I hope everyone's weekend went well. I hope everyone that is being hit/going to be hit by Sandy aka Frankenstorm (those weather people think they are so funny with their Halloween play on words) is all prepared and safe. Today's site from my window isn't too happy to look at with all this gloom and rainy weather. Hopefully it will pass by soon and with no power outages. (fingers crossed!!)
I had a much better weekend before all this weather came through. On Friday night I headed up to JMU for a great fundraising event that is hosted by the JMU Duke Club; The Duke Club Scholarship Auction. This yearly event is their biggest fundraiser for student-athlete scholarships. They organize a silent and live auction with over 200 items for the guests to bid on. I have always enjoyed this event as it is a great social gathering each year at JMU. 
When it comes to planning an auction fundraiser there are a few important things to remember:

1. Have a diverse selection of items. Your goal is to have at least 1 item that will appeal to each person walking through your doors that evening. 
2. Have original items. Find items to auction off that your guests will not be able to purchase anywhere they want to. The more original the item the more appealing it will be to your guests and the more money you will be able to get.
3. Add descriptions. People will not bid on an item that they do not know about. A great way to inform your guests on the item displayed is to include a description with the item. A fun new "modern" way to do this is to attache a QR code to your items that your guests can then scan and learn more about through their phone. Just make sure to advertise this before hand to your attendees so that they come prepared.
4. Stagger ending times. When you have an auction with a large number of items it is a good idea to have staggering end times for bidding. Your goal is that you want to allow everyone an opportunity to be able to walk away with an item at the end of the evening. If you have all your auction items ending at the same time it will become very chaotic with people trying to bid on multiple items and it is very hard to keep track of everything. Staggering your ending times allows people who did not win anything from the first group of items to bid on something else.
5. Have fun! Remember that this is a fundraising event for a good cause. Even if you end up paying a little more than what the item cost just remember that your money is going towards a good cause.

Have you been to a fundraising auction before or planned one? What are some tips that you have for those attending and for those that are planning one? Share your tips below! And for those on the east coast today: stay safe!!


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