Use a Paddle Drop to Raise More Money

Use a Paddle Drop

This simple auction game is a great way to boost revenue at your nonprofit fundraising event.

The Paddle Drop isn’t a new fundraising idea, but it’s one Auction Game that many nonprofit fundraisers aren’t using to its full potential! It’s a fun and easy way to make sure you’re not leaving any money on the table. Paddle Drops allow everyone at your event to participate in the fundraising.

Bring in some additional donations toward the end of your event, and add a great pop of excitement to the finale of any fundraiser.

What is the Paddle Drop?

A Paddle Drop usually occurs after the auction and Fund-A-Need elements of your program. When prompted by the auctioneer or emcee, everyone who wants to play should raise their paddle. Every paddle raised is one donation to the cause. Out of all the paddles collected, one will be chosen to win a fantastic prize!

Now, send volunteers with baskets out to collect all of the raised paddles. Once the paddles are all gathered, have volunteers take the baskets up on-stage for the auctioneer, emcee or speaker.

Then, throw the bid paddles into the air! As they all fall, your presenter catches one—and the bidder shown on that paddle wins the prize. After you find your winner you’ll record a donation for each bidder number collected in your event management software.

How do I hold a Paddle Drop?

First, set a donation amount. Select an amount that’s attainable for any bidder who wants to participate in the Paddle Drop.

Procure a great prize. Select a desirable donated item to set as the prize, or procure one specifically to be used in the Paddle Drop. Then give a shout-out to your generous donor during the appeal. Travel, Memorabilia and experience packages make great prizes for your paddle drop. 

Explain the rules. Tell your audience how the game is played, and show off the prize they could potentially win if their bid paddle is chosen. Instruct everyone in the audience who wishes to play the game to hold their paddle into the air. Volunteers will be collecting their paddles to enter the Paddle Drop.

Play the game. Bring all the paddles up to the stage, where the Paddle Drop will be held. Build up the tension! Who will win the fabulous prize?

Select a winner. The winner should be chosen randomly by the presenter or emcee when all of the paddles are tossed into the air. They can make a fun show out of trying to grab one from the rain of paddles. Once they’ve grabbed one, the bidder number shown on the paddle wins the prize!

Showcase the winner and their amazing prize on stage! For a fantastic finale, invite the winner on stage to accept their prize.

Why should you try a Paddle Drop at your event?

“The Paddle Drop is a great way to end the fundraising program on a high note. It is impulsive, and surprises and delights the audience as they have an opportunity to not only win something, but also give one last time!”

– Daniel Campbell, Raising Paddles

It’s fast! The Paddle Drop is a very quick game to play—it only takes a matter of minutes! It can potentially raise a ton of extra money for your nonprofit. It’s also easy to understand, and offers a ton of fun!

The perfect way to end the night. Most bidders don’t want to take their paddle home with them, so the Paddle Drop is a simple and enjoyable way to collect bidder paddles at the end of your event. Then you don’t have to worry about getting the paddles back to their owners!

Allows donors of any level to make an impact. Many donors can’t afford to bid on an expensive live auction item, but the Paddle Drop is accessible and inclusive. It allows everyone in the ballroom to get involved with the fundraising and contribute something.

Promotes donor inclusion. Since anyone can participate in the Paddle Drop, it’s a perfect way to make everyone at your event feel like their contribution matters. Anyone who raises their paddle has an equal chance of winning a great prize. Even a donor who couldn’t afford to give much has the opportunity to walk away with a high-end item.

This fun auction game is the perfect cap for your fundraising event!

Use the Paddle Drop to add a sprinkle of excitement to the night’s Auction event, and end your fundraiser with a big bang! It’s quick, it’s easy to explain to guests, and it’s the perfect way to capture those last few dollars before your event wraps up.

Give the Paddle Drop a try at your next fundraiser and see how much you can boost your event revenue!

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