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July 29, 2016 The Dinner Bell

When I was a kid, I lived in a house in the middle of 42 acres. Our driveway was a forth of a mile long.  Our nearest neighbor and my best friend were located about that same distance away.  This was long before cellphones were around so communications were a bit archaic back then.  My mother had installed a huge dinner bell that she would ring to summon her children. It could be heard for miles, I am certain.  I knew when I heard that bell that my top priority was to get home as fast as I could because dinner was waiting or because I was needed by my mother.  The system worked pretty well on most occasions.

That dinner bell taught me the importance of timing.  If I didn’t get home after Momma rang that bell, I was going to be greeted with a cold dinner. Or I was going to be in trouble because I was not there when mother needed me.

This long-ago lesson carries over to my work with nonprofits across the country.

I am finding that more and more nonprofits want more from their Auctioneers than just calling the bid. They want consulting in areas that can translate into more dollars raised at their events. One area where CKBA can impact your nonprofit’s fundraising event is by sharing with you the importance of timing at those events.  Let’s examine just 2 areas where timeline can make a difference:

  1. What is the Show Flow telling your guests? When guests attend an event and there are 45 minutes of awards, speeches, etc., followed lastly by the fundraising, the message your nonprofit is sending to the guests is that fundraising is the least important aspect of the evening. I strongly suggest you conduct the fundraising aspects of the evening early on, followed by recognitions and keynote speakers.
  1. The attendees at your fundraising events are subject to “guest fatigue”. Let’s face it, life happens – babysitters call, too much alcohol is consumed, and frankly, sometimes guests just disengage and leave the room (mentally or physically). Moving the fundraising portion of the evening from the end of the program to the beginning will simply mean more money raised for your nonprofit.

*(And on that note of too much alcohol…While nonprofits love for their guests to drink because it “loosens them up and they will bid more”, there is a limit to that theory.  As I’ve written about before in my blog, two drinks can create that “giving buzz” but consumption of more than that can actually decrease giving.)

I believe it is imperative that nonprofits get the money early at their fundraising events. Timing is everything when it comes to generating the most revenue.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!



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