Meeting with a benefit auctioneer

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May 23, 2014 What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?

While I’m not going to debate chickens, I am going to help you explore your fundraising gala.  During my consulting over the past seven years with non-profits, there has been a lot of discussion regarding when the live auction should be conducted during the evening.  Many groups want to “set the tone” with keynote speeches,…

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May 16, 2014 What is Your “Free” Auctioneer Costing You?

Many charitable organizations get a “free” auctioneer to conduct their live auction. This free auctioneer can be an auctioneer who sells cattle, real estate or personal property or even a board member or celebrity, chosen in the name of “saving money”. But I’d like to caution you that there are other costs associated with this…

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May 9, 2014 What Type of Event is Best?

One of the questions I commonly get is “What type event is best when we are going to have a live auction?” There are pros and cons to both a seated dinner and an event where hors d’oeuvres only are served. Pros of a stand-up/hors d’oeuvres auction event: Cost are usually less than a seated…

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May 2, 2014 How Much Should We Charge for Tickets?

Ticket prices are consistently a discussion that I have with our non-profit organizations. Many groups want to charge low ticket prices to get the community out to the event. While this does fill seats, it often fills then with guests who many times do not cover your costs. These guests often just attend for a…

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April 25, 2014 Setting a Budget and Establishing Clear Goals for your Gala

Goals are critical to fundraising.  If you don’t set goals, how do you know the event was successful?  I recommend you create a budget of expenses and revenue.  The expenses can consist of the venue, equipment rental, catering and bartenders, sound, lighting, band, printing, decorations, advertising, insurance, credit card fees, and liquor license.  Your professional…

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April 18, 2014 Learn From the Past

You’ve spent the time and energy over the past six months to host a fundraising event.  Now that it is over you can relax and put the file away for six months, right?  Not so fast.  While the event is fresh on your mind, I suggest you meet with all the volunteers and staff to…

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April 3, 2014 Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket…

Often we have heard organizations who have hosted fundraising events for several years say “We have a donor appreciation dinner and a silent auction and we really don’t have time to make it any more than that.  Our donors are happy with what we do.” I say traditions are important, but establishing new traditions is…

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March 25, 2014 Preventing the last-minute “OMG, the event is in how many days???”

How many times have you come to crunch time on your event, deadlines long forgotten, and you’ve got to get the program done, the descriptions written for the live auction items, or receive last minute items?  Once the event gets here, is it the last thing you want to attend?  If these situations sound familiar,…

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