Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Secrets #3 to Fundraising Success – Time Management

There are several keys to success when planning a Charity Fundraising event.  Most aspects we can control with proper planning.  However, there is only one aspect which we cannot – time.  Understanding that time is either on our side or can play against us is very real in regard to your ultimate success. 

First, we must understand that we cannot stretch or control time is important, however, time can be our friend if we work with it.  Here is how time can hurt you:
1.  Event is either too long (more than 4 hours) – OR – too short (3 hours or less).

2.  Your guests will arrive late.  If you publish that your event starts at a certain time, you can plan on people arriving 30 minutes late. 
3.  Check in for your guests will not happen quickly.

4.  If you are serving a plated dinner, people will always finish their meals quicker than you have planned.
5.  When planning for a short speech, speakers will always run over.

6.  If you have a performance of some type, it will always take longer then you expected.
7.  If you have a presentation, this will also take longer than expected.
8.  Your guests will not truly start to bid on items until the last 15 minutes prior to the Silent Auction closing.  Absolute competitive bidding will not occur until the last moment.

How do you work with time so that is part of the success?
The answer to this is clear – a planned, detailed, written timeline - Time Management.  A published time line, shared with your event staff is absolutely key.  During the planning stages, weeks prior, ensure that you or someone does a read through with your event staff.  Have someone monitoring the clock during your event is crucial.

Understand that people are all devoted to time.  Also, your guests will truly enjoy an event which is ran efficiently.  Nothing can hurt an event more when people don’t know what is going on.  It is truly embarrassing when certain aspects do not happen when scheduled, especially when you have a Master of Ceremonies announcing everything.
To cure the above, while using a “Clock Watcher”, here are some hints that will greatly assist you while planning and hosting your event:

1.  Event length – 4 hours – One thing you should absolutely know for certain, your event will run over if it’s too short.  In order to plan a successful fundraising event, event planner must allow for enough time for everything while understanding that people need to get “Engaged” in the event.  A 4 hour event allows for enough time for speeches, presentations and all your fundraising platforms.  If it shorter, there will not be enough time and something will lack – normally the fundraising.  But having a long event, your guests will get bored and lose interest.

2.  Appointed “Clock Watcher” – One person should be appointed as the Event Manager.  This person is totally in charge of the event.  The event manager should not be sitting down having dinner with their guests or standing talking for an extended period of time.  This person is the most important person at your event.  This person will monitor the time and ensure the time line is followed closely.

3.  Check In personnel – the staff working the “Check in” table, should stay in place at least 45 minutes after the event starts.  Even after the 45 minutes, people will still trickle in so the check in table should be monitored.

4.  Dinner – While people are eating dinner, do not appoint a certain amount of time to it.  People eat at different speeds so don’t give them a certain time. 

5.  15 minutes prior – Prior to someone giving a speech, speak to them 15 minutes before and ask them to get ready.  It will always take them 5 minutes or so to break away from what they are doing.  Then another 5 minutes to get them near the stage.  You will then have a five (5) minute buffer.

6.  Run on Speeches – When asking someone to give a presentation or a speech, ensure you tell them how long they can speak and they adhere to it.  Someone needs to stand stage left or right, in the peripheral vision of the speaker monitoring the time and give them signs when they are getting close to the end of the time allotted. 

7.  Closing the Silent Auction – This perhaps is the most important aspect which either positively or negatively effects the success of your Silent Auction.  Understand that people will “Stalk” the silent auction, finding something they want to bid on then watching the bids.  People will not begin to bid until 15 minutes prior to the close of the Silent Auction.  This most important task you can do is to announce when the Silent Auction will be closing.  Let your guests know it will be closing in 15 minutes, then 10 minutes, 5 minutes and then 1 minute.  Closing the Silent Auction should be a “Rolling Closer.”  There should only be one (1) person appointed to closing the Silent Auction (which will be yet another blog).  If you have more than one person closing the Silent Auction, your guests will not have enough time to place last minute competitive bids.  By closing it this way, it will promote “Bidding Wars.”  Your guests should be allowed to bid until they are completely done with a winner. 

