This post is for you if you’re one of the thousands of arts organizations holding a fundraising gala with a silent auction component.
Statistics show that you’re failing miserably.
National averages of silent auctions show a 50%-60% return. That means for every $100 item on the table, you’re selling it for $50 to $60. Sooooo sad.
And once we figure in the costs to produce the auction – hours spent procuring goods, preparing displays, buying services – your returns fall further.
So should you bag the idea?
For organizations already holding a silent auction, continuing to offer it is likely in your best interest. Here’s why.
1. With targeted changes, you can improve returns.
An audit of our clients found that when returns are average, it’s most often due to poor marketing. Simple changes can have a profound effect.
For instance, one of our clients raised an additional $44 per item once we employed aggressive onsite marketing tactics. With 82 silent items, they earned an additional $3600!
Incorporate both pre-gala and onsite marketing strategies for the best results. At a minimum rewrite your descriptions, use vertical displays, and incorporate a sensory experience. Read the rest of this entry »