Thursday, December 22, 2016

Why is "Consignment" a bad word in Charity Fundraising?

Since I started BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, the very first thing that I saw that I knew was a problem was that “Donations” truly don’t cut it.  Now if you know me, I am the charity fundraising “Dose of Reality” guy.  Most times, people don’t know how to take it because we live in a very politically correct world.  But reality is reality folks and here it is.

Many people in the charity fundraising world, including those who are in the business of working with charities, somehow believe that accepting consignment items in their auctions are a bad idea.  They are completely wrong and honestly are not as educated about the “Myth vs. Reality.” 

The reality of donated items is this.  Businesses are bombarded constantly with charities asking for donated items.  When they donate, they donate items they can either afford to give away or items which are not moving in their stores.  This is reality.  So then charities take these items and put them out on the auction block. 

I have seen some awful things happen and have heard some horror stories about
donated items bringing pennies on the dollar.  Plus the donors walking out of the events angry based on the low bids.  THIS IS REALITY!!! 

Donated items are NOT, and again I don’t care who tells you otherwise, bringing very much in any Live or Silent Auction.  Stop for a minute, think about the person or business who donated it…do you really think they don’t care?  Yes they certainly do because if the items sell tragically cheap, what does that say about their business?

Remember, local people attend your local event with items donated by local businesses.  If your guests wanted that stuff, they would go there and buy it themselves!!!  This is common sense.  Gift Baskets – oh my gosh, Gift Baskets. This is the “staple” in charity events.  How many gift baskets did you give away to your family and friends for Christmas?  I bet NONE. 

Let’s talk about consignment but before we do, I want to show you a VERY real life example of why it works and a HUGE charity that only relies on items which are purchased for events.  That’s right, they do NOT rely on donations. 

Ducks Unlimited.  Ducks Unlimited is the KING of charity fundraising.  They have over 1,500 chapters across the world and do at least 7,500 fundraising events each year.  Ducks Unlimited, along with several other outdoor charities have it figured out.  These charities are ALL in the outdoor sector of non profits such as:

National Wild Turkey Federation
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
National Rifle Association
Delta Waterfowl
And several more….

They send out a catalog of items to their chapters for which the chapters, staffed by volunteers, purchase all of the items in the catalog.  That’s right I said “PURCHASE” not consigned like BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising offers. 

Now, with this in mind – Ducks Unlimited’s net revenue (That means total profit) was $194,000,000.00!!!  You can’t argue with that!!!

Folks – you need to change your mind set about consigned items. Noone, not you, not your friends, not your guests or your supporters want leftovers or junk.  There are ways to reduce your costs so that you make top dollar. 

Not only can you get awesome consigned items from us like autographed items but you can also get travel packages from us at

Yes, you think that if you get something donated, you keep 100% of the money…but 100% of what?  1/8th of what its worth?  Seriously!!! 

You can go to your local providers and ask them if they would consider consigning items to you.  They will be very happy to and most likely donate items as well.  They get to be marketed.

You can not argue with the numbers.  Your guests want great items.  Are you paying for the food?  The Drinks?  The Venue?  Are you paying for anything else?  Then why do you then rely on free stuff to help you raise money?

Tell me why in the comments below why you think this is a bad practice…..I want to hear it.

Contact us at, we would love to help you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Myth about how Autographs are acquired

Because of the counterfeiters that prey on people, especially in the charity industry, there are definite myths about how autographs are acquired.  I hate to “Smash” the fantasy that you have in your mind, but this is the reality of it.
Myth:  One or two companies, especially those in the charity industry, have the exclusive right or are the only people who can get to Iconic Musicians or Movie Superstars.  They get Guitars and Movie Posters signed either by an entire band or the entire cast of a movie. 

Truth:  Entirely False.  No one, not one company or individual has the exclusive right to only carry or get autographs from musicians or bands.
Myth:  When an iconic Athlete or Superstar dies, their autographs are so plentiful, the price for their autographs stays the same or is cheaper.  Only a few companies have many of their autographs in stock.

