2015 was a record-setting year for Scott Robertson Auctioneers – and for many charities – in terms of total dollars raised. I can recall with great pride the first four fundraising auctions I did last year. All four knocked it out of the park by establishing new fundraising records. All by amazing percentages. The stock market was roaring. People were flush with cash. And “Wow” were they generous.
But every year is different. I recently completed the same four events in the beginning of 2016. All did very well. And, although we came very close, no new records were set.
Sure it was disappointing. And some started to ask, “What did we do wrong?” The answer is – nothing. The events were great. Everything was wonderful. The issue was the economy. Specifically, the stock market.
In early 2016 oil prices were way down. There was volatility and uncertainty regarding China. And of course our stock market kept heading in the wrong direction day after day.
Most fundraising attendees are heavily invested in the stock market. They may not have taken a loss directly, but they did take a loss on paper. As a result, the attendees feel less flush with cash and less confident in the economy.
So my advice for those chairing an upcoming fundraising event can be summed up in two words: “Don’t Panic.”
Simply set your fundraising goal just a little lower. And don’t be surprised or disappointed if you don’t have a record-breaking year.
Just plan a solid event – one everybody wants to return to in 2017. And be sure to thank your donors by being gracious for every dollar you did receive.
Remember, the sky’s not falling – it’s just the stock market. Yes it’s down now. But Wall Street has proven that, after a tumble, the stock market has historically roared back.