    DO NOT close the Silent Auction without telling your guests – DO NOT quickly pick up all the bid sheets.  Allow them time to be competitive because the success of your Silent Auction will go up and up.

With all of these secrets revealed about the importance of a Time Line, let time be on your side instead of playing against you.  Work with it, roll with it…and properly plan for it.  The Fundraising Experts at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love the chance to help you at your next event by showing you the importance of Time Management as well as the many other Secrets to Fundraising Success.
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a Leader in Charity Fundraising in North America in a “One Stop Shop” setting.  A very important aspect about BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising which is unlike everyone else, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is the only Charity Fundraising firm in North America which only are charity fundraisers.  Following fundraising trends across the country while being constantly educated by the various formats available, the Charity Fundraising Experts at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising will guide you through the myriad of “Pitfalls” which can misdirect you and your organization when planning your next charity fundraising event.  If you would like our help, we would be honored to do so.  Contact us today at


Monday, August 25, 2014

EXCITING NEWS!!! Many New "No Risk Auction Items" from your North American Charity Fundraising Leader - BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising

Hello Everyone

We are excited about the Upcoming Charity Fall Gala Season and in preparation, we have really worked overtime to continue to provide many new and exciting BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising “No Risk Auction Items” we are known all over the country for.  BW Unlimited is known to as the “Best in the business” of Charity Fundraising and to further demonstrate just how much we are listening to our Charity Clients wants & needs, we wanted to give you a “Sneak Peak” at some of the great items which are available to you, our Charity Partners.

However, we are most excited about our brand new video “The BW Unlimited Experience.”  With this video, charities thinking about utilizing our services can hear directly from several of our incredibly happy clients – take a look:

Now, we are being flooded with requests from many of our clients that they also would like to give a video testimonial telling everyone just how happy they are.  Stay tuned for new video’s and testimonials in the upcoming months.

“NEW” on the BW Unlimited Scene

Here are just a few items which we are excited to share and provide for our upcoming Charity Fundraisers all across the country:

"Hand painted, Autographed and framed Jerseys:

It is with great joy that I can announce BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising's exclusive partnership with David Falta of Legends Sports Art. David's incredible work's (Hand Painting images of Iconic Athletes on Jersey's and other mediums) will now be exclusively offered through BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising for Charities all across North America. 

These incredible "One of a Kind" autographed jerseys are the best pick for your events "LIVE AUCTION."  They come Executive Framed & Custom Matted with laser cut team logo's and photo's of the player.
New Decorative Items:

Each day, we are adding new and exciting Decorative items to our inventory.  We constantly stay in touch with our charity partners to see what their guests and supporters are talking about.  Here are some new and amazing items available to our charity clients:

National Stadium framed Blue Prints

Jack Nicholson "A Few Good Men" Quote

Game Face - Autographed by the Photographer

Renown Regional Art

Elvis Presley's #1 Singles

College Deluxe Heritage Banners
New Travel Packages:

We have heard from many of our clients who have raved about our current offerings, especially the Sommelier Wine & Cheese Packages as well as many others.  We have added many new incredible Charity Travel Packages for upcoming events which offer and incredible price point while still providing the absolute best locations around the world with the best accommodations – take a look at some of our new packages:

Hyatt Universal for 5 Nights for 2 people

Hyatt Place Waikiki for 5 nights for 2
Hyatt Cancun for 5 Nights for 2

New Jewelry:

We are even more excited about the fact that we are revamping our Jewelry selection and adding many new jewelry pieces.  As you know, the jewelry which we provide brings incredible results.  As soon as we have our new catalog finished, you will be the first to see it with all of the new pieces.

Remember, it’s important to get your feedback.  Tell us how we can improve our Customer Service, our items or how we can better serve you, please don't hesitate to tell us how.  Your feedback is important to us.  Also, while speaking to your charity fundraising representative, ensure you tell them your thoughts and allow them to provide you the guidance which we are known for when choosing items that will have a resounding impact on your upcoming success.

