Fundraising FAQs

Where do we start? Feeling overwhelmed? Maybe your first year to chair an event? How and who do you contact to make all this happen? We can help. We have resources to share with you and hands on ideas to share with your committees to get the ball rolling from start to finish. Whether it is your first event or your fiftieth, we can bring fresh new ideas that will have your audience sitting on the edge of their chairs. We are ready! Are you?

What should I ask when interviewing an auctioneer for my fundraiser? Check out this document: 10 Questions to Ask When Booking a Professional Auctioneer

We are on a limited budget... how can we afford an auctioneer? Keep in mind, your auctioneer is the only line item in your budget that helps you raise money. Most of the other budget numbers are expenditures. We have ideas to share that are “extra revenue” generators that can assist in paying for your auction team. Would you spend a little on a professional to make A LOT MORE for your cause? That is the question. We like to remind people that not choosing a professional benefit auctioneer could really cost you by leaving money “on table”.

What is the difference in a “benefit auctioneer” and any other auctioneer? A licensed auctioneer can legally sell just about anything within the state law. But auctioneers do train by specialty. Some are great at selling antiques or automobiles or livestock. Each type of auctioneer has a different style of “chant” or “call”. A benefit auctioneer is trained specifically to entertain and connect with bidders who are there to GIVE to your cause. They connect with people and are comfortable dealing with a crowd who might not be as familiar with the auction method of marketing.

What is the “auctioneer chant” – they way they talk fast and funny? The auctioneer chant was created as the fastest way of making a transaction happen. In fundraising auctions, the speed is not as important as if you were liquidating hundreds of products in just a short period of time. The benefit auctioneers chant should be more fun and lively to engage the crowd. The chant itself should be pleasing to hear and have a rhythmic sound. It creates a sense of urgency that pushes the demand for people to want to win the bid! There is nothing better or more fun than a little competition in the room. Competition between bidders drives the price up and raises you more money!

What sets Wendy Lambert apart? Wendy becomes involved with the planning process. Our live auction service packages include several hours of consultation on how to raise the most money at your event. Wendy spends time to get to know your organization, your cause and your audience. She knows how to sell, and how to motivate and encourage bidding. She can communicate passion for your cause on the microphone!

What does it mean to be a “Benefit Auctioneer Specialist"? The National Auctioneers Association (NAA) created the Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS) professional designation to provide Auctioneers with advanced training in planning and conducting successful benefit auctions, as well as techniques to establish a successful and profitable benefit auction business. This professional designation is awarded by the NAA Education Institute. BAS auctioneers learn marketing skills and create a business strategy to build their clientele and profits. In order to be designated with the BAS, auctioneer-scholars are required to complete 21 classroom hours, a detailed written auction summary report, proof of at least six benefit auctions and 24 hours of continuing education every three years.

How do we create energy in our crowd? Energy at your event starts way before the doors open. During the planning process we show you ways to prepare your bidders for the evening. They will anticipate what you have for sale and the excitement will build as our team takes the stage. Creating the event’s energy is a partnership between your planners and our team. It’s a feeling your guests will take home with them and have them wanting to return next year!

Is the timing of our live auction important? Yes! Working on your timeline during consultations is a priority. Your guests are your customers and we keep their mindset at the forefront of assisting you in the planning.

How important is a sound system? Great sound (or lack of) can make or break an auction. At fundraisers, you find yourself in race called, “time against money”. We have specific suggestions on how to make sure your guests can hear what is going on but still be social with people around them. It can be done!

What are bidder assistants? Bidder assistants work amongst the crowd. They help relay bids from the crowd to the auctioneer. They are an extension of the auctioneer. Our assistants are professionals who are completely comfortable in front of your crowd. They communicate with the auctioneer and add fun to the “show.” They are motivated but not pushy. They come in as ambassadors for your cause and always look classy for your event.

Will bidders spend more if we serve more alcohol? This is a myth. Bidders may have a lot of fun drinking, but too much too soon can be a hindrance to fundraising efforts. The most successful fundraisers have alert and smart bidders in a fun environment. We do not say “NO” to serving alcohol, but there should be some thought put into planning for it to be served. Are there food stations ready early in the evening? Do the bars close at a certain time? There can be some prior planning on the front end during our consultations to make sure a legal transaction of thousands of dollars comes from the perfect storm. These transactions can take place in a matter of minutes. For more information on the effects of alcohol on your guests you may refer to the article below. It discusses the “alcohol curve”.

We currently have a local TV celebrity conduct our auction. Why should we hire your team instead? Our response to this question is an analogy. If you need to have brain surgery, would you hire a carpenter? Absolutely not! We don’t know sports or how to report on it like an expert in front of a green screen. But we do know auctions, fundraising, timelines,
sound, and the psychology of your audience. That’s why you want our team to conduct your auction. Another option is for us to work with your local celebrity on stage. This works well at many of our events.