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A Higher Bid: How to Transform Special Event Fundraising with Strategic Auctions

A Higher Bid: How to Transform Special Event Fundraising with Strategic Auctions

Kathy Kingston

ISBN: 978-1-119-01787-5 May 2015 Jossey-Bass 288 Pages


In Stock



Transform fundraising events into long-term revenue with expert auction advice

A Higher Bid is the nonprofit school and organization guide to planning and executing more exciting, more lucrative special event fundraisers. In this book, award-winning consultant, fundraiser, speaker, and professional auctioneer Kathy Kingston shares her proprietary and proven approaches to audience development, board empowerment, leadership succession, guest cultivation and engagement, and donor development. You'll learn how live auctions, special appeals, innovative icebreakers, silent auctions, and new technologies can help increase revenue, and how to execute these events in a way that translates to a stronger donor base for long-term giving. Kingston describes how to match the guest list and catalog for better results, and reveals the strategies professional auctioneers use to curate the right auction items and discover the right people to generate optimum revenue and engage donors.

This book offers a fresh approach to fundraising, showing you how charity benefit auctions can be made a centerpiece of fundraising special events to drive both short- and long-term fundraising goals while providing a fun and inspiring opportunity to generate awareness and keep supporters excited about the mission. Using Kingston's proven framework, you'll learn effective ways to:

  • Strategically increase high-profit revenue streams
  • Increase your organization's donor base
  • Empower the board toward efficiency and productivity
  • Engage supporters more deeply and keep them invested

Donors are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, and sustainable revenue depends upon their high engagement and willingness to give. Well-executed benefit and charity auctions have proven to be effective fundraisers for nonprofits, associations, and schools of all types, and A Higher Bid is the expert guide to optimizing these special events for maximum impact.

Foreword xvii

Introduction xix

Section I Strategic Benefit Auctions: The New Catalyst for Philanthropy

1 The Shift: Event Transaction to Philanthropic Transformation 3

2 Bid High and Prosper: Are Auctions Right for You? 16

3 Energize and Empower Your Board and Team 33

4 Make Your Auctioneer Your Quarterback 47

Section II Designing Strategic Benefit Auctions

5 Attract the Right People First 71

6 Procure Incredible Auction Items 87

7 Make Your Show Flow 104

8 Communicate Donor Impact 124

9 Measure Impact 142

10 Leverage New Technology 155

Section III Conducting Strategic Benefit Auctions for Donors and Dollars

11 Optimize Silent Auctions for Loud Results 169

12 Maximize the True Worth of Your Live Auction 183

13 Ignite Generosity with Fund-a-Need Special Appeals 196

14 Add Strategic Income Streams (…and Fun) 211

Section IV Leveraging Strategic Benefit Auctions

15 Keep the Money Flowing 225

Acknowledgments 238

Resources 240

References 243

A Final Call: Giving Back and Passing Forward 245

Index 247