You’ll have to forgive me while I go on a personal crusade for this Blog. But, the following situation arises on a regular basis and I thought it appropriate to talk about an important matter concerning the hiring or not hiring of a Professional Benefit Auctioneer.
Recently I was asked to send a proposal for my auction services to an organization that was in the planning stages for an upcoming event. I did just that and waited for a response. And I waited some more.
Eventually I took it upon myself to contact them – to follow up. That’s when I learned they indeed had received my proposal – which was good to know – and that the gala committee had reviewed my proposal. My contact with the organization went on to say that, “The committee decided not to use my services because they did not want to spend the money.”
When I heard those words I knew my proposal was presented inappropriately. By the way, my least favorite word in that entire sentence was “spend.” I wanted to inform them there is a big difference between spending and investing.
Let’s talk about spending. When you spend you are paying for something that eventually goes away – or at a minimum – depreciates. You spend money on food – it is eaten – it goes away. You spend money on fuel – it’s consumed – it goes away. You spend money on a new car – it depreciates in value the minute you drive it off the dealership lot.
Now let’s talk about investing. We invest in the stock market. We invest in education. When we invest money the expectation is that the investor will get a return. It’s not always guaranteed, but the goal is to get a larger amount of money back than originally put out.
The hiring of a Professional Benefit Auctioneer should be looked at as an investment – and not an expenditure.
As for the organization I was dealing with, I asked, “Did you take my proposal fee and simply subtract it from the amount raised last year?” Their response, “Yes.” To which I responded, “That’s not how my fee should be viewed!”
What they should have done is estimated how much a Professional Benefit Auctioneer will bring to the table – the added profit factor if you will – and then subtract the fee from the total.
The truth is I know how to bring in additional funds to an organization. When I don’t think I will be an asset to the group I am the first to tell them.
If I feel my fee isn’t justifiable, I’ll tell the organization and try to find them a no-cost or lower-cost auctioneer. I do not want to cost organizations money – I want to make them money. I do not want to be something they spend money on. I want to be an investment – and a solid investment at that!
It’s all about the cause. It’s not about me.
My disappointment with the organization I’m using as an example in this Blog has little to do with them not hiring me and everything to do with the fact their fundraiser will just remain status quo as they try to match the previous year’s take.
I know I could have helped them reach higher – been more profitable. But then on the bright side – there’s always next year.