How to Choose a Benefit Auctioneer

Choosing a benefit auctioneer can be difficult—but it doesn’t have to be!

The first thing to know is that a “free” benefit auctioneer is never free. To get a professional, experienced, and effective charity auctioneer on stage at your next event, expect to pay a fee.

Hiring a professional charity auctioneer can definitely be worth it

A professional benefit auctioneer can drive bids higher in a live auction, and generate big donations during the special appeal, easily making back his or her fee and much more.

So what makes a great charity auctioneer? And how do you choose one?

  1. Specialization Benefit auctioneering is a very niche profession, and requires a specific skill set. Choosing a professional auctioneer who specializes in non-profit auctions ensures your charity auctioneer knows what questions to ask you, what advice to offer, and is experienced in driving bids during a special appeal—programming that’s unique to non-profit events.
  2. Experience How long has your potential benefit auctioneer been working non-profit auctions? Like specialization, you want someone that knows the industry and has worked many events like yours in the past.
  3. Certification Any charity auctioneer you choose should be a member of a state or national auctioneering association.
  4. Referrals Don’t just ask for the fundraising auctioneer’s experience working with non-profit auctions, but also request the names and contact information of a few organizations they have worked with in the past.
  5. Then, call those reference organizations! Ask questions about the benefit auctioneer like:
    • What was the ROI on live auction items?
    • How did your special appeal compare to other years?
    • How was the fundraising auctioneer’s energy on stage? Professionalism? Dress?
  6. Charity AuctioneerTalks your talk Your benefit auctioneer should be familiar with your organization’s mission, or ask you detailed questions about it, in order to talk your talk and reflect your image onstage. He or she should also want to know about your intended audience, and the tone of your event. A great charity auctioneer reads your audience to encourage and inspire high bids and high donations.
  7. Energy and personality Meet them in person! Is he or she likable? Confident? Dressed to impress? Energetic?
  8. Pre-event consulting A professional charity auctioneer will generally offer consulting services to help you order the packages in your live auction, organize your silent auction for maximum bidding potential, and advise on your schedule of events. Use this service! An experienced fundraising auctioneer knows how to design your live auction like an emotional roller-coaster for maximum audience involvement and participation.
  9. Additional services and referrals Are you looking for an emcee? A caterer? One advantage of hiring a professional auctioneer that specializes in benefit auctions is that they’ve already built a network of other non-profit professionals that you can tap into. Some can even perform additional services, such as emceeing your event.

See a list of our vetted and amazing partner Professional Benefit Auctioneers.

Happy hunting!


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