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.
What is a Special Pledge Appeal? It is simply fundraising basket ideas 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-Cause”, “Fund-A-Program”, Fund-A-Piece-Of-Equipment”, “Raise Your Paddle”, etc. But whatever you call it, the Special Pledge Appeal is a perfect add-on to your Live Fundraising Auction and can raise huge amounts of money in only a matter of minutes. It’s not right for all groups. But for some, a well-executed Special Pledge Appeal can sometimes 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? What will it be used for? 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. Because few volunteers are experienced in soliciting money from a group, and basically none understand 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.