Truth:  Entirely false.  When an Athlete or Superstar passes away, the price of their autograph sky rockets, making them very hard to afford.  Not one legitimate company in the world that has these autographs keeps them priced the same – remember, everyone wants to make money so everyone marks them up so that true autograph collectors will want them and will pay the exorbitant price.  Immediately these autographs become extremely rare and soon will no longer be available.
Myth:  Autograph companies wait above dugouts, outside of stage doors or have very private signings with Athletes and Super Stars were no one else is invited to be a part of it.  Based on this, Iconic Athletes and Super Stars sign the autographs for free.

Truth:  Entirely false.  The real autograph industry is more of an assembly line.  It’s
not the “Romantic” picture everyone sees in their head.  In fact, the real industry performs these signings to ensure that the maximum amount of autographs are received.  Furthermore, it also ensures that true “Authentication Companies” are on site and can personally witness the items being signed.  Here is how it really works:  Helmets are set up in lines with a “Sticky Note” attached for inscriptions.  Photographs and Jerseys are stacked up for each player.  Also, at these signings, there are normally many Athletes present.  Athlete’s charge certain prices for certain items, helmets are normally more expensive due to the round shape.  Because of the high prices for their autographs, the signing is sent out across the country to wholesalers to reduce the cost.  Regardless, the athlete may say he will sign  1,000 autographs for $50,000.00. The more iconic Athletes such as Peyton Manning request an enormous amount of money to conduct a signing.  One of the highest priced Athletes is Derek Jeter.
Here are a few ways to test if an autograph is authentic – Use these before you either buy or ask a company for your next charity event:

#1 – Does the company which you are acquiring the autograph from, have photo’s with their employees with the Athlete or Celebrity?  Everyone wants to get their pictures with these famous people, why doesn’t the company that is providing the item have these photos. 

FACT:  This is especially important for us at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.  Because the two other companies that are famous in our industry for providing autographed Guitars, Drumheads and Cast Signed Movie Posters are counterfeiters – that’s right, all the autographs that they provide are absolutely counterfeit, this is especially important to us.  As you will see, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising has plenty of photographs of us with Athletes and Celebrities.  Plus our items come with photos of the items actually being signed and are not “Photo-shopped” whatsoever. 

#2 - Go on line and search the name of the company and the owners of the companies which are providing the items.  Go to “Autograph Magazine Live” and search the name of the company before you agree to purchase or receive items.

#3 – Let’s say you are considering receiving an autographed Guitar from one of these companies.  Search the internet to see if other companies carry the same guitar.  Also, if you find a similar guitar, check the difference in pricing.  For instance – a Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen signed Guitar if it were real, would truly cost $15,000.00 – not $1,500.00 (MAJOR RED FLAG). 

#4 – Ask the company where and when the item was autographed?  This is referred to as “Provenance.  The definition of which is – “The place of origin or earliest known history of something.  The beginning of something's existence; something's origin.  A record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.”  The company should be able to tell you exactly where and when it was signed no questions asked.

#4 – Ask the company who the authenticator is of the item autographed?  Do not listen to what the company is telling you about the authenticator.  Research the authentication company.  There are only two (2) truly authenticate Authentication companies – JSA and PSA/DNA. If other companies do not use these authentication companies, WHY NOT?  They are the only authenticators accepted by EBay and other legitimate sources. 

Do your research, don’t be fooled.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising only carries 100% authentic autographed items.  But counterfeiters, especially in the charity world, will say the same thing.  But do they use authentic authenticators BW uses?  No they don’t.  The items which BW provides come with various certificates of authenticity as well as photos of the items being signed. 

Another issue – why would a company say that they will take back the item if its not authentic?  BW does not guarantee that because all of our items are 100% authentic. 

Don’t be fooled.  Only deal with REAL companies providing REAL Autographed items – BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.  Contact us at