The Tale Of Two Fundraising Auctioneers

The Volunteer Auctioneer

A fellow committee member agreed to be the auctioneer at this year’s black tie gala. He volunteered to be the auctioneer in-order to save the organization money. On the night of the
event the doors swung open and guests were seated at their tables. Dinner was served promptly at 7:00 p.m. The guest dined and mingled at their tables until dessert was served around 7:30 p.m. At 8:00 p.m. The organization’s program began with a welcome from the chairman followed by the awards and many long speeches. (Can we say, “Boring!”) Finally after what seemed like hours, it was time for the live auction. The volunteer auctioneer took his place on stage in the dimly lit room. Half the audience was getting nudged to wake up, while the other half of the guests had excused themselves from the presentations and relocated to the noisy open bar outside. When the auctioneer began his, “Testing, Testing, can you hear me?” a few guest, with their awards waving their good bye to their friends at their table, headed for the exit. The volunteer auctioneer tried to engage the sleepy audience by starting with the highest valued and most featured item of the night. With no one bidding and half of the guest not even in the room yet, the auctioneer sold it for minimum reserve. The auction ended with most items being sold for a fraction of what they were worth.
Net Profit: $15,000

Professional Charity Auctioneer Takes The Stage

This night started months ago when the organization hired a professional auctioneer. Together imperative decisions were made on the timeline of events and auction item order.
On the night of the event, the auctioneer team arrived early to the black-tie gala to discuss any changes that might have occurred. Doors opened promptly at 7:00 p.m., guests wereseated, and dinner began being served immediately. About 7:30 p.m. when the last dinner plate was down, the auctioneer and his team took their places as the live auction was about to begin. The spot light on stage was extinguished, house lights brightened, and all open bars shut down before the auctioneer made his welcoming comments. The professional auctioneer began by engaging the audience with a few auction rules, intermixed with some jokes that had guest laughing, just as dessert was being served. The auctioneer brought a team of spotters who were mingling with the audience helping encourage guests to bid. The auction items were being displayed on the big screen as they were being auctioned in this order: (1) The first items auctioned generated excitement because of their popularity (2) The middle items began building value with most featured item being auctioned 3/4 of the way. (3)The last few auction items were of moderate value so that unsuccessful bidders could still win an item. The live auction came to a close when the last item was sold, however, the professional auctioneer began his next task immediately asking for money donations for Fund-A-Need. This allowed unsuccessful bidders that still wanted to help the organization donate a certain level of money. By 8:20 p.m., the auctioneer and his team had completed the most successful live auction this charity had ever done. Now it was time for the celebration to
begin with the presentations and awards to be given.

Net Profit: $75,000

Impact Auctions Bio:  

Debbie and Ron Hitzel, Impact Auctions, are a husband and wife team that have been in the fundraising business for over 20 years raising money for charitable causes close to their hearts. Our Auctioneer is a former US Navy Nuclear Submariner and has upgraded electrical power plants around the world. Ron speaks several languages after working in over 56 countries and thus brings his world travels to the stage!  Debbie is a former 4th grade school teacher and enjoys all fundraising events.

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