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Create A Buzz With Unique And Exciting Silent Auction Items

A cruise to Alaska, a Cal Ripkin Jr. autographed baseball or a once-in-a-lifetime “Top Gun” experience that includes a flight with a fighter pilot in a military aircraft – these are just a few of the auction items that have been offered at our non-profit partner’s auctions. Not your everyday silent auction items, right?

If you attend a lot of charity events with silent auctions you have most likely seen many of the same items over and over again. The proceeds go for a good cause and there is certainly nothing wrong with your standard silent auction items. However, have you ever thought about offering something completely different, unique and exciting to create a real buzz around your event?

Unique auction items draw in attendees who simply want the chance to win your exciting offerings.  The uniqueness of the items alone helps to create buzz around your event. In addition, Bid2Care helps to promote your auction online, through our database of donors, and much more. This saves your staff hours of additional time that would normally be needed to promote your event and your auction.

Once someone wins an auction and leaves your event, their experience doesn’t end there. If you’ve ever planned a vacation you know that planning even the most relaxing excursion can turn into a lot of work. Particularly when you are going to a new and foreign place many details need to be taken into consideration. How will you travel around once you arrive? Do you need to rent a car, hire a driver, take public transportation, or can you walk everywhere? What is there to do and see? Meals, sight seeing excursions, language barriers, and cultural differences, are all factors that can have an effect on the planning process and the trip itself.

By working with a knowledgeable travel partner the exciting and easy experience of winning the auction item continues throughout the booking process. The winner works with a travel partner who handles all of the paperwork, planning, rentals, and reservations. The process is smooth and enjoyable. It adds to the winner of the auction item’s experience, rather than detracting from it. Chances are their pleasant experience will make them more likely to attend your event in the future and also to spread the word to their friends and contacts.

 

Out Of This World Success For The Miami Science Museum Annual Galaxy Gala

Who wouldn’t want to go to an event called the Annual Galaxy Gala? Now even if you are unable to attend the event, you can still take part in this out-of-this-world gala that benefits The Miami Science Museum.

The Miami Science Museum held their 9th Annual Galaxy Gala this year and for the first time they added an online auction component to their silent auction. The museum’s Donor Relations Manager, Rachael Sablotsky, says that the use of BlueTree Marketing’s online auction and consignment services allowed the event to soar to new heights.

“The travel and experience packages that were secured through BlueTree Marketing were highly sought after by the attendees of the Galaxy Gala,” says Rachael. “Due to these high ticket items, our 9th Annual Galaxy Gala online and silent auctions were very profitable for the organization.”

The use of BlueTree Marketing’s services allowed the gala organizers to expand on the usual offering of silent auction items. They were able to offer unique silent auction ideas to entice supporters of the museum and attendees of the event. As supporters of the museum are most likely bombarded with requests to attend many charity events, these unique silent auction items helped to set the Miami Science Museum’s event apart from the rest. Add to that the ability to bid online for those who couldn’t attend the event, and this added a whole new dimension to the fundraising possibilities of the gala.

As this is a high-end affair the addition of high-ticket items to the charity auction allows organizers to better align their offerings with the type of items that attendees will want. Not only does this bode well for the auction itself, but also it leaves an excellent lasting impression that will keep them coming back year after year. Hopefully they will not only come again, but will also spread the word to their friends as well!

The 2012 gala will showcase the new $275 million waterfront museum project in downtown Miami, located adjacent to the American Airlines Arena. The black-tie-optional event will be held Saturday February 18, 2012 at the JW Marriott Marquis. For complete details visit the museum’s website at www.miamisci.org.

The mission of the Miami Science Museum is to “inspire people of all ages and cultures to enjoy science and technology, in order to better understand ourselves and our world.” What better way to put its mission into practice than to use the technology of the Internet to get more people involved in supporting the museum?

Since 1949 the Miami Science Museum (MiaSci) has continually grown and today welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year. This includes 50,000 schoolchildren and over ten million Planetarium visitors. Hundreds of thousands more enjoy the traveling exhibitions created by MiaSci which tour nationally. From their website – “The new MiaSci will be an extraordinary resource for the Miami community, inspiring dreams and motivating people of all ages to discover new skills and enjoy learning about science, technology and the wonders of the world around us.”

   

Enticing Attendees and Maximizing Profits

Just like for-profit businesses benefit from understanding their customers, non-profits also need to know their audience so they can make the most of their fundraising efforts and charity auctions. A room full of male golfers would probably be interested in very different things than a room full of new mothers supporting a woman’s cause.

Are your attendees mainly male or female? What is their age range? Are they attending the event to support the cause, to network and socialize or maybe simply to be seen and recognized?

If this is a recurring event, which auction items and trips have sold well in the past? This will give you a good benchmark to start choosing your travel packages. If attendees come to the event each year they have the expectation that the travel packages and prices will be similar to what was offered in the past. It is okay to sell the same trip every year, but it is also good to mix things up. Variety is the spice of life!

Make sure you are offering enough auction items. On average we have found that one item for every 50 attendees will maximize your chances of gaining attendee interest and participation while offering something for everyone.

How much can your attendees afford to spend on a non-essential item like a vacation? Having an idea of your attendee’s disposable income and net worth will help you determine the type and price of trips they will be interested in. Chances are that for a room full of very affluent attendees, higher end and more exotic trips will gain the most interest and generate the most profit.

Whenever possible it helps to tie your events in with an event theme, or even better, with the mission of your organization. For example, for an event with a sport’s theme a trip to the Super Bowl or a major golf tournament would do well. For a Mardi gras theme consider a grand prize of a trip to New Orleans. If your organization supports a cause in Africa, think about a safari package. Perhaps your group supports a women’s issue and a relaxing trip to a high-end spa at the beach would be all the rage.

Whether this is your organization’s first auction or it’s something you do often, it is best to offer a variety of travel packages. In planning your auction think about what your attendee’s interests are, what their income levels are and the type of destinations and activities that would most appeal to them. If you are still unsure, consider conducting a survey of your attendees at the end of the event, or perhaps in a follow-up survey. Ask for their feedback about silent auction ideas. Which packages did they like and not like? Are there others they would want to see in future auctions?

With some thoughtful planning choosing your auction items by knowing your audience will maximize profits, create excitement and result in a successful auction.

   

Encouraging Philanthropy

In today's post, we would like to applaud young people that are finding a passion for philanthropy in their 20s and 30s. In 2006, we decided to jump into the world of nonprofits and fundraising professionals because we saw the opportunity to use our knowledge of technology and digital media to positively influence organizations that we were privileged to work with.

Forever trying to engage in a conversation, two recent posts we made through Facebook and Twitter were pulled from Articles in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Both articles questioned the participation of young people in the nonprofit/philanthropic community. As being Generation X and Y ourselves, we are here to tell you that a community of young participants is alive and well.

They are there. Just look for them.

   

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BlueTree Marketing is a firm that specializes in online marketing and online fundraising auctions for nonprofit organizations and businesses. We work with organizations of all sizes to help grow targeted traffic to websites nationwide, and our auctions earn more than a 300% return on investment and are a profitable and fun way to increase fundraising revenue.

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