We truly appreciate the fact that you, our Charity Partners, have made us a leader in Charity Fundraising across North America.  We look forward to many more years assisting you, Charities across North America, with exceeding your upcoming fundraising goals.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North America Leader in Charity Fundraising in a “One Stop Shop” setting.  BW Unlimited offers a wide array of services as well as “No Risk Auction Items” at absolutely NO COST to charities all across the country.  More importantly, BW Unlimited was founded on one simple fact “Charity First.”  What sets BW Unlimited apart from any other provider is the fact that our Autographed items are 100% authentic 100% of the time.  BW Unlimited only utilized well known, highly respected autograph authenticators for any of the autographed items which we provide.  Furthermore, our huge inventory of Charity Travel Packages are priced at the lowest prices found – ultimately putting more money in the hands of our charity partners in order to fulfill their valuable missions.  To learn more about BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, check out our website at and contact us today.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Evolution of Charity Fundraising

Most charities don’t have the time to look back and see the differences in the “Now & Then” of fundraising.  But like the iconic quote about insanity “Repeating the same thing over and over expecting the same result", charities must learn and that they must evolve.

Understanding the history of fundraising is important to those of us who enjoy fundraising success.  Fundraising has truly evolved and knowing and appreciating the evolution has the ability to lead us toward success.

Prior to the “Great Recession” which is nearly equal to the “Great Depression”, money was everywhere.  This was the time that companies and wealthy individuals were utilizing charities for tax shelters.  Sponsorship and large financial donations were not that hard to find which created enormous and powerful charities.
However, when the Recession hit…it hit charities just as hard as the businesses across the United States.  Discretional spending by donors shut completely off with businesses who normally donated now having to stop donating in order to keep their lights on.  Charities needed to begin to be creative in regard to their fundraising efforts. 

Unfortunately, the successful charities across the U.S. needed to become “Dancing Monkey’s” due to major donors requiring more information about the charity and its mission before providing the funds through a substantial donation.  They needed to be able to show their impact via their mission, they need to be able to show their financial efficiency and host fantastic fundraising events.  During this time, various entities arose to assist with this, namely Charity Navigator who provides a “Star” rating in regard to the financially efficiency of charities.
During this time as well, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) was developed and began.  Through the AFP, charity professionals are provided with valuable information and a "Networking" group of other charities.  The successful charities began to seek out information and the means to become much more successful. 
Charities then sought after professionals whose sole focus was on fundraising – Charity Fund Raising Experts (CFRE).  Charity Fundraising evolved to understanding the economy, identifying donors and tactics to become much more successful.  Charities began to spend money on marketing via the various telecommunication platforms – TV, Radio, Magazines etc.  Branding became a big issue with some of the most powerful and well known Marketing companies getting involved.

The most significant negatives effecting charity fundraising came from this time, however, many Non Profits did not take note.  They did not study this evolution but continued to act in the same fashion.  They continued to seek donations as they were in the 1990’s.  Then, our current President Barack Obama and the IRS changed the rules for tax deductions through charitable donations.  This same ruling “Rocked” the Charity Fundraising Industry (the professionals not the charities themselves).  The new ruling says that donors are only allowed to claim 30% of the total donation.
Taking into account, especially the recession and the restrictions it set forth, Donors now need more than just the “Ask.”  The “Ask” means just simply asking for a donation.

When asked, businesses in the charities local area, would only be able to donate items which were not selling in their stores.  What most charities failed to realize is, the same businesses they are asking are also approached by 100’s of other charities in their area.  To see just how many charities are in your area, check out the website  Charities must understand that they are all fighting for the same dollar.  The community can only give so much while maintaining their lifestyles.  Businesses are worried about keeping their doors open and their lights on.
During the same time, charities who began to evolve, realized through their financial statements, that donations (financial & items donated for their events) were very low.  These charities studied ways to recapture the donations while also asking their supporters what was important to them.

