Avoid These 3 Big Mistakes at Your Next Charity Auction

Posted by Regina Earwood on 7/9/18 6:30 AM

Charity auctions often have many moving parts. To help your next auction event be a huge success, you must avoid these three mistakes.

Time is precious in our fast-paced society. If we want our donors and supporters to keep coming to events, we must be mindful of their time. That means that your event must be planned well enough that it doesn’t run too long to make sure donors stick around long enough to do what they’re there for...donate! A professional auctioneer once said, “I’ve never started a live auction too early, but I’ve certainly finished them too late.” Auctions can\ run 3-4 hours, but if you see your event running into the 4th hour, it is time to trim everything that doesn’t bring in money. Your team has worked hard, spent time and energy into planning an awesome event, so don’t let an inefficient schedule prevent you from raising the money your organization needs.

Another mistake to avoid is closing a silent auction all at once. Successful events typically see the avoid these three big mistakes at your next charity auctionsilent phase of your event closing one section at a time.  The
idea for this is to create some buying frenzy and therefore increasing your revenue. When you close the sessions one at a time, it allows you to build tension for the later (most likely bigger) auctions while allowing people who didn’t win auctions to put more of their funds to the later prizes.

Lastly, the timing for presenting the appeal at the wrong time can be disastrous to your fundraising efforts. An appeal should initiate an emotional trigger with your donors/attendees. The best time to launch this depends on the inspiration and touching moments you have planned throughout the night about your organization. It is not something that is set in stone. Be flexible and have someone prepared to make “the ask” once the emotional opportunity has presented itself. Having a professional auctioneer is an added bonus, as he will be the expert in this field and will be able to indicate when the audience is most prepared for an appeal.


Looking for specific tips to help with your next charity auction? Give us a call at 1-800-490-1959 for a free consultation.

Topics: donors, event fundraising