What do professional auctioneers and insurance have in common? Actually, everything. You buy car insurance, flood insurance and maybe even travel insurance. In fact, you buy insurance for most anything that you can’t afford to go bad. How about your $50,000.00 fundraiser? Your $150,000.00 fundraiser? Or your $300,000.00 fundraiser? Groups rarely, if ever, purchase event insurance…or do they? We work with some groups for as long as nine months on their total event design with a great concentration on their “night of” profit centers: silent auction, live auction and pledging. What these groups have indirectly done by hiring a fundraising professional is purchase fundraising insurance.
Here’s a very recent story. About three weeks ago we were doing an event for the Auburn University Fellowship of Christian Athletes. There were five hundred and fifty attendees, including Coach Gene Chizik, Auburn players and big supporters of Auburn athletics. The scene: patrons arrived, mingled and were seated for dinner. The program began and speakers did a tremendous job…but ran over their scheduled time. It is now 7:50pm and coach Chizik has the player’s buses leaving back to Auburn at 8:30pm…and we have 14 items to auction…and, the air conditioner (or lack thereof) has the entire crowd fanning themselves all at once (imagine catching bids while an entire room is waving their white auction program over their face)! We did 14 items in 35 minutes…brought the schedule back on time, got the players off on time and as Coach Chizik and Mrs. Chizik were leaving they said “Wow, you guys are amazing” (not a bad vote of confidence from a guy that just won a BCS national championship). The fourteen item total: $97,350.00 or $2781.00 per MINUTE. Imagine if a non-professional auctioneer with volunteer bid assistants had the task of performing that live auction. Right…it would have been a train wreck.