Tim Keller, of the H.K. Keller Fundraising Auction Team, joins @fundraiserchad to share the 6 best live auction money makers…
#1 Unique Experiences
The first category is experiences that are unique to the organization. We work with a theater that’s able to sell a trip to New York to be there for the audition. The theater fans, they love it, and spend big money to be able to sit there with the producer. That’s a unique experience that the organization is able to provide. Unique experiences are the number one seller in a live auction.
#2 Food & Wine
Second is food and wine. Right now, food and wine is very, very big. That could include trips and experiences. We have found that providing a trip for groups of people, for two, three or four couples have been big sellers with food and wine experiences.
The third is travel. People love to buy experiences, so when we can create a travel experience for them, something that’s a little unique, a little different than just something they can buy, it sells for big money.
#4 Entertainment & Sports
The fourth item is entertainment and sports. Anytime we can get people backstage, behind the scenes, into the locker room, they are willing to pay big money for that.
The fifth item is pampering. This could include shopping sprees, spa trips, anything that people can do to relax and have fun together. Again, we’re back to experiences.
Sixth and lowest on the list is stuff. The people coming to your events already have all the stuff they need. They don’t need your stuff.
One of the things that we do to help organizations find the right things for their auction is to conduct a brainstorming session, and it starts with this question, “Who do you know that knows someone?.” Because there’s people within your board, people within your team that have connections to amazing things, not just all over the country, but all over the world. And all it takes is a simple ask and you have a fantastic auction item.