This same tactic also transcended into marketing their charity in order to spur growth.  Everything tied together when they began to follow this trend.  The successful charities employed event planners, development executives and manufacturers.
Through these professionals, they studied the success of the items they were getting donated for their fundraising events.  They tracked the donations and realized through study, the reality of their effectiveness.  That is when I became involved in Charity Fundraising while involved in several Conservation charities. 

Charities identified various companies who manufactured items which had items which had high appeal to their charity fundraising event guests.  When they made the switch to having items which they had to purchase but the items had mass appeal, they regained success and grew based on it.  They also used these items to market their charity as well as the events became “Membership Machines.” 
Fundraising Success happens when charities step outside of their mission and realize the reality of fundraising.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a leader in North America in regard to Charity Fundraising.  Our experts constantly study Charity Fundraising trends across the United States – both Successful and failed.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love to assist your charity by understanding the evolution of fundraising while identifying a plan for success.  Contact us today at or call us at 410-658-8808.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Secret to Fundraising Success - Putting the "Fun" in Fundraising

If you were invited to a seminar hosted by the IRS, would you go?  Does it sound like a “Barrel of Laughs”?  I’ll answer for you – no not at all.
As you begin to plan your next charity fundraising event, don’t forget to account for the “Fun” factor.  Remember, nobody like’s “Boring.” 

I can guarantee that you will agree with me that the fun events are the most memorable.  The “Fun” Factor is definitely responsible for many positives in a highly successful, highly profitable fundraising event. 
Something else that is vitally important about a “Fun” Fundraising event is, when people are having a great time built around a Charity, the charity will experience incredible growth via support outside of the event.  People will want to get involved with the Charity and want to help to host other events/fundraisers.

Take it into account that when people are having a fun time, it makes their experience much better and very memorable.  The mere fact that they had a great time at your event, will help you next event that much better – easier ticket sales, increased ticket sales and much more profit.  When people are having fun, they don’t have a problem spending.  But if you host a boring event, do you think they will want to return?  Do you think they will want to bid on items?  Doubt it.
Over the years which I have been involved in Charity Fundraising, I have seen it all.  From long winded speeches putting the crowd to sleep, inappropriate entertainment, low end items only on the Live & Silent Auctions and people doing everything they can to leave the event early which resulted in a low profit for the charity.
I have also seen events that were like “3 Ring Circuses.”  I have seen the
“Fun Factor” on steroids – I call these events a “Friend-raiser”, more like a party.  When an event becomes more of a Party then a fundraiser, guests become distracted with the entire “Party” of it all and ignore the Fundraising Platforms (refer to my earlier blog - Fundraising Platforms – A Complete Fundraising Event).

A successful event lies somewhere in between.  An event that is fun while also still staying on track with a successful fundraiser is the “Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner.”  It’s a balance. 

A great way of providing the “Fun” factor is by hosting several fun and entertaining raffle’s and games.  In fact, a raffle/game is the absolute best way of utilizing the donated items that your charity has received (Refer to Gift Baskets & Gift Certificates – How to profit 10 times the retail value for more information about how a raffle can greatly influence the success of donated items).  Here are some of my experiences with these:
#1 - Recently, I was asked to fly out to Detroit to assist the Livingston County Humane Society with their fundraising event the "The 2014 Furball".  They did an amazing job by providing a fantastic live band as well as several different fun raffle’s and games.  One of the games, which I have never seen before, was a “Bead” Raffle.  The raffle was hilarious, incredibly fun and had the entire crowd involved.  It was amazing to see all of the guests, who were dressed very nice, standing at the front of the room laughing and truly enjoying themselves.  This raffle/game raised them an incredible amount of money….Great job Livingston County!!!

#2 – We routinely help our clients with Raffle ideas.  One of the absolute best is the “Balloon Raffle.”  Balloons bring the “Kid” out in your guests.  Plus they also help decorate the room.  Watching the guests pop the balloons is a blast.  Due to the draw of the Balloon Raffle, it’s a 100% guarantee to bring 10 times the amount of profit then using donated items on a Silent or Live Auction.
#3 – Surprise or “Blitz” Raffles are another amazing idea.  Having an item hidden from the crowd and surprising them with a quick raffle, will “WOW” them.  There are several successful ways of conducting this in a way that everyone will be “Star Struck.”

