CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – you in or out?

Hosting a fundraising event with all the publicity and goodwill it generates is one of the simplest options to raise money for your chosen charity. Charity balls attract a lot attention, especially when partnered with the right celebrity, and the good will can last for months with the lead-up and post-event activities and all the staff getting involved.

But just like a puppy at Christmas … the relationship between big business and charity should be for life and is not to be played with once per year.  So look to your charity if you’re a business or look to the business if you are a charity to develop a rich varied program of activities and events that show mutual respect and commitment and that can lead to raising as much money as possible.

As government support for the not for profit sector shrinks and the numbers of people approaching charities seems to be on an increasing trajectory where will the funds for the future come from?

Many charities are still dependent on government funding and have yet to explore the options and the need to really mix up their income base.   The hard truth is that if a charity is determined to stick to the old methods of raising funds, in an ever competitive world they are doomed to failure.

On the positive side there are many companies out there looking to join forces with charities that share their principles and standards and what used to be no more than the latest buzzword – Corporate Social Responsibility – has become an integrated philosophy and part of business practice for many organisations around the world.

And rightly so.  From a purely financial perspective ‘good will’ is very much a part of the balance sheet these days.

But how does an organisation generate and maintain good will? It’s not just about being perceived as socially responsible it is more like proving it so that many companies consider their impact on the community and the globe in every aspect of their business.

Put simply, if an organisation is not part of the solution then it is part of the problem and that is why organisations are looking for long term relationships with charities that they work with for mutual benefit.

We see so many attempts by big business to win our love and respect through different campaigns and connections, some successful, others not so much as they appear to be just giving lip service. One of the best ways for businesses to develop the following they so desperately seek is an affiliation with a respected charity. That charity should be appropriate to the organization and more so that is supported by management and staff.

LARGEST EZYBIDZ EVENT EVER

Ezybidz will take part in its largest event ever this weekend with over 2,200 guests expected to attend the annual South Australian Variety Ball at the Adelaide Convention Centre.  The ‘out of this world’ theme is expected to encourage guests to dress appropriately (and if not, in strict black tie) and the event is already sold out with a hot waiting list.  Ezybidz has already launched the live auction site http://space.auction-bid.org/micro2.php so that guests – and non guests wherever they are in the world – will be able to bid on items to raise funds for children in need.   Fantastic items include holidays, fantastic experiences and exclusive memorabilia. Ezybidz is delighted to be working with Variety again this year having been part of the fundraising team since 2014.

RIGHT EVENT – RIGHT GUEST

In theory it is simple.  The goal of a fundraising gala is to raise funds. To raise funds you invite the most likely donors to your event.  But what happens if the donors you invite are not the right ones and they don’t give? How could that happen? So, just who is the right guest? And how do you encourage them to attend?

Your ideal guest is someone who cares about your cause, is perhaps personally connected to it, who has the means to support it financially and has friends or family who will join them in contributing. Importantly, though, they have to be the kind of supporter that likes going to events.  It might not be that the person who donates to a written on online appeal is even vaguely interested in coming out. If you are in a position to research records – do that.  Which of the guests who attended an event – comparable to the one you are planning – gave the most money; brought the most guests or made contributions on the night.   The guest you don’t want is the one who thinks that their donation starts and ends with the purchase of a ticket.  They have no intention of participating further.

As hard work as it is, it may prove to be far more profitable if you look to individually invite those supporters you really want to attend.  By identifying and personally inviting the right guests you make them feel special and are more likely to get them in the room.  If your research is accurate you will identify that these donors probably care a lot about helping out, have been involved in the charity for quite some time and may have a vested interest in the cause.

If you are conducting an auction think about what these major donors might be interested in; what kind of exclusive items might tempt them to open their wallets and purses? Make it so that they are happy to attend and not obliged.  If people are giving up a night they want to have fun – the more fun they are having the more they are likely to donate.

Then you just need to put on top notch event and offer unique and interesting auction items that people will want to bid on. Simple !!

For further details, email enquries@ezybidz.com.au

How to encourage bidding at your auction

So you decided to undertake a charity auction at your event.   You have worked hard to get the auction list just right for your supporter base; you have got a good balance between experiences, holidays and memorabilia and you have thought hard about your audiences and what their likes are, their age range and approximately how much you think they would spend in one night.  Haven’t you?

And now it is the night of the big event.  How do you ensure that all the planning will lead to a bumper amount of money being raised? 

