A successful and engaging fundraising gala season
This spring has been one of the most successful and engaging gala seasons ever for FUNauctions. Between February 7 – June 7, 2014, FUNauctions raised $1,650,000 in the live auction and Fund-a-Need revenue. With that in mind, we’d like share some of the FUN highlights of the giving season that made such an impact for our community.
► We sold a 5-night stay at a private island in Belize for $30,000 and surprised two lucky bidders by each winning the trip–not just one, for a grand total of $60,000.
► Eased the demand for parking at a private school by selling a premium parking spot to one family for $10,000.
► Two groups of bidders battled over an Art Bra made of carbon fiber that sold for $8,000. Seriously!
► Sold a dinner for 8 with a private chef valued at $1,800 for $6,500. Then the chef generously donated the dinner to the highest bidder and the 2nd highest bidder.
Highest Revenue Increase
► Helped a first-year client see a 247% increase in their live auction revenue from $72,000 to a record-breaking $250,000.
► Strategizing with several clients for the past four years has resulted in a continual increase in their Fund-a-Need from $40,000 to more than $160,000.
► Starting more Fund-a-Need appeal levels at $10,000 to $20,000, as compared to starting at $2,500 or $5,000, as recent as three years ago.
► We suggested a Super Silent Auction, aka the Big Board auction that resulted in 9 packages bringing in over $23,000. This client had no trouble getting over 175 silent auction packages, but they didn’t want their higher end items getting lost in the midst of so many of their silent auction items.
► By reducing the number of silent auction packages for several clients this year, the focus became quality and not quantity, resulting in higher revenue.
► Shortening the previous year’s 90-minute program that took place prior to the live auction, resulted in higher revenue and guest participation.
► Reviewing the results from last year’s silent auction to determine the percentage of return values and the packages that sell best resulted in higher revenue this year.
► Closing the silent auction prior to the live auction resulted in higher revenue.
Best Dressed Themes where we found FUN this season include: Bollywood, Crystal & Chrome; Glamorous Gayle as “Rocky”, Pink, Cowboy Bling, and traditional black-tie and cocktail
► Runway fashion show with 850 cheering breast cancer supporters
► Gala held in the football stadium of a major university.
► Number of bid spotters trained per event ranging from 2 to 20.
► Did we mention we had a blast working with volunteer bid spotters from two student organizations, the Texas Blazers and the Texas State Strutters? We did!
► A breast cancer survivor comes in all colors.
► FUNauctions raised funds to buy a 28-passenger bus for a private school. “I want to go to the Amazon,” was one of the hilarious quotes from a student when asked, “where would you go in a new bus?”
Big News, or Alert the Media!
► Character of the Month – Austin Monthly: Gayle Stallings Hollers for Dollars
► National Auctioneers Association – Auctioneer Magazine: FUNdraiser: From Super Woman to circus performers, Gayle Stallings works to put the ‘fun’ into fundraising
Our Favorite FUNauctions Testimonials
I can only describe our partnership with you as a gift. It is clear your presence on that stage has an instrumental effect on the amount of money we were able to raise!
You finally did it! You made another Development Director cry and it was not from the record-breaking auction, but rather not getting you booked for 2015. We need to get you on the books for 2016-2060!
When I got the phone call after the event from the Vice President of Development, he made a confession: I had turned him from a skeptic into a true believer. Big dollars & happy donors don’t lie!
I’m gearing up for another big Fall gala season! Even though summertime is typically a slower time for galas, I am staying busy and actively engaged by meeting with all of those organizations for many, many months of strategic benefit auction consulting, which will result in more revenue on the night of their event.
Follow the FUN.