This post is the third in a series of posts based on the “Best Practices for School Auctions” whitepaper from the Greater Giving Fundraising Excellence Series. Each new post covers the unique challenges school auction planners face, and how to overcome those challenges. Read additional articles: School Auctions Series
Do you want to improve the performance of your school auction? Interested in streamlining your process?
One of the best ways to get to a better place is to understand where you are. Analyzing your auction results will give you a clear picture of what happened this year and what you can do to make next year even better, both in terms of revenue and operations.
Ask Good Questions
Before handing off the auction responsibility to next year’s team, you and your team will want to answer the following questions:
- Did we reach our “need” revenue goal?
- Did we reach our “want” revenue goal?
- Which sources provided revenue and how much from each?
- Ticket sales
- Raffles/games/revenue enhancers
- How well did we do with operations?
- Volunteer management
- Logistics—before, during and after the event
This information will help you see clearly what you accomplished this year.
Transfer the Knowledge
Analyzing auction results is best done by both the current auction chair and next year’s chair, with input from the various committees. The idea is to capture the knowledge of the current team and pass it on to next year’s team. In some schools, this year’s assistant auction chair becomes next year’s auction chair, which makes this knowledge transfer easy and straightforward.
The new auction chair can then start recruiting collaborators. The first order of business is to select an assistant chair and the committee chairs.
Set Achievable Goals
Armed with the analysis of the auction results, the new team can set revenue goals and develop a pragmatic improvement plan for next year. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- Given what you accomplished this year, what can you realistically achieve next year?
- What were your best revenue sources? Do you want to put extra effort into developing one or more of them?
- What types of items did you procure this year? Which items generated the most bidding? What are your goals for procurement next year?
- What areas of your operations could use some improvement? What are your goals for streamlining your operation?
What’s Your Experience?
How do you analyze your auction results and set goals? How do you pass on this knowledge to the next auction team? What tools and systems have you found helpful in this type of analysis? What do you wish you had that would make it easier? Please share your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to know what you are learning.