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August 29, 2014 Start the Planning Early

When should you start planning your fundraising event?  We get that question a lot.  The answer is dependent on the size and type of your event and the number of volunteers you have onboard.  If you are planning a large gala, more than likely you never stop planning.  You conduct a wrap-up meeting right after your event and start planning the next year’s gala immediately (after the celebration party of course!).

If you’ve conducted your fundraising auction over several years and have repeat volunteers, you probably have a well-oiled machine.  You may be able to start the planning process 4 to 6 months out.

If this is your first fundraising auction, you need to begin planning 9 to 12 months out.  First of all, hire a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) as your auctioneer/consultant.  The BAS Auctioneers through the National Auctioneers Association are highly trained, specifically to help you through the entire planning process, arming you with the right tools to conduct a successful auction and partnering with your organization.  You can find a BAS Auctioneer here. Once you’ve found the right auctioneer for your organization, coordinate with them regarding the preferred date of the auction.  She can help you step-by-step through the entire planning process of your event.  Time is of the essence; our phone is already ringing in August for events taking place next spring.

Next up you’ll need to get your committees in place. Then direct your focus on items, sponsorships and ad sales.

I hear horror stories all the time from non-profits who have a difficult time retaining volunteers. This can usually be avoided by early planning and organization to reduce the chance that your leadership will be managing by fire, therefore causing undue stress on your volunteers. It is never too early to start the event planning process.

“Make Every Minute a Revenue Generating Minute”  

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