Like clockwork, most organizations’ fundraising auctions occur on a Saturday night. Gala season begins in February and runs through May/ June. It stops for July and August and then picks up again from September - Mid November. When you choose a Saturday night for your gala, please note that you will be scheduling your fundraising auction on the same night of at least 2-3 other fundraisers in town. Your donors will have to choose which event to attend and if they don’t attend your event, that’s one less gift that you can count on this year.
In 2017, break the mold of the Saturday night Gala and host your fundraising event during an alternative time. Try a mid-week evening, a luncheon or even a breakfast/pre-work event. Don’t forget Friday & Saturday nights.
When you choose to hold your Charity auctions during an alternative times there will several advantages for both your organization and your donors.
Get Done Early
When you choose to host your fundraiser on a Monday - Thursday night you’ll need to end early to be successful. Typically that means ending by 9:00 p.m. Because the majority of your events will be coming straight from work, the dress is less formal and, because you’re pressed for time, the achievement of reaching your fundraising goal is front and center.
People Can Come
Many of your donors do not have plans on weeknights, making them available to attend your weeknight fundraiser.
Because most vendors’ prices are lower on weeknights, you will save money on your food, decor, sound, AV and other elements your vendors provide at your fundraising event. Saving money on vendors means more money for your organization.
Not Just the Nighttime
Don’t limit yourself to holding your fundraiser at night. Think about hosting a Saturday brunch or lunch fundraiser. You don’t have to wait until the sun sets to raise money!
There are some disadvantages to hosting an auction during an alternative time. It may be unrealistic for you to host a fundraiser on a Wednesday night if you live in a city with an insane amount of traffic. Additionally, because your event will be shorter than traditional galas, you’ll have to forego event extras - like a multi-course dinner, entertainment and extravagant theme.
Hosting a fundraiser during an alternative time can be just what your organization needs to invigorate your current donors while attracting new donors.
For more Fundraising Charity Auction ideas and helpful tips on planning your next charity fundraiser, follow Generosity Auctions on Facebook or Instagram @GenerosityAuctions. Abra Annes is the leading Charity Auctioneer based in California. Abra is the owner and founder of Generosity Auctions, the premier choice for Non-Profit Organizations looking to maximize their event fundraising.