Your Auction is Over…Now What?

Your fundraising event is over. Your donors are happy, your guests are happy, and you reached your goal. Congratulations!

Now that the hard work is out of the way, what needs to happen next? Here are some suggestions on how to wrap up your event:

Say your Thank You’s

Thank everyone who played a part in your event (donors, guests, volunteers, and staff) and let them know how much you appreciate their contributions and hard work.

  • If you’re a smaller nonprofit organization, put a personal touch on it. Check out The Perfect Thank You for specific ideas.
  • If you’re a larger nonprofit, consider calling your major donors or first time donors to personally thank them for their contributions.

Set up a post-auction meeting

Meet with your auction committee, board members and staff to discuss what worked well and what could be improved.

  • Schedule the meeting well in advance so everyone has it on their calendars.
  • Hold the meeting as soon as possible after the event, ideally within 2 weeks. You want to capture people’s impressions while they’re still fresh.
  • Discuss the entire event from beginning (registration) to end (checkout).
  • Focus on capturing what happened, rather than on finding solutions—you don’t want the meeting to get bogged down. But be sure to have a plan for addressing the challenges and schedule future meetings to generate solutions.

Collect feedback

Talk to your volunteers, staff and guests to see what their experience was.

  • Seek feedback as soon as possible after the event.
  • Create an online survey to make it easier for people to share what they know.
  • Make it simple and keep it under 10 questions.

Share results

What better way to show your donors the impact they had than by sharing with them the results of your fundraising event?

  • Use your website – You’ll be removing your calls to action, now that the event is over. Why not fill that space with your final results? Double points if you can make it an eye-catching graphic.
  • Send your donors (and volunteers) an update email with the highlights, challenges and impact of your event.

Have a post-auction sale

Conduct a second auction to sell any leftover items. This will not only help you raise more money, it will also reduce your need for storage space.

Most importantly, take a moment to rejoice in your wonderful accomplishment! If you have more ideas for how to wrap up an event, we’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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