auction, is the only auctioneer in Phoenix to participate in the new book Boost Your Benefit Auction: Tons of Fundraising Tips from Pro Auctioneers. He joins 49 other professional auctioneers in this book to give nonprofits and charities more than 100 ways to liven up their fundraisers and make more money for their causes. Chapter 20, “Auctioneer as Ambassador,” explains his fundraising philosophy: an auctioneer for a charity event should should stretch beyond the live auction sales and become a voice for the nonprofit’s mission. As charities compete for resources in challenging economic times, his multi-faceted ambassador approach helps to strengthen relationships with current donors and attract the new supporters necessary to continually fund programs. This book gives nonprofits both large and small tips and tools from auctioneers across America who organize and call thousands of benefit auctions a year, raising millions of dollars for charities. Boost Your Benefit Auction is available for $29.95 at www.yourcalltoauction.com.

Bobby D. Ehlert BAS will also be the featured auctioneer at the upcoming “Fact, Fiction and Fun of Fundraising” seminar this Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at the W Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. He will be working with a dozen fundraising vendors including lighting and set design, event planning and electronic silent auction bidding technology. This seminar showcases the ever-increasing array of options for charities to maximize their fundraisers. By working together and employing cutting-edge strategies, the nonprofit community in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the entire state of Arizona can raise more dollars for the great causes that do so much good for so many.

About Call To Auction

Call To Auction is owned and operated by Bobby D. Ehlert, a second-generation auctioneer with over 15 years of auction and fundraising experience. He holds the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist designation from the National Auctioneers Association, one of only 170 Specialists in the nation. Call To Auction’s mission is to help organizations – through engaging consultation, exciting auction events and inspiring Call To Action donation appeals – fund the programs and infrastructure to realize their own missions and directly impact more individuals.

More information:
To Purchase Boost Your Benefit Auction book: http://bit.ly/19EITLS
Pictures available upon request

To learn more contact:
Bobby D. Ehlert BAS
Call To Auction