Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Avoidable Train Wrecks at Fundraising Auctions

Posted by Scott On April 17th

I truly love what I do. 

However sometimes my passion at a fundraising event is misinterpreted causing those who’ve hired me to feel as if I’m personally attacking their organization – or a person within their organization.

Scott Robertson AuctioneerThe reason for these hard feelings?  I can see a train wreck coming and I just told the organizers:

  • What type of train it is
  • How fast it’s approaching
  • And when it will hit.

The approaching train wreck comes in many forms.  It could be a gaffe in the timeline or a problem with the speaker about to address the audience.  It could be a Live Auction item, a display issue or even a potential bottleneck due to the layout of the room.

There are so many variables at an auction.

If those variables are done correctly it will enhance the event and there won’t be a train wreck.  If those variables are implemented incorrectly it will hurt the event and create a potential train wreck situation.

Knowing the difference between the two scenarios is the reason for my dilemma. The question is: Do the event organizers want to know a train wreck is coming or not?

When it comes to approaching train wrecks I work with two different mindsets.

One group is very grateful I pointed out the problem and help to rectify the situation. This group says thank you, doesn’t take it personally and goes on to raise more money.

The other group does take it personally. They think my pointing out a problem is an attack on something they planned out or is a personal attack on a member within their organization.

ProblemThe problem is – there is going to be a problem. But will the organization I’m working with fall into Group 1 or Group 2?

I could sit back and let the train collide. After all, I’m being paid whether I say something or not. But that’s not my nature.

I definitely don’t want to upset, disappoint or frustrate anyone who worked so hard on the event. But, I simply hate to let an avoidable train wreck hit with full force, thus derailing the mission of the event – and that’s to raise as much money as possible.

I was hired to do the best job possible and part of the job is to consult before the event and during the event when needed.  And that’s usually the route that I take.

downloadIf my “whistle-blowing” that a train wreck is coming, steps on a few toes – I’m not doing it on purpose. And if some people mistake my passion for wanting an event to go as smoothly as possible for a personal attack, I can state clearly for the record: “It’s never that. Never. Ever. Ever.”

I’m passionate about fundraising auctions. And I hate train wrecks. I am there to help – not hurt.

Are you passionate about raising money for your cause? Are you willing to accept helpful advice? Please contact me. I’d love the opportunity to work with you!


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