Protecting Your Auction with a Terms and Conditions Agreement

Shielding your event from lawsuits caused by an unforeseen incident or someone acting in bad faith is an important step toward protecting your nonprofit if something goes awry.

A lawsuit can erase all the fundraising you’ve gained during an event that would have taken months to plan. Putting together a clear Terms and Conditions Agreement (T&C) that was written specifically to address the intricacies of a fundraising event will protect your nonprofit from litigation and provide guidance for everyone involved.

So, what do you need to include in your T&C Agreement?

Event planners should discuss their specific needs with their nonprofit’s legal counsel for the final drafting of the agreement but digging into the different areas of the event’s plan is a good way to get started. Do the research to set the rules and regulations governing the fundraiser, looking at each aspect of your event and asking yourself these four things:

1. How important is it to protect this aspect of the event?
2. What can go wrong?
3. What is the expected correct behavior?
4. What action will we take if the agreement is broken?

An examination of your entire event plan will help you identify areas of concern that you’ll need to address. These include, but are not limited to, your pick-up and delivery procedures, information regarding payment and tax reporting, logistics, travel, and the general conduct expected of your guests, sponsors, and team members.

While you’ll find many examples of Terms and Conditions Agreements online, each event has its own individual details that must be addressed so, just as you would do for all legal agreements, it’s best to involve a profession litigator or auctioneer in order to make sure your language is legally sound.

Keep in mind you are protecting both your organization’s liability, as well as your guests’ as you write your agreement and you’ll provide the protection needed for a successful fundraising auction.

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