Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Archive for June, 2013

Thank_you_small

One of the first blogs I posted on my website had to do with the subject of saying “thank you.” The focus of that blog was when to send a follow-up thank you to your event’s VIPs and largest, most generous contributors.

If you will recall, the answer was within days. Any thank you that arrives after that time frame seems like water under the bridge since too much time would have elapsed and memories of the event begin to fade.

In this blog I want to discuss saying thank you during an event.

Although every guest should receive a warm welcome and feel as if their presence is very much appreciated – the verbalization of a thank you carries a much heavier weight and is much more appreciated by your guests when it is spoken immediately after the fundraising portion of the event.

Avoid saying “thank you” at the beginning of an event.  And avoid saying “thank you” during the middle of an event.  Overdoing those two words early on is like adding water to soup – it dilutes the power the words and those words will have less meaning when they’ll really mean the most.

“Instant Purchase” Option Gaining Popularity At Silent Auctions

My philosophy is:  “Welcome – and away we go with the auction.”  Nationally this is a fairly new trend – and it has proven to work.  So, save the “thank you’s” for the end when you are actually saying “thanks” for everyone’s generosity.

And don’t forget – a nice thank you goes great with a strong, sincere handshake or a warm hug – when appropriate. It’s not only the perfect combination to end the night – or day – but it will help build the foundation for the guest list for your next year’s event.

Now that I’m done with this blog – may I just say “thank you” for reading it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food For Thought

Posted by Scott On June 20th

CCA Orlando 001

My wife Mary and I went out for dinner a few days back. Deciding where to go was easy – our favorite restaurant. You might say we are regulars.  They know us by our first names and we know the names of everyone there, including the servers and bartenders.

While looking over the menu items I happen to notice some new additions.  I suppose this shouldn’t have surprised me since we were wrapping up our traditional Southwest Florida tourist season and gearing up for the quieter, less congested summer months.

It was at this time it hit me – like a palm to the forehead in the “I could have had a V-8 television ad.”  Restaurants are very much like benefit auctions.

Several past blogs mentioned the fact that fundraising events should be fun and fresh.  Guests tend to get bored and are unexcited about attending when events are the same year after year. New elements must be fused with traditional elements to keep the excitement level up and the guests wanting to come back.

 

food for thought-fundraising auctioneerRestaurants know this all too well.  Without the introduction of new menu items their regular customers might not come back as often.  This goes for the fine dining establishments as well as the major fast food chains.  After all, even McDonalds is adding new items on a regular basis, while keeping the established items available on the menu.

An event chairperson is much like an executive chef.  But, changing up the menu is but one of a number of comparisons that can be made between a restaurant and a fundraising event.

Both must also listen to their guests. That feedback is vital to any businesses success.

And both must be well financed to get through the lean times. Nearly every restaurant owner or general manager in Southwest Florida knows that during the tourist season it’s going to be very busy.  During the summer months business is going to slow down.  That’s why banking some money away is key to the restaurant’s survival.

The same holds true for any charity. If it only has one major fundraiser a year some of the money raised needs to be stashed away and used as seed money for next year’s event.

 

 

So, if you’re an event chairman, think like a restaurant.  Don’t be afraid to change up your program menu.  (Think fun and fresh.) Listen to your demographic. And be sure to save for a rainy day. If you do so, your guests will be clamoring for more – will continue to fill up the seats – and will more eagerly open their wallets and checkbooks.

 

 

thanks

One of the first blogs I posted on my website had to do with the subject of saying “thank you.” The focus of that blog was when to send a follow-up thank you to your event’s VIPs and largest, most generous contributors.

If you will recall, the answer was within days. Any thank you that arrives after that time frame seems like water under the bridge since too much time would have elapsed and memories of the event begin to fade.

In this blog I want to discuss saying thank you during an event.

