Problem: You’ve exhausted all your silent auction donor contacts, but you still need a couple of high-end unusual, once-in-a-lifetime experiences or exotic international travel packages to whet the appetites of your most generous supporters. Unfortunately your organization doesn’t have access to any tour operators or executive travel consultants who can combine air travel, ground travel, hotel, dining, entertainment, golf, skiing, or whatever you can imagine. What to do. What to do.
Solution: Just contact any of the following companies. They all offer customized, no-risk packages you can add to your silent or live auction. They will provide you with free collateral materials to promote your packages. When your auction closes, if the packages you included brought in more than its cost, contact the company and they will complete the transaction. You keep all funds over the package cost. The company takes responsibility for contacting the package winner and arranging the details.
Charity Fundraising Packages www.charityfundraisingpackages.com
Charity Fundraising Packages provides fundraising ideas and charity auction items at zero risk to help charities exceed fundraising goals.
Winspire helps Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue by providing highly sought after auction packages. Start planning your next event now!
BW Unlimited www.bwunlimited.com
BW Unlimited is North America’s Premier Charity Fundraising firm, offering a wide array of fundraising event management services as well as a full line of “No Risk Auction Items.” Your next Charity Auction or event with be the best it can possibly be.
No Risk: If you select a package that doesn’t bring in more money than it costs, when your auction closes everyone just walks away from the deal as if it never happened. There’s no catch and no risk.
Reward your supporters with unusual and unique auction items at your next fundraiser.
I recently lead a seminar on web site marketing to a group of nonprofit staffers in Los Angeles. While preparing materials for the seminar I realized that many organizations outsource their web site development and maintenance. While many do not have the time or expertise to become directly involved in their site’s development, they may also forget that their web site is an important asset of their organization that needs to be protected.
So at the end of my presentation I gave them some homework. It was no surprise to learn that many did not know how to access their own web sites in an emergency or even who they should contact.
There’s an old adage about the difference between being involved and being committed. As an example, let’s look at bacon and eggs. The chicken was involved, but the pig was committed.
Let’s see how involved you are with your web assets and whether you are committed to protecting them.
1) Who owns your domain name?
Is it registered to your organization, your founder, an ex-employee or your web developer?
Check any of the WHOIS services to find your answer.
For example: http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp
If it is not registered to your organization, treat the owner kindly until you can transfer it into your organization’s name.
2) Where is your domain name registered?
Domain names are registered by hundreds of companies. Typically this is not your hosting company. Again, check any of the WHOIS services to find the answer. When you find out write down your account’s login and password.
3) When does your domain name expire and who are the contacts that will receive a notice before the expiration date?
It is common for this information to change through the years and become outdated or the contacts change their Email addresses.
4) What company hosts your web site?
When you find out write down the login and password along with their phone number and any PIN numbers or verification information they will require to even talk to you.
5) Do you know how to add or update content on your web site?
Moving files and web content from your local computer to the web server is commonly done using a program called FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Write down the FTP host server name, along with the username and password)
6) Who is responsible for backing up your web site and how frequently?
It is common for hosting companies to only backup their operating system system, not your site’s content or your member/donor database. Find out the answers and be sure that your content is protected from a disaster or equipment failure.
7) Does your web site use a CMS (Content Management Software) like Drupal, Joomla or Contribute?
If so, write down the access URL and login information.
8) How do you access your hosting account’s Control Panel?
This access will enable you to manage your Email accounts, backup services, databases, blog installations, etc. Write down the access URL, login and password.
9) Does your web site have an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate is used for securing credit card information submitted on your donations page or other pages which transmit sensitive content?
If your site has one, when does your certificate expire, where to you apply for a renewal, how and where do you upload the new certificate? Find out and write down the instructions.
10) Does you web site have Google Analytics installed?
If it does, do you know how to login and review your site’s visitor traffic, most popular content and traffic sources? Write down the access URL, login and password. If not, arrange to get it installed. It’s free.
Well there you have it. Ten slices of information that will save your bacon!
Organizing a silent auction event is like running a relay race with hurdles. Each segment needs to be championed by a team member with different skills, capabilities and interests. No matter how much you plan it usually comes down to a sprint for the finish line.
Getting Prepared with a Wish List
Because your silent auction requires getting commitments from individual donors and businesses offering a variety of products and services it is important to have an organized wish list of items you would like to have included in your auction. Your wish list should be given out to everyone on the event committee as well as your board members and your sponsors. It should be updated on a weekly basis to keep everyone informed and to keep the auction catalog balanced.
Unexpected obstacles and competing priorities usually means that some auction items aren’t received until just days before the event. When this happens, keep in mind that each item needs visually compelling photo(s) and a description that justifies it’s value.
Getting the Word out Early
Late donation commitments and later deliveries means that you may loose out on marketing your silent auction prior to your event.
Getting the word out early, one to three months before your event, means that your fundraiser attendees can browse your online or PDF auction catalog, identify their favorite items and plan their bidding budget ahead of time. Whether you Email a PDF of your auction catalog to prospective bidders or allow your bidders to bid online in the weeks before your live event, advanced marketing of your items will ensure that your bidders don’t miss out on items they want to win.
Exceeding your Goals
Many regular event attendees come to fundraising events with a spending budget in mind. Identifying favorite items ahead of time ensures that your attendees will be prepared on the day of your event to bid up the items they are most interested in winning and help you exceed your fundraising goals.