How To Increase Your School Auction Fundraiser's Profits!

By Adrian Cavlan

Hey there! We are really happy to be involved with some outstanding schools, and even more, outstanding parent groups, with whom we have the pleasure of planning one of the most important events of the school year: the school auction fundraiser.

These events are great. It is a nice way for the parents to socialize with one another, all while investing (on many levels) in the success of their kids’ school experience. 

Here are some things that work well at the ones we do:

  • The “Not-So-Silent” Auction: These evening often begin with a silent auction. Rather than just letting the items sit there on their lonely tables while the parents get started on the wine (lol!), our MCs will walk the room, periodically highlighting a particularly interesting item, one that he/she feels is underbid, or perhaps one that has a lot of action on the bidding. Also, the auction producer may ask us to make certain special announcements regarding certain items, which we are always happy to do. 

The point is, we create excitement about and involvement in the silent auction, which ends up in more money raised for the school! This is perhaps the area we get most complimented on, and one of the big reasons we get re-hired year after year at so many of our schools.

  • Audio-visual enhancement:

When it’s time for fund usage presentations, nothing sells better than visuals and storytelling. 

Our auctions often feature sound systems that surround the auction space, allowing all tables to hear equally without having to blast two speakers from the front of the stage. This is a HUGE difference maker: when people can hear, they can be involved; when they can’t, they ignore and just start talking among themselves. Ask yourself: you know you have seen this!

The accompanying visuals are key too. We often do twin 6’ x 8’ fast-fold screens with ultra-short throw projectors so that, once again, there isn’t a bad seat in the house and people can see what they are supporting or bidding on. This is especially key for the live auctioneer as they introduce and highlight each item before starting the bidding. It’s about creating desire, and our AV will enable you to do that.

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  • Themed music and music beds for the live auction items:

So the live auction starts and hopefully you have hired a professional auctioneer to run it (because the difference in what your net proceeds will be can be astounding if you have a polished pro vs. a reluctant or well-meaning but inexperienced amateur. Please let us know if you need referrals - we are happy to provide). 

We enhance the auction experience by using music that is custom-themed for each auction item (think some beautiful Hawaiian music for the Hawaiian vacation or Top Gun’s “Dangerzone” for the flight experience). But we don’t stop there. After the item is introduced and the bidding starts, we have special instrumental music beds that are used to subliminally ratchet up the energy in the room with the auctioneer as we try to raise the bidding to a fever pitch! And you know what? IT WORKS. This potent combination can make you thousands of extra dollars more by the end of the night as emotion comes into play and people enjoy the show.

So here we are at the beginning of the school year in 2019-20. We here at Sound In Motion are ready to help you have the most successful auction you’ve ever had! Give us a call today to get started!

Adrian Cavlan