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The Big Book of Benefit Auctions

ISBN: 978-0-470-41292-3
270 pages
February 2009
The Big Book of Benefit Auctions (0470412925) cover image
The Big Book of Benefit Auctions is the ultimate step-by-step handbook on how to plan and have a successful and effective auction. Auction committees will find it an invaluable reference as it provides all the tools they will need for complete auction planning and management. From setting the goal for the event, to organizing the committee, procuring auction items, building the audience, preparing the catalog and through auction night cashiering (check out) services, everything you will want to know about the auction process is readily at your fingertips in this resource guide. The book will not only contain important "how to" information, it will also explain why some decisions and activities are not only good practices, they are essential to having a well-run and efficient event. Also, the book will discuss important strategies for maximizing revenue at your event, and will cover common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
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About the Authors vii

Why This Book Was Written ix

Acknowledgments xi

A Brief Introduction to Successful Auctions xiii

Phase I – Pre-Event Planning 1

Chapter 1 Pre-Planning Activities 3

The Auction Steering Committee 4

Defining the Purpose of Your Event 5

Setting Financial and Attendance Goals 6

Planning Your Budget 10

Chapter 2 Establishing Auction Committees 15

Auction Committee Co-Chairs 15

Chapter 3 Getting to Work 39

The First Committee Meeting 39

The Mission Statement 42

Establishing Committee Responsibilities 43

Selecting the Date for the Event 43

Identifying Potential Themes 45

Selecting a Preferred Venue 45

Establishing a Goal 48

Creating a Budget 50

Setting Future Committee Meetings 51

Phase I – Conclusion 53

Phase II – Event Planning and Organization 55

Chapter 4 The Five-Year Plan 57

Managing Change 60

Chapter 5 Planning the Details of Your Event 63

Determining the Elements of Your Goal 65

Finalizing Your Date and Location 66

Hiring the Experts 67

Tools for Getting Organized—Auction Software 71

Holding the Kickoff Rally 74

Chapter 6 Planning Your Silent and Live Auctions 77

Effective Silent Auction Displays 77

Effective Live Auction Promotion 80

Chapter 7 Other Auction Activities 83

Revenue Enhancers: Adding More to Your Bottom Line 83

Handling Class Projects 99

Summary for Revenue Enhancers 101

Phase II – Conclusion 103

Phase III – Procurement, Audience Development, and Event Preparation 105

Chapter 8 Procurement 107

Common Questions about Procurement 108

The Procurement Form 112

Once You’ve Received the Commitment 115

The Case for Consignments 117

Chapter 9 Promoting Your Event 121

Table Captain Process 121

Audience Development 122

Save-the-Date Cards 124

Web Site 126

E-mail 126

Invitations 131

Chapter 10 Event Preparation 137

Planning Your Event Space 137

Auction Catalogs 140

Phase III – Conclusion 157

Phase IV – Event Execution 159

Chapter 11 Preparing for Your Day-of-Event Needs 161

Registration Packets 161

Printing Other Guest-Related Collateral 170

Bid Forms, Table Tents, and Auction Display Considerations 172

Cashiering Requirements 186

Arranging for Volunteer Help 193

Chapter 12 Conducting the Event 203

Managing Registration 203

Managing Your Silent Auction 209

Managing Your Live Auction 217

End-of-Evening Cashiering 221

Item Redemption 226

Summary of Day-of-Event Logistics 228

Phase IV – Conclusion 229

Phase V – Post-Event Activities and Planning for the Next Event 231

Chapter 13 Post-Event Activities 233

Conducting the Post-Auction Audit 233

Hosting a Post-Event Recap Meeting 235

Generating Thank-You Letters to Guests and Donors 237

The Volunteer Party 239

Chapter 14 Planning for the Next Event 241

Phase V – Conclusion 245

Resources 247

Glossary 263

Index 267

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JAY R. FISKE is a nationally recognized charity auctioneer and regular speaker for many different types of organizations related to auction planning, consulting, and fundraising. He has been a regular contributor to many media publications such as Auctioneer magazine, Rotarian Magazine, and more. Jay regularly serves as a consultant on fundraising to national and local nonprofits.

CORINNE A. FISKE is an event coordinator and auction consultant who also participates in teaching at Northwest Benefit Auctions' workshops. She is the President and founder of The PoliteChild, a leading educational program for schools dedicated to developing excellent social skills in children of all ages.

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"The authors are auctioneering experts and event coordinators, and they have assembled this guide for general readers who need to plan and hold an effective and successful auction. This volume covers all of the steps needed to plan the event such as organizing a staff, setting goals, developing checklists and procurement forms." (Book News, May 2009)
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