Bidding is the key to filling the coffers at any fundraising auctions. The more excitement in the room, the more people get involved in the bidding process, the more bids are made and the more money will be raised.

This means that encouraging bidding should be a top priority and why it is important to consider a professional auctioneer or MC right from the outset.

Ezybidz uses an electronic auction system which in itself leads to a novel way of bidding at an event.  People either use their mobile phone or tablet to view items and place bids.

Using an electronic bidding system is the simplest way to encourage bidding in an electronic (silent) auction. Supporters get involved in the excitement, fun and ease of bidding on their phone.

Rivalry can be a great way of increasing the amount paid on an item and in electronic auction, supporters will be notified when they are outbid encouraging them to bid again.

When bidders want to beat the competition as well as win the item, a win at all costs mentality is created and when other people are watching it is only human nature to become more competitive.

Ezybidz displays a leader board with all current winning bidders and this itself is a great way to leverage social pressure as bidders can watch their bid and if and when someone trumps them.

It’s important to create a sense of urgency which will encourage guests to bid as they feel they might miss out if they don’t act quickly. Electronic bidding increases this sense of urgency with its outbid notices and countdown clock.

Planning for a successful event also includes considering how to maximise income generated at this one time or once a year event.

Contact enquiries@ezybidz.com.au for further details.

Payment option launched now!

Ezybidz Fundraising Solutions has launched a new system enabling supporters to buy tickets to your event online and start bidding on auction items and contribute donations straight away.

To further support you Ezybidz will process the registrations, manage any enquiries, process payment and issue electronic tickets and a receipt all via the most secure on-line payment system on the market today.   Organisers can access the system at any time to see who has registered and paid.

When you partner with Ezybidz, we create an exclusive event website so you can start to generate interest and excitement on the auction items well in advance of the event, as well as encourage supporters to buy their tickets electronically and spread the word.

The secure payment system will be familiar to anyone who shops on-line and, once payment has been made, guests will receive an automatically generated SMS and email confirming their payment.

The system is optimised for both iOS and Android so guests can use their own mobile or tablet to buy tickets, view and bid for auction items and make donations.

This new fundraising approach, means interstate and overseas supporters, unable to attend your fundraiser, can also take part in the auction, maximising funds raised for a cause they believe in.

See an event test site at Ezybidz Fundraising Solutions

3 Reasons Why Consignment Items Will Raise More

Would you like to offer some incredible items in your fundraising- auction that will excite your guests and increase bidding? Then consignment items are your best option!

Consignment items are goods and services that are offered with no upfront cost and no risk since anything that doesn’t sell is returned to the consignor without any charges involved. The items will have a low wholesale reserve to cover the consignor’s costs, and the difference between this and the sale price goes directly to your fundraising total – think school kids selling fundraising chocolates.

1. The advantage of consignment

Items taken on consignment have a number of advantages. First there is no risk involved and it is quick and simple. You can choose from items that are most suitable for your event and what your guests are likely to buy. By having premier items available you can draw bidders to your event and use them to set the bar for donations by providing a higher expectation for your procurement team to work towards. Ezybidz offers a wide selection of consignment items that will make your guests want to bid at your event! From amazing holidays to beautiful memorabilia. Through consignment you gain access to otherwise unavailable experiences at well below retail.

2. The limitation of donations

Donations obviously have their place and the advantage of providing 100% return, but consignment items can add an extra benefit to your fundraiser as consignment items can fill the gap and offer auction- items that they are unlikely to get donated. The acquisition of suitable donated items ultimately depends on the personal connections of your procurement team and their ability to solicit donations. When you’re trying to meet a quota of one item for every 10 guests, needing a variety of items and price points, you will soon find that the best method is a combination of your donated auction items and consignment items.

3. A comprehensive approach

The beauty of including consignment items along with your donated items is that you can supplement any shortfall in quantity, quality or variety. Don’t leave your guests wanting more.  Your guests will arrive knowing approximately how much they want to spend at your event. If you don’t provide items that excite them they may leave your event without leaving the financial support they intended.  It would be such a shame to have guests that are willing to spend more on something unique but nothing fits the bill! And if something on consignment is proving very popular you can usually offer a second to the under-bidder, boosting your funds raised.

Additionally you can pair up a donated item with a consignment one to create a unique and desirable package with a less discernible value. And best of all, consignment items come with a fundraising consultant who can assess your event and your guests to provide a customised list of auction items that will offer the best returns, plus a team of experienced professionals who will set up your display and help to sell the items.

