You need to put on a benefit fundraiser for a loved one or friend who has fallen upon hard times such as a cancer diagnosis, an accident or some other situation that requires immediate finances.
You have no idea how to do it, right? We’ll ideas for silent auction here are 10 simple tips to get you started and if you follow these tips you will have a successful benefit.
1. You will need a dedicated committee of 10 to 15 people who will be willing to put their lives on hold for the next three or four months.
2. You must be realistic about the amount of time it will take to put on the benefit. I know you need the money now. You could rush a benefit in two weeks and make $2000 or you could plan a benefit over a 3 or 4 month period and make $30.000.
3. Hold your benefit on either a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon. Friday night is horrible. Why? People work all day Friday. Some people work until 6. If your benefit is from 6-10pm you are asking people to rush home from work, reshower, dress for a night out and perhaps get to your event by 7.
Saturday from 6-10 is best. People have had all day to grocery shop, hit Walmart, do yardwork and then they can leisurely get ready for your benefit. Sunday afternoon is also good. People have gone to church and they can spend the afternoon with you.
4. I promise that your committee will fight over whether you should charge an admission fee. Charge the fee! Remember, the people who are coming to your benefit are looking for ways to give you money. They are happy to pay an admission fee. Make it nominal. $5 per person, $20 for an entire family. If someone can’t afford to pay, let them in free! They’ll buy a few raffle tickets!
5. Don’t hit the same businesses twice! Make sure your committee has assigned definite sections of town to ask businesses for donations, Don’t overlap. Nothing will anger a business owner more than if two people from the same benefit ask for donations. Also remember, these businesses are asked for donations from 20, 30 and even 40 organizations each month. If they can’t help, just thank them and move on.
6. Your committee is going to fight over what items should go in the silent auction and what items should go in the live auction. Stop fighting! It doesn’t matter. It’s all gonna sell.
7. When your committee is formed, choose a committee chair. This chair will have the final say in all decisions. You may not agree with the chair’s decisions but we’re under a timeline and decisions have to be made. If you don’t like the decision then become the chair at the next benefit.
8. Advertising: Don’t worry about whether your benefit is publicized on radio or television. NO ONE is coming to your benefit who has no connection to you. Your job is to make sure that all of your family, friends and co-workers show up. If you do that. you’ll have a houseful. Bottom line: if you see a poster for a benefit where you don’t know the person, are you going to come to the benefit? Heck no. Get family, friends and co-workers and you’ll be fine.
9. Entertainment: Yes, I know you have five friends with bands who will perform at your benefit. Tell them to stay home! All you need is background music in the hall, that’s all. Remember, for every minute your guests have to listen to a band is a minute you can’t raise money.
10. Take advantage of all methods of raising money — live auction, silent auction, bucket raffles, paddle wheels, 50-50, booze wagon raffle, beer-for-a-year!