Fund-a-needs are one of my favorite parts about being a benefit and fund-raising auctioneer. It is when we are able to give the people in your community the opportunity to give out of the generosity of their heart because they receive nothing in return. A “fund-a-need” or “general ask” can happen at any time of the night, but the best time is when your audience is most vulnerable. Say, you’ve just shown them a stellar video presentation that had them in tears, or a terminally ill child just got to meet Justin Bieber on stage, or a Single mom talks about the support she received from your organization after receiving years of abuse at home or a teacher brings to light that this years budget cuts mean that their salaries will be cut as well. Whatever it is, your audience is emotional and empathetic. This is when you have the opportunity to let them do something about their empathy – they CAN make a difference right at that moment. After the short presentation that has your audience as one giant puddle, I get on stage and flat out ask for people to give to the need at hand.
This is one of the most inspiring things you can do at your event. Keep your eyes posted for future “best practices” on the fund-a-need.