With one phone call to Ezybidz you can fill your auction catalogue in its entirety or supplement your donations with fabulous items. The wide range of items available on consignment means that you can meet every expectation quickly and easily.

Find out more about incorporating consignment items into your charity auction by calling us on 1300 399 243 or visit our website www.ezybidz.com.au for more information.

Engaging an Australian audience at your charity auction

 

Fundraising events are a mainstay in your world, but they can take a lot of time, money and effort to pull off. One of the most important things to make your charity auction a success is to provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to get involved with your organization. Until people are connected and engaged with you—and passionate about your cause—your own fundraising goals alone are not compelling enough.

Your audience will determine what will and will not work in your fundraising auction and therefore how much money you will raise. Anyone in the industry can tell you to research your audience and cater to their tastes, and this is an important process in preparing for a fundraising auction. Ezybidz has many years’ experience working with a wide range of fantastic charities and organisations around Australia and we know the needs and demands of your fundraising audience. We offer free of charge fundraising-consultation to make sure that you event is a success!

There is often demand for home-grown items from Australia’s prolific sporting culture and items linked to our history. These categories of auction items are basics due to their nostalgic appeal to an Australian audience. While you may find the odd baseball or ice hockey fan in Australia, these sports don’t compare in popularity with cricket or football, for example.  Put simply, the more popular the item, the more bidding attention it receives. Guests attending fundraising events in Australia are however more and more characterised by an increased spend on unique holidays and experiences rather than products. Ezybidz can supply amazing experiences like our Incredible Golfing Experience, tickets to the upcoming Rugby World Cup or a private villa in Tuscany.

Catering to the majority of your charity event’s guests by including some popular Holiday destinations as well as Experiences will lead to more competition in your live and silent auctions, raising more money for your organisation. Australians are also seeking unique opportunities with our heroes. Ezybidz offers money-can’t-buy celebrity experiences such as fishing or golf with a sporting legend.

When it comes to engaging with your fundraising audience, it is important to realise that you are unlikely to know every guest’s preference attending your event so it is essential to provide auction items that appeal to a wide range of people. Take all of your guests’ interests into account and provide local memorabilia that your guests can relate to, holidays they can dream about and experiences that will excite them!

Find out more about adding Ezybidz’s items to your charity fundraising auction by calling 1300 399 243 or visit www.ezybidz.com.au.

Top 7 Best Practices for Your Next Charity Auction

Preparing for a charity auction can be a challenging and often daunting task that requires countless hours of planning and effort. The following tips were designed to carefully guide you through your planning process, aiding you every step of the way toward the ultimate goal of profitability and success. By following these steps and by letting Ezybidz help you with every aspect, your organisation will find itself in a much stronger position to achieve maximum fundraising potential at your next event.

1. Locations and Libations

When searching for the perfect spot for your event, make sure you find a location large enough to accommodate all your guests comfortably. But too big a venue will take away from the overall atmosphere and appeal of your auction, making the venue appear empty.

2. Marketing Makes Money

Use your organisation’s Web site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media to help promote popular items, and start a buzz around your upcoming auction. Ezybidz offers full social media coverage of your event on our social platforms as well. Ezybidz offers the option to set up a microsite so guests can start pre-bidding before the event has even begun. This will build up the excitement regarding the auction items. Also, send out invitations well in advance of your charity auction, sending reminder e-mails, making phone calls and sending letters, as your event draws closer.

3. Dabble in Diversity

When choosing your fundraising items, try to include a variety of items catering to many different interests. Also, try to vary your price range with high-, mid-, and low-priced items to appeal to the broad spectrum of your guests. Ezybidz offers a wide variety of different items such as, memorabilia, exclusive holidays and fantastic experiences.

4. Special Spotlight

When hosting an auction, place your strongest items in a visually attractive, easily accessible and centralized location. Always make sure you have a knowledgeable staff member nearby to help answer questions and promote your items. Ezybidz provides professional staff to be present at your event. They will be able to guide guests through the items and answer any questions they might have.

5. Layout Pays Out

Displaying your auction items on round tables will help promote the flow of traffic and guest interaction. By hanging signs and keeping similar items within a close proximity of one another, guests will be easily able to identify and locate their areas of interest.

