Top 11 Fund-A-Need Auction Killers

You’ve put a lot of work into planning your Fund-A-Need campaign.

How do you ensure it will be successful? In our recent webinar, 7 Essentials to Fund-a-Need Success with Auction brio LLC, Mark Schroeder shared his insights. Tapping into years of experience as a certified benefit auctioneer, Mark listed the things to watch out for when planning a Fund-A-Need auction.

What to Avoid

Everyone wants their Fund-A-Need to go smoothly. With good planning and preparation, you can sidestep these common pitfalls.

1. Long presentations: Your donors are there to have fun and support your cause. They don’t need yet another business meeting. Make sure your presentation is snappy and to the point. Ninety seconds is all you need to tell your audience what they’ve accomplished and prepare them for the video showing them how they can have an impact today.

2. Bad presenters: Whoever you choose to present your Fund-A-Need, make sure they can connect with your audience. The person needs to be comfortable speaking to a large crowd and can convey your message concisely, with wit and humor.

3. Long videos: Your Fund-A-Need video should be no more than three minutes. If it’s longer than that, you’ll lose your audience. Clarify your message. Cut out the weakest clips and keep only those that best support your story.

4. Videos that don’t present the need: Some organizations want to create an “evergreen” video that will stay on the website for a year or more. That’s fine, but it’s a marketing video, not a Fund-A-Need video. Make sure your FAN video clearly conveys the need for which you are raising funds.

5. Videos that don’t energize: Your Fund-A-Need video needs to get people excited about the opportunity to make a difference. It needs to make them sit up and say, “Wow! I want to be a part of making that happen!”

6. Poorly produced videos: Don’t skimp on the production of your video. Hire a professional. Don’t let the students in your school or volunteers make the video; it will look homemade and it won’t have the same impact. Use the kids in the video and you’ll be much happier with the result.

7. Poor sound: Hire a professional to produce your video, and make sure they use proper sound equipment. Every person interviewed needs to have a microphone. The same goes for presenting the video during the auction—use a professional sound system.

8. Unclear message: Make sure to tell your donors exactly what their money will be used for—give them a reason to give. Make it clear. Make it visual. Help them picture the impact they’ll have.

9. Bad scheduling: Don’t schedule your Fund-A-Need too late in the evening. You want to capture the moment when the energy is high. Don’t wait until people start getting tired.

10. Bad pacing: Your Fund-A-Need—which includes the presentation, the video and the execution—should only take about 20 minutes. Don’t drag it out, but don’t rush through it either. This is your one chance to make a lot of money. Keep it going at a lively pace.

11. Too few giving levels: Don’t rush through your Fund-A-Need with just five giving levels. Offer multiple levels. Some people will give at $3500, but if you drop from $5000 to $2000, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

The Fund-A-Need is an emotional give. If you give your supporters a reason to give, they will. If you make it enjoyable and clearly show them the need, they’ll be generous. If you avoid throwing up barriers, like those listed above, you’ll be able to get your message across and connect with your audience in a way that inspires them to give.

What’s Your Experience?

What is your approach to organizing a Fund-A-Need campaign? What have you learned? What works? What doesn’t? Do you have any other auction killers to add to the list? Please share your insights in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

2 Responses to “Top 11 Fund-A-Need Auction Killers”

    • Dathan Montes

      Absolutely, fund-a-needs are a terrific way to add additional revenue streams to your event. Great to hear you are effectively utilizing it.


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