Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Saying Thanks To Participating Businesses

Posted by Scott On October 10th


During my 20 years in the business as a professional benefit auctioneer I’ve had the opportunity to chat with business owners, specifically those who donated an item for a charity fundraiser. Most verified they did receive a thank you card for their participation.  And they were grateful for the recognition they received.

But, there was one bit of information they feel is often left out in the thank you card – “How much did my item raise for the charity?”

It’s a good question.  Nearly every business is proud of their support for a worthy cause – and are happy to give generously. However, not knowing how much they helped seems to drive them a little crazy.

My solution is simple:  Tell them. An exact figure is great, but not always necessary.  The business owner just really wants to know if their participation helped the overall fundraising effort.


Here are a few other ways you can thank businesses, which should always be done in person within days after the event.

1)  Present them with a leftover program and highlight their name.

2)  Take a photo of their donated item – as it appeared during the auction – and present it to them.

3)  Certificates of Participation are a great way to thank a business – which most likely will frame it and place it on one of the walls visible to customers.

4)  If it’s a major donor, a plaque makes a great substitute for a Certificate of Participation.

So, after the fundraising event, send a volunteer to the participating business, armed with a plaque or certificate of participation, photo of donated item and highlighted program and present it to the business owner.  And don’t forget to explain to the business exactly what their donation meant to the fundraising effort and/or how much their item helped raise specifically. In other words put as much effort into thanking them as was done to secure the item.

A thank you – especially one that’s face-to-face – will go a long way in getting the same business to participate in future fundraising events.

Take Note of Society Event Columnist Part 1

Posted by Scott On August 22nd



Getting pre-publicity and post-publicity for a fundraising event can play a major role in alerting the public to the need of the charity, organization or school as well as getting members of the public to attend the event in hopes of raising more dollars.

Your local Social Event Columnist should be one of your first contacts – and most important.  You should also be communicating with the Columnist’s Editor perhaps as much as 6 months to a year in advance with the goal of getting the Editor to put your social event on his or her assignment calendar – since it fills up extremely quickly.

It’s also very important to be prepared when the writer arrives on the day or night of the event.  Even though the writer may have covered the event in previous years and is familiar with the charity – and even if the writer was sent or given a pre-event press kit or initial program – make sure a complete package of information is presented to the writer upon arrival. The exact contents of that package will be discussed in Social Event Columnists: Part 2.


I’m often asked by Event Chairs, “Where do we seat a Social Event Columnist?” I always tell them the same thing.  “Greet them warmly – and show them to the best seat possible.”  But keep in mind you should reserve the absolute best seats in the venue for those likely to donate the most money.  Society Columnists are great at what they do and can get their story no matter where they are seated.

When the event is done a Chair or event representative should personally thank the Columnist for attending and ask if they need any other information, such as the list of top selling packages.

It’s also important that the Chair and Columnist share telephone numbers and email addresses so there is an easy exchange of the most critical information of all – the total amount raised – which could take hours, if not longer, to add up.

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And finally, be sure to forward that total by 10 a.m. the next day.  Social event Columnists are on deadlines too.  The earlier they receive the information – the easier and less stressful you make it for them.

I’ve learned over the years that social event columnists are wonderful professionals – who enjoy covering their city’s major fundraisers – and reporting on the charitable organizations that strive to make their city a better place to live.

It’s the Event Chair’s responsibility to make the writer’s job as easy as possible by giving them the information they need in advance of an event – during the event – and immediately after the event.

The more you take note of a Social Event Columnists important role in making your event successful – the more the Columnist will take note of you and your event.

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