6. Closing Calls

Stagger your closings, announcing warnings for each table separately to draw more attention to items before they close. Having the auctioneer offer several reminders throughout the event will help lure potential bidders back to certain items that may have slipped their minds.

7. Make Records to Break Records

Record everything from ticket sales to final bids. Every piece of data could prove valuable to your organisation, so the more information you collect, the better positioned you’ll be to improve upon your fundraising ideas for next year’s event. Ezybidz can provide you with a detailed auction report listing top donors, most popular auction items, registration and top bidders. This will give you a complete insight into the success of your event.

 

 

Let Ezybidz help you put these tips into action at your next fundraising event will yield higher profits for your organization, while creating a much wider appeal for your guests and supporters. In the long run, you’ll be able to better analyze the success of your charity auction and begin to alter some of the finer details that may be able to help improve your event for years to come. It’s never too early to start planning your next big auction or gala, so let’s get started today! Call Ezybidz today on 1300 399 243!

Aging Generation Using Technology

The face of non-profit fundraising and charitable giving has been evolving significantly over the past decade and fortunately fundraisers have many resources at their disposal to better understand donor habits and motivators.

Technology plays an increasingly central role in connecting people of all ages to news and information, government services, health resources, and opportunities for social support, these divisions are noteworthy—particularly for the many organizations and individual caregivers who serve the older adult population.

Seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen. This could be due to older adults facing several unique barriers and challenges when it comes to adopting new technologies. These include physical challenges to using technology, sceptical attitudes about the benefits of technology and difficulties learning to use new technologies.

These concerns need to be taken into account when you are organizing a fundraising event that will have an electronic auction and where many seniors will attend as they might be concerned about whether or not they will be able to understand and use the technology. This is where Ezybidz will help you and your charity. Bidding with our unique electronic auction technology is very easy; guests will receive a welcome message with a link to their own personal bidding page and then the fun can begin! The personal bidding page allows guests to view items, place bids and make donations. Bids take seconds to place and if someone bids on the same item, guests receive instant outbid alerts direct to their phones. If any of your guest are not in possession of a smart phone, Ezybidz will provide Ipads with the same technology and staff to assist with bidding.

Also, Ezybidz will provide several professional staff members who have experience with the technology and are there to support and help those who have any questions.

For more information about Ezybidz and our unique electronic bidding technology, visit our website www.ezybidz.com.au or call us on 1300 399 243.

Knowing your fundraising audience

As fundraisers, it is important to know your non-profit audience. Who are the individuals you’re targeting?

If your answer is, “people who care about my cause,” you’re right, but that’s not very helpful when you’re designing great fundraising communications. Instead, you need to get inside your audience’s head.

What motivates these donors? What values do they have? Why do they give? What’s their interaction with you like? All of these factors need to be taken into account while organising your fundraising event as different audiences have different needs and desires and the auction items you choose for your audience depend on these factors. Ezybidz offer a wide variety of auction items which will suit all audiences. From cruises to memorabilia, Ezybidz will help you find the best items for your audience.

In order to get to know your audience and choose the best possible items for your fundraising event, there are three important steps you need to take:

Step 1: Audience Discovery

We often make a number of assumptions about who our audience is. Mostly, we assume that they are like us and that’s simply not true! It is important to go through a discovery process to get to know your real audience.

How do you do this?

You can start with the data that you have collected from surveys, Google Analytics and similar data collection systems. From this collection of information, you can make a number of inferences about your audience. But at some point, you’re going to need to talk to people. Make some phone calls. Hold a few interviews with key stakeholders. These one-on-one conversations are where the best information will come from. You’ll hear exactly how your supporters self-identify, what nuanced language they use to talk about the cause and why they like your organization’s work.

Step 2: Create Your Audience Profile

Once you’ve done some discovery and have collected enough data points to start to see some trends in your audience, it’s time to create your audience profile. Your audience persona is a mock-up of a fictional audience member. You give them a name, picture, life story, demographic details from your research, etc. The goal of creating this composite is to have a really clear picture of who you’re talking to.

Step 3: Use Your Profile as a Filter

After creating an audience persona, you’ll use it as a filter for each and every decision you make. Every time you create a donor, communications piece or a fundraising appeal, ask yourself – would this resonate with my target audience?

Once you have established who your target audience is, contact Ezybidz and let us help you select the best possible items that will make your fundraiser a guaranteed success.

For more information about us visit the ‘What we do – fundraising auction items’ tab on our website or call us on 1300 399 243.