- June 26, 2008
- Charity Auction Management Agencies Make High-Profile Charity Auctions Sizzle
(part 2 in a 2 part series) Read Part I
- Want a top-notch auction that raises funds while attracting new supporters? Your answer is an auction management agency. They manage high-profile charity auctions on eBay (listings that typically have celebrities or one-of-a-kind items or experiences) for nonprofit and for-profit clients. In the second part of this two-part series we’ll examine how agencies can help with celebrities, the cost of doing a charity auction with an agency, and more.
- Is an A-lister interested in being part of your next charity auction? Even if you have your own celebrity connection, Melissa James of Kompolt explains that a celebrity charity auction requires ‘high touch.’ She cites a recent charity auction for AmeriCares/Bloomingdale’s that included a trip to Milan to meet Giorgio Armani “Charity auctions like these require a third party to handle everything from the creative and branding aspects, to screening bidders and winners to make sure they are valid, to providing concierge services at the event for the winning bidder.”
- How high should you expect the bidding to go? A general rule of thumb is that the more unique the experience, the higher the excitement and final selling price.
- How much time is needed for an agency to pull-together a high-profile, charity auction? “Whenever possible, it's best to have at least two to three weeks lead time prior to auction launch,” says Gigi Liberati of Agency Won.
- This build-up before the event assures maximum buzz. That being said, many agencies have created stellar campaigns with just a few days advance notice.
- Auction management agency fees vary depending upon which services you need. While an agency can craft a charity auction from A to Z, there may be aspects your nonprofit would prefer to do in-house. In this scenario you can usually choose the services you require from an agency’s menu of offerings.
- If you like, you can leave every detail in the agency’s capable hands and put your feet up. Eric Gazin of Auction Cause believes, “It is about finding a cost model that delivers exceptional quality and value to the client.” An agency’s final cost may be a flat fee or percentage-based. Some may even be willing to place a cap on their fees.
Keys to Success
- Remember that a high-profile, charity auction shouldn’t be solely about raising funds. Every angle should reflect your nonprofit’s--and your sponsors’--branding and goals. Having these two pieces in place is key for an auction management agency to create a charity auction that surpasses your expectations.
- How do you choose the right agency? Find one that has done work for clients like you, and be sure to ask for plenty of references!