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Auction Night Timeline

2 years 1 week ago - 2 years 1 week ago #172544 by AmFund501c3
Replied by AmFund501c3 on topic Auction Night Timeline
Our nonprofit partners with over 250 nonprofit organizations each year to help them raise funds and we have definitely found that there is a specific backbone timeline to a successful fundraising event. Also, here are a few things over the last 19 years that we have learned to ensure that you keep your captive fundraising audience at your special event.

General Fundraising Event Timeline
  • Cocktail Hour
    Meal and start of Program
    Live Auction (if applicable)
    Open Ask

Now that seems far too simplistic, add to that a few concepts to maximize your fundraising. Keep your silent auction to a maximium 1hr-2hrs to build urgency. Don't forget, no one on Ebay bids until the last minute... let your donors know when that last minute will be with announcements and don't give them too long to "think about it", "think about it", and then "forget it".

Close your silent auction before your live auction. Sell your Raffle tickets during cocktail hour as well.

Don't overlap fundraising concepts, they then become competing concepts and dilute the overall fundraising potential.

Never announce any big exciting grants, donations, or matches until your fundraising is complete... don't give your donors a premature out.

The magical fundraising witching hour is 9pm. Have all of your fundraising efforts wrapped up by then, otherwise you'll hear wallets slamming shut.

Hold your live auction before your open ask, build the excitement with the live auction then change the evening's tone from exciting to more somber letting people know that there is more work to be done with your open ask.

Hold dancing at the end of the evening. You certainly don't want to tire out your donors ahead of time!

Hope this helps!
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