Here’s a straightforward charity auction idea as it relates to procurement: Ask someone to donate something that he or she was going to do anyway. Let me explain the concept by way of example.
Assume “Helen” is a Mom at your child’s school. The woman loves to garden. Her husband and she bought a modest-sized house with a large yard, and she’s done unbelievable things with the place. Flowers, shrubs, and trees. Sun to shade. Verdant patios.
Helen is who you should tap as an auction donor for garden services. Sure, you can ask a nursery for a $100 gift card, but Helen – not the nursery – is a crown jewel in your charity auction.
Helen’s passion is plants, so these are easy auction “donations” for her:
- She’ll give the winning bidder expensive cuttings
- She’ll offer customized advice as to “what plant where”
- She’ll offer tips for your gardening “zone”
- Given her passion for plants, some of her plants are likely from a breeder. That means your winning bidder will get some unique plant varieties not readily available, even at an upscale nursery.
Helen would easily spend three hours doing garden-related work with a winning bidder. She loves to garden anyway. She’s got silent auction ideas to divide her hostas anyway. She’s going to buy pricey plants anyway. If you outline a package you’d like her to donate, it’s no skin off Helen’s back to do any of these activities.
And let’s assume we also know a Bob. Bob isn’t a professional handyman, but he’s known for his professional-grade do-it-yourself projects.
He’s a marketing professional by day and “fools around’ with power tools at night. But clearly, the man knows what he’s doing. He’s an excellent resource for your charity auction.
Ask him to donate, suggest ideas, and see how he responds.
- Will he build an extra birdhouse when he’s building one anyway?
- Will he teach five kids how to operate a circular saw in his garage when he’s tinkering out there every Saturday anyway?
- Will he go as far as to frame out some windows?
Forego asking 1-800-Handyman for a donation because the crowd will better respond to Bob because he’s a member of your community.
When you ask people for a donation for a service they already enjoy (their hobby), giving to you becomes a pleasure. (And charity auction acquisitions become easier!)
It allows them to share their passion with someone else. They’re teaching about something they love, and who doesn’t enjoy talking about their love?
Whether it’s photography, technology, bird-watching, or quilting, tap into your auction donors’ hobbies and your guest’s interests to watch revenues rise at your next charity auction.