Who’s the Last Hero of Your Organization?

The Last Hero Fundraising Revenue Enhancer

Tap into your donor’s desire to be a hero for your cause. Use this special appeal method to find the hero of your organization.


How Does it Work?

The Last Hero is an exciting and profitable way to end your Direct Appeal (aka “Fund-a-Need” or “Paddle Raiser”), by giving a big prize to the very last donor.

Most direct appeals start high, and work downwards. For example: asking at the $5k, $2,500, $1k, $500, $250, and $100 levels. The Last Hero starts at the lowest donation level of the direct appeal and works up to find the last donor. The last paddle raise will be The Last Hero.

The most important thing to understand is that guests must know that they can donate as often as they want, but every time they raise their paddle, they are making another donation. Because this can cause confusion, advertising the rules is very important. The emcee or auctioneer should cover the rules, and the rules should be projected on screen.

Select an item that donors can compete for, such as a very expensive bottle of wine or similar prize. Some events have two great prizes that the last hero can choose from. Once you explain that you are going to end the direct appeal with a bit of fun, to find “The Last Hero”, and that this hero will get the big prize…get ready for excitement!

A teaser at the beginning of the event is always good. You can announce all the ways guests can make a difference (live auction, silent auction, fund the need, etc. You can then announce The Last Hero.
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This revenue enhancer creates emotion and grabs guests’ attention just when they thought the event was moving to the next predictable part of the evening.

When the donations slow down, warn the crowd that when you say “going once, going twice,
sold!” that final donor is the last bidder and the last hero!

Variations and Other Names

It’s also known as the Runaround Game or Popcorn and can also serve as a stand-alone appeal instead of, or in addition to a Fund-a-Need. This is great for gala’s where a direct appeal is not desired or not appropriate.

Chad’s Advice

Note: Many states have specific rules that govern auction games. Make sure to check your state’s raffle licensing laws as well as your organization’s bylaws. Also, check on alcohol sales rules and permits, as well as firearms, if those will be available at your event or in the auction.
  • Be sure to show a slide on screen with basic “how to” guidelines and rules.
  • Clearly denote the value of any potential prizes.

Some Personal Insight from Chad

This revenue enhancer is a ton of fun and can raise a significant amount of funds. The most that I have raised with “The Last Hero” is $38,000 and the largest “prize value to funds raised” differential that I have experienced, was raising $12,000 with a $300 magnum of wine.

This article is part of our 26 Proven Revenue Enhancers for Your Fundraiser eBook available as a free download. If you looking for new revenue enhancing ideas and how to incorporate them into your event—this easy-to-use lookbook is for you.

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