Watch our NEW Video and hear from our Clients about the success of Fun Raffles and games:

Remember, prizes hitting the crowd will take your event from “Hum Drum” to above and beyond the “WOW” type of event.  Your guests will see people with smiling faces, laughing and enjoying themselves.  Just this factor will create a very memorable experience.
Remember, putting the “Fun” in fundraising is the key to your success at your next fundraising event. 

There are many more simple things that will change the entire face of your event, bringing it from “Okay” to “Rockstar” making your event and the next, the place to be.
If you would like to learn more fun and exciting as well as highly profitable “Fun” event ideas which have amazing results across North America – contact BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising today at  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a Leader in Charity Fundraising across North America.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is known far and wide as the #1 most reputable charity provider as well as the Charity Fundraising “One Stop Shop.”  We would love to help you greatly increase your charities fundraising profits at your next fundraising event.  If you would like our help, please contact us today at 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Top Secret Revealed - Building Fundraising Momentum

Here is another secret of fundraising revealed.  In fact, most successful charities who host highly successful events year after year, don’t even realize how they did it.  The charities nearly bury the secret as their fundraising success grows and grows, personnel changes which hides the “Why” and “How.”  If you chose not to use the secrets revealed here, remember, other charities in your area will.
But here is the secret only revealed to the Charity Fans of my blogs:

Have you seen a huge freight train moving down the tracks pulling what seems to be 100 loaded box cars and wonder how in the world it started moving with all that weight?  The answer is a strong engine and “Momentum.”
A charity must build momentum in their fundraising events.  How this occurs is based a fundraising plan and a time investment.  A successful charity fundraising event does not just happen overnight, it’s built.  Just like the fictional statement “Overnight Success” or “Get Rich Quick”, successful and intelligent fundraisers have to put in the work and time to build their success and build the momentum.

With the secret revealed and while following the fundraising plan we are going to provide to you, as your event grows, charities will see that the quality of the donations they receive, will also grow.
First, go back and review all of our blogs to begin to understand the foundation of a successful event but here is a quick basis for your plan.  Even though your charity may have held fundraising events for years, you can begin to build fundraising success momentum beginning with your very next event:

Event #1 - The Opener (Current or upcoming event)
With the beginning of your plan, charities should focus on ticket sales – introducing as many people to your event as possible. The basis of this first event is the “Attractiveness” of the event itself.  Focus should be on the Venue, the menu and the items available for your guests to bid on.  With these being the focus, this event will begin to set itself apart from other similar charity events in your area (to better understand this, please read “Above the Crowd Noise”). 

NOTE:  Understand that your guests will not be accustomed to attending an event with such fantastic items available to bid on.  Keep in mind what other charities in your area are doing and what types of items they have available.  From your first event, their education begins to happen now (please read “Training and Educating your guests on how you want them to perform” to learn more about this).
Your charities mission should be introduced in a way that is “Palatable”, the best way is through a short mission related video.  Focus on your guest’s total experience.  This event is the time when also want to introduce business owners to it as well as guests who can become major donors.  These individuals will not initially just write big checks to sponsor your charity or your event without being introduced to it.

Event #2 – The Beginning (2nd year following the plan)

From your previous event, your guests will remember just how fantastic the last one was.  They will remember last year’s event and what was available to bid on.  For this year, tickets sales are important but it will be much easier to sell them.  In fact, your individual guests will and can assist you with selling bulk tickets (full tables).  This is when Sponsorships should be introduced.  Businesses can be asked to sponsor the event itself, the program, the Auction and most importantly, the auction items available.  This is also a great time to introduce membership levels and building support for the charity.  Focus should be on Sponsorship and ticket sales.
Event #3 – Success is contagious (3rd year following the plan)

