The secret to attracting new donors to your fundraiser auction
One of the top questions I’m often asked is, “How can I attract the new donors to my fundraiser auction who will give generously?”
The answer: be highly strategic to include people in your next circle of influence in your audience development plans. Leveraging your stakeholders’ multiple spheres of influence is one of the most overlooked aspects of developing and engaging audiences at fundraising events and auctions.
This article includes an often overlooked target audience for fundraising events. I call this powerful group: Super Connectors!
When I was writing A Higher Bid I realized there was a special group to feature. These wonderful supporters are already deeply connected to organizations and understand the impact of your mission. I call them “Super Connectors.” Remember, people want to give to causes that they love. For super connectors, all you need to do is invite them in. They already love YOU!
For school auctions, there are numerous super connector groups. When working with an educational institution or a school, the alumni, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and new families are great sources to develop your benefit auction audience. How can you engage them? Well, do you have a special outreach plan for new families? One school created a special alumni appreciation raffle, and the winning ticket won a donated upscale dinner for two at a popular new restaurant.
For wine charity auctions, your vintners, wine growers, wine industry vendors, specialty sponsors, and the media are knowledgeable and supportive of the profession. Golf charity auctions can focus on golf lovers, golf specialty stores, golf pros, and the golf media. Art charity auctions bring an exciting array of supporters including artists, dealers, brokers, collectors, art supply vendors, museum professionals and curators, and art lovers in general. Think about the possibilities for other arts and culture groups and for animal rescue and humane societies.
Also consider your allied professionals. Personally invite other professionals with whom your organization shares a strategic alliance. Brainstorm those to whom you refer clients and those who refer clients to you. What about feeder schools or schools your students attend after graduation? Who engages your students and clients in work-study programs? Who hires the clients that you train, serve, or treat? Who attends the same professional conferences, hearings, and coalitions? Who is doing research, teaching, health care, or law in your area of your cause? I hope these questions and ideas stimulate your creativity and a new action plan for engaging new donors!
Super Connectors are already there. They understand and care about your cause. Just invite them in, personally. Push the boundaries of your audience development plan. It’s an easy win-win to raise more funds and to engage more donors!
If you have ideas about your Super Connectors – feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“It’s an honor to invite someone to
give to a cause that impassions THEM
so THEY can make a difference.”
~Kathy Kingston, CAI, BAS