I’ve talked about things to avoid when selling vacations at your fundraising auction, but there are things you can do to enhance the item:
- Advertise –This goes for most items actually. If you have anything awesome that you plan to sell, put it in your email blasts, save-the-dates, website, twitter, facebook, and even your formal invite if you wish. This will allow people to anticipate some of the "hot" items and be prepared to bid on them night of. With Vacations, you will have several people looking for a reason to go to Hawaii, and they are looking forward to winning it at the auction. This will getting them bidding against each other, pushing the price up. I am able to get people to bid higher than they initially set out to, but it helps when they had an interest in the item to start.
- Get airfare –This is IDEAL, but not necessary. It used to be expected when you bought a vacation at a fundraiser that airfare was included. Now, with the airlines tightening their budgets in every corner, it is nearly impossible to get a donation from them. Nearly impossible, not actually impossible. There are also other ways of getting airfare that just require creativity and asking the right people. Frequent Flyer Miles, finding a sponsor to donate them, Credit Card Rewards points, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask people!
- Local Trips –With the infrequency in airfare donations, local vacations have been increasing in value. Trips to people’s cabins or northern resorts (during peak season) often go for just as much as a trip to Florida or Colorado. It’s more manageable for people, especially families, to wrap their minds around in the speed of an auction.
- Double up - When a donor gives a vacation to their vacation home, always ask, "If this item starts to bring in a lot of money, would you be willing to donate 2?" In the middle of the benefit auction, it looks like it’s a last minute thing where we double it and bring in twice as much money (applause please), but it’s important to ask because you never want to put someone on the spot - trust me, I’ve know this from experience.