 

party-hostess1Although every guest should receive a warm welcome and feel as if their presence is very much appreciated – the verbalization of a thank you carries a much heavier weight and is much more appreciated by your guests when it is spoken immediately after the fundraising portion of the event.

Avoid saying “thank you” at the beginning of an event.  And avoid saying “thank you” during the middle of an event.  Overdoing those two words early on is like adding water to soup – it dilutes the power the words and those words will have less meaning when they’ll really mean the most.

Wine Fest 2010 222

My philosophy is:  “Welcome – and away we go with the auction.”  Nationally this is a fairly new trend – but it has proven to work.  So, save every “thank you” for the end.

And don’t forget – a nice thank you goes great with a strong, sincere handshake or a warm hug – when appropriate. It’s not only the perfect combination to end the night – or day – but it will help build the foundation for the guest list for your next year’s event.

Now that I’m done with this blog – may I just say “thank you” for reading it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Helm and Back

Posted by Scott On June 6th

to helm and back-Scott Robertson Auctioneers

I’m proud to report that I read a lot of magazines – covering a wide variety of topics and subjects. As a professional auctioneer I feel it’s important to keep up on the latest trends, not only in the auctioneering world, but on lifestyle, art, travel and wine, to name just a few.

 

However, it was a recent article I read in a business publication that really hit home. Well, “really hit home” may be putting it lightly.  To be truthful, it was more like a punch to the stomach.

 

The focus of the story was about CEO’s and other high-level business executives who were hired by a failing, non-growing or unprofitable company – to turn it around – and put it back on the right financial path.

 

These individuals accepted the position and in the course of just a few years – not only hit the company’s goals – but far exceeded them.  And, what was the reward for these business executives for doing such an incredible job within a very short period of time?  Pink slips.

 

It seemed once the company was heading in the right direction, the owner or its board of directors, made the decision to hire someone else to lead – and at a lower salary now that the financial crisis was behind them.

200px-2007_Fortune_500_cover

And, within months or a few years of making that decision – where did the company end up?  You guessed it.  The best scenario was the company continued to move forward – but at a snail’s pace. The worst scenario – it went out of business.

 

That reminded me of a conversation I overheard years ago spoken by a “very experienced”, gray-bearded, old-time fishing guide captain at the marina not far from my home near Pine Island, Florida.

 

He said, “You know boys, if the Captain’s doing a great job in calm waters and in rough seas – if he knows exactly where the fish are and how to get them to bite – and if he keeps everyone entertained by his tall tales during the trip to and the trip back – then for gosh sakes – don’t go throw’n me a retirement party until I’m ready to retire.”  (By the way, I’ve taking the liberty of deleting and diluting some of the Salty Sea Captain’s salty language.)

 

So, how does all this relate to me?  Well, on occasion a charity or organization I’ve been working with for years – and not only achieved their fundraising goals but far exceeded them year after year – gives me a “pink slip” with the kind words, “You’ve done a marvelous job – have pointed us in the right direction – and have raised more money than we could have ever imagined – so we’ll take it from here.”

 

I won’t lie.  That stings.  I do feel letdown. However, even though I feel sorry for myself for a while, within a very short period of time I become more concerned for the charity itself. I want them to succeed because I know the need.  But I also know that, without my experience in the Captain’s chair, rough waters lie ahead.

1208-vintage-fishing-guide-sign

When I’m at the helm, I want every guest departing a fundraising event to feel as if they just experienced an 8-course meal of the finest and freshest cuisine – not an overcooked and stale hotdog from a vendor behind his umbrella-covered cart.

 

Ooops!  I just might have merged the business article with one I read in Bon Appetit.

 

The old saying of  “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”! I find this applies to almost everything from boat engines to fundraising auctions.

 

When you have questions regarding “maintenance” to your fundraising auction please do not hesitate to contact me. www.thevoe.com

 

  © 2013 Scott Robertson Auctioneers. All Rights Reserved. All content is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without express written consent of the author.