From the momentum you have built, ticket sales are still important, however, now charities can demand higher quality donations.  Focus should be on Sponsorship and Donations during this year.  Underwriting is vital to this year’s success.  The definition of “Underwriting”:  Someone other then the charity pays the expenses of the auction items, the menu, the cost of the program etc. for marketing reasons for their business.  With marketing being the primary focus for donors, sponsors or underwriters, your charity should focus on the ways to offer marketing…which will make the donation much more attractive.  Having a massive amount of people attending at this point, will make this offer very easy to possible donors. 
If you are willing to invest the time while following the above plan, you will see an incredible “Shift” in your charities fundraising success.  If you would like to learn more about how to accomplish the above plan, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love to meet with you to show you how.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a Charity Fundraising Leader in North America offering everything a charity could possible need or want in a “One Stop Shop” setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising offers a wide array of “No Risk Auction Items” including Autographed items, Jewelry, Charity Travel Packages and a range of beautiful Decorative items.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is proud to only have 100% Authentic Autographed items, 100% of the time.  To learn more about BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, contact us today at  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, we look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Charity Auctioneer – Expertise and Entertainment in Action

Charities across the United States want the absolute best result from their Fundraising Events.  Many of these charities take an entire year to plan their events while devoting hundreds of hours to ensure that every possibility has been covered.
During the planning, one of the decisions that they make is who will be their Auctioneer for the Live Auction portion of their event.  While trying to raise as much money as possible, at times, charities will cut corners in an attempt to raise as much money as possible.  However, by doing so, they are actually hurting themselves.  If a charity wants to greatly improve their fundraising dollars, they should consult with a Charity Auctioneer.

Here are a few questions charities should consider when planning this portion of your event:

Should we use a local Celebrity or Politician for our Live Auction?
Across the United States, many charities utilize local Celebrities, Politicians or a well-known from the community to be their “Auctioneer.”  The belief is that due to the fact that they are somewhat famous, charity guests will be both entertained and will bid high.

If charities want and need the best result for their event, they should heavily consider speaking with and utilizing a professional Charity Auctioneer.  Well trained and educated Charity Auctioneers utilize both entertainment as well as their finely honed skills to receive the absolute highest bids for their charity clients.  Just their “Chant” (the way the items are sold, the sound of an Auctioneer) engages the crowd to be a part of the sale of the item.  Furthermore, they are trained and have the experience to spot “possible” bids while understanding how to “Pull” a bid out of some of your guests.  They also know when to continue to seek more bids and when enough is enough.
Why should we use an Auctioneer?

Charities should understand that using a person who is not a trained Auctioneer, can have a negative impact on the event’s end result.  Simply put, would you hire your accountant to be your Lawyer?  I doubt it.  Charities should understand that a qualified, highly trained Auctioneer will provide them the absolute best end result for their event. 
Auctioneers also know the importance of the people in the crowd spotting bids, referred to as "Ring Men."  Ring men are also key to the importance
If you want to hit a home run at your event, then you will need to put a homerun run hitter at the plate. 

Why are Auctioneers the best to use at our charity events?
Auctioneers attend school in order to learn the “Art of the Auction.”  They are trained in every possibility of the Auction process along with the business aspects including state and federal regulations.  These Auction professionals can consult a charity on every aspect of their auction as well as provide a fantastic entertaining atmosphere for your guests.  With the Live Auction fundraising platform being a major part of a charities event, the absolute best result will come from a professional who understands its importance and conducts these types of events on a routine basis.

How can a charity find a great Charity Auctioneer?
BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can assist with this process.  As North America’s Charity Fundraising “One Stop Shop”, BW Unlimited is a source for all of a charity’s needs.  BW Unlimited is partnered with many great Auctioneers and can direct a charity on who to speak with.  Please visit our "Charity Affiliates" page on our website to see the auctioneers who we have partnered with as well as those who we recommend. 

Go to: to see the Auctioneers and service providers we recommend.

