In-Person Events always provide the opportunity for excitement and community. At their recent Spring Benefit, Almost Home, Inc learned just how engaging Games and Paddle Raises can be. While planning for their event and throughout their Auction, Almost Home, Inc used technology to their advantage to create a top-notch event. This article will share all of the great details and more, including how to foster great donor relationships.
When Rachel Monroe and Amanda Lucero from Almost Home, Inc started planning for their “Spring Out of Homelessness Benefit'' they wanted to make sure they experienced the full scope of Auctria’s offerings. For this event, Amanda and Rachel chose to use Auctria Launch to help with event set-up, system training, and more. Running an in-person event with several different offerings may seem like a lot of work to set up, but with the help of Auctria’s Launch team, Almost Home, Inc. was able to successfully save time setting up and executing their event with a tight turn around time.
Drive Engagement Through Games & Paddle Raise
Hype up your crowd and drive donations through innovative auction games such as Heads or Tails and Last Hero Standing (Last Hero starts at the lowest donation level option and works up to find the last donor). Over 50 people participated in the Heads or Tails game, and with tickets priced at $25, this helped to increase the total amount raised for the event. Another 50+ individuals participated in “Last Man Standing!” You can also engage large amounts of your audience by utilizing a “Paddle Raise” where donors raise their paddle when they hear the amount they would like to donate. This is a great way to involve event attendees and raise money for a good cause.
Almost Home, Inc. saw great success with engaging games like Heads or Tails and their paddle raise. The paddle raise alone brought in 42% of the event's gross income! Having an engaging MC or auctioneer and sharing mission moments can make a huge difference in the success of your Paddle Raise.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Nonprofits tend to run lean so most of the funds can go toward the mission. That means that organizers often wear many hats to get the vital work done. With today’s technology, many solutions can be offered to help save time and energy to focus on your mission.
While Rachel and Amanda were planning for their event, Almost Home, Inc. decided to give sponsors free tickets. To provide these tickets in the Auctria system, Almost Home, Inc used the “Coupon Codes” function. This allowed sponsors to go directly to the event website and claim their free tickets using the “Coupon Code.” This saved Almost Home, Inc. the extra work on filling in guest names. By getting the guests’ names in advance, they were able to expedite check-in because they were not stuck collecting names.
There are a lot of moving pieces during the event, and planning ahead how you are going to do each piece and who will be assigned that role will make your event run much smoother. After a successful Live Auction and Paddle Raise, Almost Home, Inc. quickly recorded their Live Auction winners and donations using Quick Bid Entry in Auctria. After the team successfully entered all of the winners in the system, they notified the winners of their win and balance due via the Bidder Statement. Bidders were then able to pay electronically and saved the team a lot of time at checkout.
While planning for this event, Almost Home, Inc. took advantage of Auctria’s “Make Mass Changes” setting so they did not have to manually set a starting bid and bid increment for each item. Using this setting, Almost Home, Inc. set staggered Bid Increments to keep the bidding competitive. For example, for items $250 and under, they set $10 increments. For items valued $250-500, increments were set at $15, and anything valued over $500 had increments set at $15. With this strategy, and a successful online set-up they were able to raise the most money yet on their Online Auction. The “Spring Out Of Homelessness Benefit” Silent Auction was the most successful event Almost Home, Inc has hosted. Amanda Lucero attributes this success to their Online Auction.
Build Lasting Donor Relationships
Amanda and Rachel set up a Donor & Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast after their Spring Out of Homelessness Benefit and used the “Ticket” feature in Auctria to keep track of guests for the event. As donors play one of the largest parts in a nonprofit’s success, it is vital to continue thanking your donors before, during, and after your events to maintain your relationship. Creating a meaningful donor relationship strategy can look like hosting an event like an “Appreciation Breakfast” or other creative means to continue thanking your donors for all that they do for your organization.
Through Auctria, send Donor Receipts and take advantage of website elements to feature Donors and Sponsors to further acknowledge them and show just how much you appreciate their contribution to your organization.
Don’t miss their next event, Concert for a Cause September 29th, with 90’s music and a 90’s themed photobooth!
Special thanks to Amanda Lucero and Rachel Moore and Almost Home, Inc. for sharing their auction and event fundraising story. Almost Home Inc.’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency and provide assistance to those experiencing housing instability.