So you’ve planned your charity auction. You have selected your silent auction items. What’s next? It’s time to begin promoting your event and your silent auction items. How do you do that? According to Michael Gordon, Fundraising Manager for Charity Fundraising Experts, “Facebook, Facebook and more Facebook!”
Though the power of social media is often misunderstood, there is no denying the facts.
- Facebook currently has over 900 million registered users.
- On average those 900 million users spend an average of 504 minutes on the site each month.
- Facebook site visits surpass Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest hands down.
Recently, Charity Fundraising Experts partnered with The Philadelphia Center. The Philadelphia Center executed a great Facebook strategy to promote their upcoming “Auction Against AIDS” event on Friday, August 3. Brett Malone, Executive Director of the program engaged the Facebook community by showing images of the silent auction items prior to the event. He utilized Facebook to continually thank his sponsors and is building excitement about the event.
Of course, Facebook isn’t the only way to promote your silent auction items effectively. Gordon comments, “I always tell my potential charity partners to promote their items prior to an event. When you work with Charity Fundraising Experts we assist with every part of the planning process, including promotion. We provide sample images of the items to be used in email blasts, press releases and for use on social media sites. Charity Fundraising Experts partners also receive full descriptions of each silent auction item they select and data on approximate bids that each item generates.” Charity Fundraising Experts partner, The Philadelphia Center requested their items well in advance and showcased them to local news and radio stations to not only promote the charity but also the fundraising event and the auction items that will be available to bidders.
A final thought on promotion. Don’t over-promote. Guests expect and enjoy an element of surprise. A good rule of thumb is to promote 50% of the high-end items you will showcase for bidding. Additionally, there is never a need to promote low-end gift certificates and gift baskets. These are items that everyone expects to see at a charity auction.
“The most successful promotion of silent auction items have happened on Facebook,” comments Gordon. “Strategic, effective, broad promotion of your event will make all the difference for your charity.”