SILENT AUCTIONS: Maximizing ROI by Hiring a Gift Designer
The Challenge: Designing Gifts for maximum Return On Investment (ROI)
The silent gift basket auction. Your 'go-to' and always popular, fundraising tool, but not always a great money maker. It's fantastic when your organization receives lots of donations of items from generous donors, but often times, they are random or incomplete so that you then you have to figure out how to put all of the random items together in a sensible and attractive way.
You must have the skills to package them, but you also must know how to do it in a way that gets the most return on their value, their ROI. You or someone on your staff, (if you are lucky to have one) must also have bow tying skills, knowledge of color, and creative packaging skills. It's not as easy as it sounds, as those of you who have tried it, can attest! From bulky, ugly items to branded plastic water bottles, to gift certificates, making some items look good together sometimes requires the skill that only a professional can contribute....that is, if you want to get much in return on them at all.
Access to Info
While the creative skills involved with putting together a well presented silent gift basket may be readily available in your organization, what most likely is not, is the knowledge of an expert with longevity in the gift industry. The experienced gift designer knows the proven themes and price points that are most successful for your area. Most work with numerous local charities and some even have access to post-auction numbers for analysis.
Gift basket professionals, especially those who deal in a large volume of custom work, are uniquely qualified to 'dial-in' your silent auction. Many local charities have discovered that hiring a professional is the only way to maximize bids.
A custom gift designer is aware of current trends and popular themes based on the regular gift requests they receive. They know what will grab the attention of the bidders and how to price those starting bids for your auction success. When contents of gifts are the same, a well presented gift will have a better return on investment (ROI) than one that is not well presented. The designer's expertise in altering perceived value and knowing what to design and how to design it well, will get you a higher ROI.
Many organizations fall short by not recognizing the value that presentation has on their goals of raising funds. It is well known that many bidders are looking to get something of value for less than what they think it is worth. They want to support your cause, but they also want a bargain, so pushing the perceived value is a way to combat this and a gift designer will do this for you.
It may seem counter-intuitive to hire out anything that you think you can have your staff do, when every dollar counts, but this ignores the value of what an expert can do for you.
Experienced designers usually pay for themselves! How? In 2 ways:
- Higher Bids
A well presented gift that creates excitement for the bidders, will thereby increase the volume of bids and the dollar amount of those bids
- Cost Savings
Gift designers also provide significant savings on the manufacturing supplies that your organization would have to buy retail ( ie) ribbon, shred, wrap, tape, glue dots...etc. ) You'll pay 2-3x's or more for those buying them at the local craft store than most designers will charge you.
Like the Caterer-It's a necessity!
Whether it's a silent auction or supplying gifts to your clients, customers, staff or other gift giving opportunities, hiring a gift professional will always be of value. This value may come through time or cost savings to bring you closer to your goals. Whatever the reason, finding a gift professional to help you in your gift endeavors is always worthwhile in maximizing ROI. If your organization understands the value of hiring a caterer or event planner, it is missing the mark and the opportunity to raise more money, if it isn't hiring a professional gift designer as well.