Live Auction Gala Check List for Fundraising Events

“Prepare while others are daydreaming.”

– William Arthur Ward.

Fundraising is a lot of hard work, so the sooner you get your team gathered and begin checking the box on the TO DO LIST items, the better prepared you will be when the much anticipated date arrives.

Here is a collaborated Check List of TO DO’s that will help the event chair and the teammates see the big picture of what needs to be done.

One year out from event date: Note: A lot of these items are on-going every month

  • Set date of the event
  • Pick Venue
  • Select Theme for the evening
  • Establish the Fundraising Goal
  • Build your event planning team
  • Contract a Professional Fundraising Auctioneer
  • Develop Sponsorship packages and ticket price for event.
  • Recruit Corporate Sponsorships
  • Brainstorm entertainment if you are having a band or dj for event
  • Build your budget and stick to it
  • Target Your Audience
  • Determine Branding – Develop a corresponding graphic design for your event
  • Sign contracts – Save copies

9 Months out from the event date:

  • Begin securing silent auction items and live auction experiences and packages
  • Develop and organize a way to keep track of all items being donated
  • Choose a mobile company that will provide mobile bidding for silent auction and ticket sales
  • Send on-going Thank you’s to donors
  • Secure Sponsorship packages
  • Create a guest list of potential attendees for the evening
  • Use free Social Media platforms to advertise your event
  • Choose catering options and secure menu and drinks for the evening
  • Design invitations
  • Hire entertainment
  • Evaluate and create a decorations plan with committee

6 Months from event date:

  • Have monthly meetings with your Auctioneer
  • Invite Major Donors
  • Use digital marketing
  • Instruct committee members on progress being made monthly
  • Decide on alternate forms of revenue being raised for the evening like raffle drawings, wine pulls, games like Heads or Tails
  • Save the date invitations can be made and sent out at this time
  • Secure an Emcee for the evening
  • Decide if bidding numbers will be used. If so, make them
  • Establish the itinerary for the event from start to finish.
  • Begin collecting decoration theme items to decorate the venue
  • Begin fundraising before the event and asking for donations
  • Plan Parking. Hire a Valet parking service if needed
  • Have monthly meetings with the venue and catering person assigned to your event
  • Visit the Venue:
    • Design a written drawing for stage, silent auction items, bars, etc
    • Test out wifi. If you can’t get an adequate signal, you will need to get a booster Wifi. (Mobile bidding doesn’t work without quality wifi)
    • If venue is offering sound system, TEST it out. If renting out the sound system, get references

3 Months from Event date:

  • Send out invitations
  • Hire a Social Media specialist to manage accounts especially the last 3 months if not before
  • Continue acquiring Silent Auction and Live Auctions items
  • Make final edits with catering service
  • Begin a written Script
  • Produce the mission statement that will be used for the evening. This could be in a form of a video or a speaker
  • Produce Silent Auction signage that will be used for each item with silent auction
  • Produce Live Auction signage for a live auction table
  • Acquire all pens, paper, tape, etc needed for event
  • Determine ‘Fund Appeal’ levels

1 month From Event Date:

  • Advertise Live auction items on Social Media
  • Meet with Mobile Bidding company and follow their rules on when items need to be given to company to be entered on site
  • Give Auctioneer Live Auction list so he/she can order the items
  • Organize Payments to vendors
  • Have the florist/decorations committee prepared with numbers of tables and areas to be decorated

The Final 4 weeks ahead:

  • Confirm RSVPs. Get a final head count that needs to be given to catering and venue for seats at tables
  • Finalize Script to be given to the emcee and auctioneer
  • Finish the silent auction line up
  • Develop a plan for all items to be transferred to the venue
  • Finalize Seating
  • Confirm media attending
  • Plan Clean-Up

The Day of the Event:

  • Arrive at venue with the Team to set up silent auction and decorate venue early
  • Mobile company should set up early in afternoon
  • Auctioneer arrive and test the sound system
  • Set up a time for team members and volunteers to get dressed for event
  • Make a “meet up” time with all volunteers and tell them what their duties will be
  • Ensure you have copies of all instructions, directions, phone numbers, keys, extra parking permits, forms, name tags for volunteers, seating charts and guest lists with you
  • Have water set up on the stage for the emcee, speakers, and auctioneer
  • Bring comfy shoes to the event
  • Give a Warm Welcome 

After the event:

  • Evaluate your goals and ‘Complete a Full Analysis’ 
  • Send Thank You notes to everyone that helped make this event successful
  • Start Planning Next year’s event. 🙂
Impact Auctions will help you plan your event.

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