Need a fundraising auctioneer for your next auction?

Congratulations! The next event is a live auction with the need to find a fundraising auctioneer.  

The committee has decided unanimously to have a live auction at the next fundraising event to raise the critical funds needed for your non-profit organization. The most frequent question we receive as a fundraising event specialist and auctioneer is, “WHERE DO WE BEGIN?” Our reply is always the same:

  • Set the date of the event
  • Secure the venue
  • Start Interviewing fundraising auctioneers

Once the event date and venue are set, it is time to start interviewing potential auctioneers. Three types of candidates are usually considered but I would highly suggest to invest in an expert.

There are 3 types of auctioneer’s

  • Volunteer
  • Traditional
  • Fundraising Auctioneer

Auction_Cartoon_Col_3_Web_Sml_2.1sec1. The volunteer is a wonderful choice for the Master of Ceremonies but most often unskilled in raising money. Non profit organizations are very frugal with their donor’s money so the volunteer is a very attractive choice and most often considered. Unfortunately, even though the volunteer is donating his or her talent for the evening, thousands of dollars in the room are untouched at the end of the night costing your organization money. You will want to steer clear of the volunteer auctioneer no matter if it’s free. Just remember, you get what you pay for in most cases.

sfo05322. The traditional auctioneer is professionally trained in the auctioneer style and may use his skills selling tobacco, cars, houses, or livestock. In most cases, the traditional auctioneer will charge a flat fee and usually has no real experience in how a fundraising auction works. Typically, this auctioneer shows up to the event at a certain time, completes the auction, and leaves right after his work is done with his payment. Because of this, they have no skin in the game and most likely leave money in the billfolds of potential buyers.


3. The professional fundraising charity auctioneer should come from an accredited auction school and possess a professional auctioneer license. These auctioneers have the requisite professional experience on stage, and the fundraising knowledge required to ensure the live auction event’s success as well as the passion to tug on donor’s hearts for the Fund-A-Need component. On the night of the event, the team arrives early, begins welcoming the guests while generating interest in the live auction items. Once the main event begins, the auctioneer will command the attention of the audience while bid spotters capitalize on each bid. Professional fundraising auctioneers will charge either a flat fee, commission or a combination of the two.

Remember, there are no set fee schedules in the auctioneer industry. It is illegal for auctioneers, as in many other regulated industries, to fix pricing. Individual fees vary based on a fundraising auctioneer’s experience, proven track record, services provided, and demand for his or her services.

We hear this statement from most organizations, “We cannot afford to pay for a professional fundraising auctioneer. My response is “You can’t afford NOT to invest!”

Key Factors to Look for in a Professional Auctioneer and Team:

  • Always ask for current references and raw video.
  • *Observe how the auctioneer engages with the audience.

*This is probably the most important skill to look for because no one likes to buy from someone they cannot relate.

  • Professionalism and expertise should be noted.
  • Does the auctioneer bring excitement, passion, and enthusiasm to the stage?
  • Google the auctioneer’s name for additional information
  • Investigate if the auctioneer supplies “skilled bid spotters”
  • Does the auctioneer have Fund-A-Need expertise.
  • Does the auctioneer offer consignment travel experiences or items for the live auction.
  • Does the auctioneer include consulting advise?
  • Does your auctioneer offer auction consignment items?

The truth is, most professional fundraising auctioneers pay for themselves. That’s why many “Fundraising Auctioneer Experts” have been serving the same clients for years and years. Just remember, “There is no substitute for results and experience.”

cache_3458981Good luck and Fundraise On.  Need help, contact Ron and Debbie Hitzel of Impact Auctions.

Debbie and Ron


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