Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

The 7 Year Ditch

Posted by Scott On October 23rd

Being repetitive is boring.  Being repetitive is boring. Being repetitive is boring. Being repetitive is boring.  Being repetitive is…..well, you get the idea.

After reading the opening paragraph you were probably bored yourself and wondering where in the heck is this Blog heading – what noteworthy message am I trying to convey? Let me explain.



After some 20 years experience as a Professional Benefit Auctioneer there is one major mistake charities make time after time – they eventually bore their guests and attendees to the point they lose interest in the fundraising event itself – and that in turn translates into fewer seats and tables being filled and fewer dollars raised.

The main culprit for the boredom – the “same-old same-old.” You might be surprised by the number of charities that conduct the same fundraiser year after year with barely any noticeable change from the previous event.

So, were does the headline “The 7 Year Ditch” come from? Well, the lifecycle of any fundraising event is 7 years unless the event has experienced some substantial upgrades and revisions. So if you’re doing the same old same old 7 times in a row – ditch it. Your event is about to run out of steam – if it hasn’t already.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The solution is simple.  Keep it fun and fresh.

The “pushback” I often hear “ it worked last year and we are afraid to make changes”. Or “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. From my vantage point is that updating your event is more about preventive maintenance, than repairing broken parts.

You can maintain the overall theme of the fundraising event but it needs to evolve year after year – it needs a totally different look.

Sure, there is something to be said for familiarity. It does create a comfort zone for many. But it’s the unexpected – the element of surprise that will grab your attendees’ attention and get them excited the minute they walk into your venue.

“Keep it Fresh” is a concept I cannot repeat enough times. There are several ways to do this.


Your fundraising event must have fresh ideas and keep current with the times. I am very familiar with the latest trends in the industry.  However, there are too many to put into a single Blog. So feel free to contact me.  I’d be happy to share what I know.

Your fundraising event should also consist of fresh auction items – items your bidders actually want. This goes for the silent auction as well as the live auction. The new and exciting items should be marketed to your guests in advance of the event itself. This will motivate more to actually attend and just might bring in a few new faces.

Finally – “Keep it Fun!” The more your guests are entertained the happier they will be and the longer they will stay. And that translates into more dollars.

So avoid “The 7 Year Ditch!”  Be sure your event has a totally different look year after year.

Remember, most people decide at the conclusion of an event if they plan to return for next year’s gala. Keeping your event fresh, fun and evolving will keep your guests thinking, “What will they do next?” And that’s more than half the battle.




1 Response

  1. Mary Robertson Says:

    Good job!

    Posted on October 24th, 2014 at 9:57 am

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