Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Archive for December, 2011


Your acquisition committee comes to you all excited as a local jewelry store is willing to provided jewelry to your fundraising auction at “the stores cost” in exchange for being the featured jeweler at your event! Should you be excited or politely decline this offer? This is up to you and your committee but all that glitters is not gold and all “opportunities” are not good deals for your organizations.


While there are many reputable jewelry stores in every community there are also some self-serving ones. The goal of the “self-serving” jewelry store is to make money on their “donation” and reap the benefits of the positive PR provided by your school or not for profit organization. Be wary. Below are some additional tips regarding jewelry in your live auction.


  • Jewelry can be a highly subjective item at a fundraising auction. People’s jewelry taste vary and “one size does not fit all”. Select jewelry that will have universal appeal but is also unique to generate interested among your bidders.
  • Jewelry stores tend to inflate the price of their “donation” to your fundraising auction to a price higher than they would price the item at 5 minutes before closing time on Christmas Eve. Again proceed with caution
  • Jewelry consignments can take money out of your crowd with little to no actual donation from the jewelry store. If the consignment price is $4,000 and you sell it for $4,000 your net profit is less than $0.
  • Any more than two jewelry items in your live auction is simply too many. Keep your items interesting and unique in order for maximum profitability.

Ok, if you are still reading, then you really do want to know my suggestions on selling jewelry at auction. Stay tuned for next blog entitled “How to best display jewelry at your fundraising auction”.

How to Maximize the Results of Your Volunteers….

Posted by Scott On December 7th

How to get volunteers to do the job you want them to do?  It is very simple; COMMUNICATION!  Provide them with their job description(s) the location of their station(s) and the timeline for the event.  Make sure the job descriptions are not wordy or lengthy, but they should be able to communicate exactly what you want them to do.  When you want them to do, and where things are positioned.  Auction Chairman often times does not think to write out the job description as they ASSUME that the volunteers understand their exact role. However this is often not the case.  Writing job descriptions prior to the event is time well spent. The night of the auction can be chaotic enough without the additional task of explaining to the volunteers their role for the evening. In other words less stress…

The biggest complaint you get from volunteers is that they—DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO or WHEN TO DO IT!  From there, they may get reprimanded from a member of the committee, which is never fun.  In almost 20 years of experience as a fundraising auctioneer the biggest complaint I hear from volunteers is they simply were given no direction.  Remember to be kind to your volunteers, communicate your expectations, and they will happily play a significant role on your fundraising team.

Feed your volunteers!

Posted by Scott On December 5th

Feed your volunteers—


Volunteers at a fundraising event are critical for success. They help with many tasks including decorating, greeting guests, check-in/check-out, etc. that allows the event run smoothly. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any winning fundraising team. Treat them well, respect their time, and remember to feed them!  A hungry volunteer is never an efficient volunteer.

Often time’s volunteers are requested to arrive at the fundraising event hours before the event begins.  They help with set-up, finishing touches, and organization for the upcoming gala later that night.  More often than not volunteers don’t have the luxury of going home so they end up not eating before the arrival of the guests.


So you ask, how do you solve this problem?  It is simple!  Have a volunteer room/area  where volunteers can go rest, sit down, relax, mingle with other volunteers and grab some food. For instance, if the volunteer task is check in/check out they have no responsibility during dinner. This is a perfect time for them to make their way to the volunteer break room.


A happy volunteer will be a great ambassador for your organization, a hungry volunteer………………………… is another matter.