The amount of work and expertise required to pull off a successful fundraising event is hard to underestimate. Few can do it alone.
To maximize chances of success, charity auctions should be planned by a cohesive, effective and cooperative auction team.
At the top of the leadership chain is the overall auction chair (or co-chairs). This is the primary point person for the entire event. They maintain the vision for the fundraiser, put together the agenda, and recruit fellow chairs to help make the event a reality.
In today’s post, we will look at four of the most essential event chair roles to fill. These are the silent auction, live auction, fund-a-need and sponsorship chairs. We will share must-have characteristics and roles for leaders of each committee, plus resources to help these people complete their jobs.
Let’s get started!
If your event includes both a silent and live auction, it’s helpful to separate these into two different committees. That said, people overseeing procurement share common characteristics.
Now let’s dive into the intricacies of each role.
The primary focus of the silent auction chair is volume.
Experts typically recommend having one item for every 2 guests at your auction; that means for an audience of 300 guests, you should aim to have 150 items. That’s an intimidating figure for any experience level!
To meet that lofty goal, here are a few key responsibilities of the silent auction chair.
Unlike the silent auction chair, the live auction chair leads the charge procuring just 7 to 12 unique, buzzworthy packages worthy of top dollar bids (depending on your event type and audience).
The live auction is a significant portion of both your fundraising and night-of entertainment for the evening. This committee should be led by someone especially driven, well-connected, and passionate for the cause.
Here are the main responsibilities for a successful Live Auction chair.
Special appeals – also known cash appeals, paddle raises, “fund-a-need”s and more – are bringing in a larger and larger portion of fundraising events’ total revenue.
While the auctioneer is typically the one delivering an appeal, there are strategies you can employ to make the most of the opportunity.
Here are a few key responsibilities for the point person on all things appeal-related.
Many organizations make half their income before the event. The reason: event sponsorships.
By offsetting costs, sponsorships lay the foundation for a lucrative event.
The sponsorship chair should be someone with business associates, or someone who knows a lot of people around town. They should know how to talk to the movers and shakers of your community to get corporate sponsorships.
Here are additional responsibilities for your sponsorship chair:
These four roles are all we will go into today, but keep in mind there are plenty of other important roles that take your event from good to great. These include promotions and marketing, volunteer management, entertainment, raffles and more.
For a more in-depth look at the critical chair roles we discussed today, plus two more key committees (registration and decoration) and much more, check out Winspire’s free webinar, “The 6 Most Important Chairs for Fundraising Auction Success.”
This post was created in collaboration with Summy Lau of Winspire. Winspire provides incredible travel packages and luxury hotel stays for charities to use in fundraising auctions and raffles, with no upfront cost. As Fundraising Editor, Summy brings extensive experience in nonprofit development, event fundraising and publishing to Winspire’s semiweekly event fundraising blog, Winspire News.