Another valuable source is also the National Auctioneers Association (NAA).  Founded in 1949, the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) is the world's largest professional association dedicated to professional auctioneers. The NAA was built by auctioneers, for auctioneers. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., the NAA represents the interests of thousands of auctioneers in the U.S., Canada and across the world.  For more information, go to

While speaking with an Auctioneer, ask them about their charity experience as well as the result from their work with the charities they have worked with.  Speak with charities in your area in order to determine who they have used.
A Charity Auctioneer is very special – they are both Entertainers as well as the experts in regard to properly and successful conducting an Auction.  Auctioneers who especially perform Charity Auctions are the best of both worlds and are the best people to perform this very valuable aspect of your event.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can assist you with finding a fantastic Auctioneer.  BW Unlimited is a leader in Charity Fundraising across North America with the ability to provide a charity with all of your needs in a “One Stop Shop” setting.  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising was founded on one simple belief “Charity First” with integrity being the cornerstone of our business.  BW Unlimited is known for our wide inventory of “No Risk Auction Items” while only provide 100% Authentic Autographed items – 100% of the time.  We would love to help you with your next charity fundraising event, contact us at – we look forward to helping you exceed your fundraising goals for many years to come.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Determining Guest Spending Habits – Fact or Fiction?

Over the years that I have been fortunate enough to have assisted 100’s of charities, I have had the pleasure to speak with and consult them in regard to the charity fundraising events. 

One of the most popular statements which I hear on a routine basis is “Our people won’t spend that amount of money” – OR – “Our people only spend around $......”  No one is a mind reader, even though we wish we were. 

The above statements cannot be further from the truth, in fact, no one can predict their guests total spending.  Charities mistakenly believe that their guests will come to an event with a predetermined amount of money that they are going to spend.  I have written blogs about this fact and how spending can either be spurred on or how it can be hurt.

I would like to give you an example of why charities are misled:

Gift Basket “A” is on the Silent Auction.  Guests will look at the Gift Basket and determine what they feel its worth.  The fact that everyone is looking for a deal, guests will often bid 1/2 of what they believe they can purchase the items for.  Let’s say in a perfect world, they bid to full retail – but they will not bid over retail.  It just does not happen.

Item “B” is on the Silent Auction.  Guests have never seen the item sold at any store or on the internet and is has no retail value…in fact, even by staring at it, they cannot determine what it would sell for.  Plus the item gets them excited, so much so, they will fight “Tooth & Nail” to take it home.

A Real Life Example:

Several months ago, one of Charity Fundraising Representatives called me late in the evening to tell me something had happened.  While assisting a charity at a local Fire Department Hall, he mistakenly placed our “Tuscany Private Villa for 8” on the Silent Auction.  Keep in mind the setting of this event and then know that the minimum or reserve bid was $7,500.00.  Miraculously, a lady walked up and wrote down the one and only bid of “$10,000.00.”  Obviously, she won.

I asked him to speak to the bidder and ask her, her opinion.  She said “I have been coming to this event for three (3) years and I have never seen anything worth me bidding on, and today I did.”  Lesson learned.

Charities should understand that guests will only bid on something if it’s – worth something.  They will only bid as high as they think it’s worth.  By having items which do not have a high bid appeal, you can expect that amount or less.

In fact, in my own life, I have a very close friend who is as unassuming as anyone you know.  He wears blue jeans, T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, a baseball hat and drives an old beat up pick up truck.  I have gone with him to many charity fundraising events.  This guy looks like your neighborhood mechanic.  But, in reality, he is a very wealthy individual - in fact, he is a multi millionaire.  People are shocked when he outbids everyone.  But, he will only bid on the items or travel packages which he wants and can not find anywhere else.  What's the message I am trying to convey?  Do not ever assume that you know how your guests are going to spend at your event or even give them a "They will spend this much only."  But know that if you are not using items that demand they spend high, they won't.
If you tell your guests “This is the starting bid” and the items demand high bids, then you will receive high bid.  Try using items which have mass appeal and demand high bids such as “One of Kind” autographed items, Travel Packages, Decorative items etc.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising sees this trend on a routine basis as well as tracks the successful ones all across North America.  If you would like to learn other “Fact or Fiction” misnomers, contact BW Unlimited Today at  We would love to help you turn a low spending event into a BLOCKBUSTER!!!