Benefit Auctions

Travis Ballenger is a top benefit auctioneer that brings a lot of energy to help take your event to the next level.

Travis is passionate about helping non-profit organizations raise the money they need to fulfill their missions which can change lives.

What is a benefit auction?

This is a fundraising event where a live-auction is used to raise proceeds and awareness for a non-profit organization. Volunteers and staff members rely on support of the local business community and the guests in attendance to sponsor and donate money so the non-profit organization can meet their fundraising needs to fulfill their mission.

The annual event is a once a year opportunity to raise the life changing money every non-profit organization depends upon. That is why it is so important to hire a professional benefit auctioneer that will bring energy and excitement and make the event fun for all that attend. You want your big event to be so much fun that your donors look forward to coming back every year. This annual event usually has brief remarks by the executive director and usually a few testimonials from people that were directly helped by your organization. A dinner, live-auction, silent auction and a special appeal along with music entertainment is usually what makes up a once a year gala benefit event.

How does an organization get started planning a benefit auction?

First, financial goals are set. Then you will need a strategic plan to meet your goals. Next, volunteers are recruited, and staff are assigned to specific roles. And then you need to select both an auction date, venue and a professional benefit auctioneer. Make sure to reserve your venue and professional benefit auctioneer early so your date is saved.

Event Management

  • Sponsorships & Ticket prices

  • Invitations and guest list

  • Acquisition of items

  • Theme of event & Decorations

  • Program & bidder numbers (use black ink for the bidder number and don’t use hard to see fonts in the program)

  • Venue layout & sound

  • Check in/ Check out

Identify potential donors to invite

Who can you identify within your community that is emotionally connected to your cause?

Who is a social influencer within your organization with multiple connections?

Make sure to invite all past supporters.

Look for new donors in the business community and donors that are active with other organizations.

Focus on inviting people with the ability to spend money not just fill a seat for the ticket price.

Item Acquisition

  • Match items to the characteristics of the attendees

  • Item Solicitation Letter

  • Identify other organizations interested in donating

  • Donation/Acquisition Form

  • Act as receipt, comply with IRS

-Organization’s IRS identification #

-Organization’s legal name

-Item description

-Fair Market Value estimate

-Statement of no exchange value

Event Venue

  • Large open spaces offer more flexibility in planning

  • Everything in one room

  • Live auction items seen during entrance

  • Avoid dance floor by the stage

  • Avoid splitting the crowd

  • Specialized seating? Sponsored tables?

  • Keep stage area clear so the auctioneer can see side to side and his or her vision isn’t blocked by speakers, TV screens, etc.

Sound & Lighting

Inadequate sound:

  • Difficult to communicate what you need the audience to do

  • Wastes time

  • Loses money for organization

  • Irritates bidders before they even get to the Live Auction/Special Appeal.

  • Make sure to hire a sound and light company (Very important)

Script and outline

  • Emcee welcomes guests

  • Music is playing

  • Emcee makes announcements (silent auction)

  • Emcee invites guests for dinner

  • Executive Director

  • Testimonials

  • Emcee introduces Auctioneer

  • Warm-up game so that you don’t have a cold open

  • Live-Auction (8 to 12 items)

  • The executive director gives a 2 minute appeal or a video is shown that provides donors with a compelling reason to give.

  • The auctioneer conducts the special appeal (fund-the mission, call for cash)

  • Raffles are drawn

  • Emcee thanks guests for coming and invites them to stay for music and dancing

Want to see if Travis is available for your auction date? Please reach out to us today.

Call: (406) 539-7653

For the best investment you can make just hire Travis.