While planning for your charity event, it is vital to set a budget and make a financial goal. For many nonprofits, the benefit auction is an important annual source of revenue, if not the largest. It is critical that you have clear objectives in mind, so that as your team is making the arrangements, they will work hard to meet the goals.
When determining your budget, remember online silent auction ideas to include all possible sources of revenue. Are you selling tickets to your event? Will there be a cash bar? Is there a raffle and a “fund-a-need” or similar program scheduled? Do you have sponsors or corporate tables? And, of course, there is the live auction and silent auction.
Even though your nonprofit is hosting this charity event to raise funds, you still need to anticipate the expenses from such an event. It is absolutely feasible to have nearly every expense donated by a vendor or paid for by a sponsor and that should be your goal. Find a staff member in your organization that is a good negotiator and put them to work. In exchange for donated items or services, a vendor could be given free tickets, a corporate table, or advertising at your event. Some of the expenses that need to be negotiated are the venue, advertising, printing, postage, decorations, food, drink, entertainment, etc. Obviously, the more expenses can be greatly reduced or eliminated up front, the easier it is to reach your financial goal.
Your nonprofit organization should not have to spend money to make money and sometimes it cannot! Even if your nonprofit has the money to invest in a benefit event, it is very possible for that first winning bid to go right to supporting your cause and not to paying off the centerpieces or the napkins on the table.