A Fund A Need auction segment is the most important part of your charity benefit event. Why? Because when done correctly that is where you raise the most money. If you are not doing a Fund A Need, then you’re doing it all wrong.
The Fund A Need, Special Pledge Appeal, Paddle Raise, Impact Auction, Cash Ask, etc. is the single most important part of your event because of it’s capacity for raising an incredible amount of money for your cause.
The Fund A Need must be positioned properly during your the live auction of your fundraising event. Depending on your style of event, the Fund A Need segment can be placed prior to the live auction, in the middle, or immediately after the live auction wraps.
In the article below, professional charity auctioneer Michael Ivankovich explains the benefits of adding a Fund A Need segment to the live auction at your fundraising event.
Fund Raising Auctions – Double Your Revenue With a Special Pledge Appeal
One of the beauties of fundraising auctions is that you can include multiple revenue streams within your revenue-generating event. And perhaps no other single option offers as much potential as the Special Pledge Appeal, aka the Fund A Need.
What is a Special Pledge Appeal?
It is simply a pledge by generous supporters to donate a specific amount of money to help a non-profit group raise additional funds for a specific cause or purpose. The Special Pledge Appeal is often known by other names such as:
- Fund A Need
- Fund A Cause
- Fund A Program
- Fund A Piece Of Equipment
- Raise Your Paddle
- Paddle Raise
- Impact Auction
- Cash Ask
But whatever you call it, the special pledge appeal or paddle raise is a perfect add-on to your live fundraising auction. Your call to Fund A Need can raise huge amounts of money in only a matter of minutes. However, it’s not right for all groups or for every event.
But for some, a well-executed special pledge appeal can generate more revenue than your live & silent auctions combined.
A successful special pledge appeal doesn’t just happen. There are several important elements to it and two of the most important elements are:
- Why are you asking for the additional money?
- Who should actually ask for it?
Why Are You Asking For The Additional Money?
What are your objectives? How will the funds be used?
You cannot just ask for cash and expect to receive it. Your supporters have already supported you by buying a ticket to attend your event and by participating in your fundraising auction.
With your silent or live auction your supporters will receive something tangible in exchange for their donation. But with the special pledge appeal, you are simply asking them to donate even more money to help you accomplish your goals.
Your supporters and benefactors need to clearly understand why you are seeking the additional funds, and what their money will be used for. Are you seeking to:
- Fund Something? – A specific program, a new cure, a new building or wing, etc.
- Buy Something? – An important piece of medical equipment, a van to transport those unable to drive themselves, winter coats for the homeless, etc.
- Help Someone or Something? – Food for the hungry, a special trip for someone in need, provide a final life experience, etc.
The explanation of “why” the money is being raised should come from a highly visible, charismatic, and well-spoken leader of the group. Perhaps the CEO, the Event Chair, a recognized personality, or some other highly credible individual.
This individual should be close to the project, and be able to articulate clearly and concisely why the money is needed. Whatever your financial objectives, be sure that they are made perfectly clear to those whom you are asking to provide you with the additional financial support.
And then the process should be turned over to the professional auctioneer who knows how to bring in the money.
Who Should Actually Ask For It?
Some groups make the mistake of assuming they can save some money by having a volunteer handle their auction bid calling and special pledge appeal, but that rarely works well.
Why? Because few volunteers are experienced in soliciting money from a group, and basically none understand all of the intricate elements of the special pledge appeal.
Prior to the event your auctioneer should guide you through the auction & pledge planning stages, including where to position the pledge within the live auction, the pledge timing, the asking amounts, and other pledge tips & strategies.
Then on auction day, your auctioneer will execute the appeal for you, transitioning gracefully from the live auction…to the special pledge appeal…and then back to the live auction…without missing a beat.
And a professional auctioneer experienced in the special pledge appeal process will always raise more money for your cause than any volunteer. Guaranteed.
Professional auctioneers are trained to politely squeeze as much money out of a room as possible. The auctioneer knows how to read a group, can usually sense when there is another bid or pledge left on the floor, but can also keep the process moving forward so it doesn’t seem like you are begging.
You obviously don’t want to rush the process and miss any potential bids. But also understand that not everyone can afford to make a special pledge and you shouldn’t badger your crowd in an attempt to get all to donate.
In summary, the special pledge appeal is not for all groups and there are many elements required to make it work effectively. But when planned properly, positioned properly, and executed properly, it can raise more money than you ever thought possible.
About The Author
Michael Ivankovich is a Bucks County Fund Raising Auctioneer based in Doylestown PA, and serving the Great Philadelphia PA area. He has been a professionally licensed and bonded Auctioneer in Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years, has been named Pennsylvania’s Auctioneer of the Year, and has considerable experience in conducting Fund Raising Auctions. One if his specialties is the “Special Pledge Appeal” or “Fund-A-Cause Appeal” which usually enables clients to double their revenue in a single evening. You can call him at (215)-345-6094, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his Fund Raising Auction Web Site at: