Fund Raising Auctions – Double Your Revenue With a Special Pledge Appeal
A Professional auctioneer will execute the appeal for you, transitioning gracefully from the live auction…to the special pledge appeal…and then back to the live auction…without missing a beat. A fundraising auctioneer experienced in the special pledge appeal process will always raise more money for your cause than any volunteer. Guaranteed.
Fundraising Auctioneers are trained to politely squeeze as much money out of a room as possible. The auctioneer knows how to read a group, can usually sense when there is another bid or pledge left on the floor, but can also keep the process moving forward so it doesn’t seem like you are begging.
You obviously don’t want to rush the process and miss any potential bids. But also understand that not everyone can afford to make a special pledge and you shouldn’t badger your crowd in an attempt to get all to donate.
Names you may have heard it called:
Fund A Need
Fund A Cause
Fund A Program
Fund A Piece Of Equipment
Raise Your Paddle
Bid For A Cure
A Fund A Need or Special Pledge Appeal auction segment is the most important part of your charity benefit event. Why? Because when done correctly, the most money is raised.
The Fund A Need, Special Pledge Appeal, Paddle Raise, Impact Auction, Cash Ask, etc. is the single most important part of your event because of it’s capacity for raising an incredible amount of money for your cause.
The Direct Give Appeal must be positioned properly during your fundraising event.
One of the beauties of fundraising auctions is that you can include multiple revenue streams within your revenue-generating event. And perhaps no other single option offers as much potential as the Special Pledge Appeal.
What is a Special Pledge Appeal?
It is simply a pledge by generous supporters to donate a specific amount of money to help a non-profit group raise additional funds for a specific cause or purpose.
The special pledge appeal is a perfect add-on to your live fundraising auction. But for some, a well-executed special pledge appeal can generate more revenue than your live & silent auctions combined.
A successful special pledge appeal doesn’t just happen. There are several important elements to it and two of the most important elements are:
Why are you asking for the additional money?
Who should actually ask for it?
Why Are You Asking For The Additional Money? What are your objectives? How will the funds be used?
With your silent or live auction your supporters will receive something tangible in exchange for their donation. But with the special pledge appeal, you are simply asking them to donate even more money to help you accomplish your goals.
Your supporters and benefactors need to clearly understand why you are seeking the additional funds, and what their money will be used for. Are you seeking to:
Fund Something? – A specific program, a new cure, a new building or wing, etc.
Buy Something? – An important piece of medical equipment, a van to transport those unable to drive themselves, winter coats for the homeless, etc.
Help Someone or Something? – Food for the hungry, a special trip for someone in need, provide a final life experience, etc.
The explanation of “why” the money is being raised should come from a highly visible, charismatic, and well-spoken leader of the group. Perhaps the CEO, the Event Chair, a recognized personality, or some other highly credible individual.
This process should be turned over to the professional auctioneer who knows how to bring in the money.
Some groups make the mistake of assuming they can save some money by having a volunteer handle their auction bid calling and special pledge appeal, but that rarely works well.
Why? Because few volunteers are experienced in soliciting money from a group, and basically none understand all of the intricate elements of the special pledge appeal.
Prior to the event your auctioneer should guide you through the auction & pledge planning stages, including where to position the pledge within the live auction, the pledge timing, the asking amounts, and other pledge tips & strategies.
In summary, the special pledge appeal is not for all groups and there are many elements required to make it work effectively. But when planned properly, positioned properly, and executed properly, it can raise more money than you ever thought possible.
Written by Debbie Hitzel, Event Specialist for Impact Auctions