15 Ways to Promote Your Charity Auction

You have many marketing and advertising options when you schedule a charity auction. It’s best to create a comprehensive plan to take advantage of the opportunities. Some will pay off more than you expect and others may not do as much to support your fundraising goals.

Here are some of the tips and other ideas that could help with your next event:

1. Get feedback on your promotion plan. You can certainly document your thoughts. But seeking others’ perspectives can help a great deal as well. They may help you refine your tactics or introduce new ones that you should consider.

2. Form a host committee, which includes people with considerable influence and contacts. Once they’re on board with your event and fundraising goals, they can get to work signing up sponsors and selling tickets.

3. Create flyers with parents in mind. Inevitably, some of your collateral will end up in the hands of students who may or may not get them in front of their parents. That’s asking for trouble if you’re going to count on that young courier service. Meet with school officials to determine how the event can be referenced in mailings to parents.

4. Leverage social media. Some student leaders, teachers and administrators will have more contacts than others. You might be able to count on them to mention the event multiple times from different angles.

5. Work with the school to include banners in prominent areas, including near the main entrance where visitors are likely to see one of them (be sure to include a web address).

6. Print bookmarks. It will be well worth the effort because you can place them in many different places, such as other school functions, classrooms, and some businesses. Include the basics like the event name, location, date, web address and other contact information.

7. Posters are still effective. The key is to make sure they are well designed and can stand out among other signs that may compete with them (depending where they are displayed). Many merchants are open to some temporary advertising. You should distribute the posters as soon as possible so they are seen by plenty of people.

8. Arrange for multiple event mentions with the school’s public address system. You should be able to succinctly convey the event name and purpose while highlighting some of the items that will be sold.

9. Coordinate with the school to have the charity auction promoted during other school meetings and events, including sports, parent-teacher organizations, banquets, staff meetings, etc.

10. Keep sending out e-mails with relevant updates about the event. Your e-mail list may be limited. But other organizations may be open to plugging the charity auction in their e-mail correspondence.

11. Leverage school and local community web sites that can include some basic information with links to your event web site.

12. Negotiate with local newspaper publishers. You can buy advertising, but some of them may offer discounts because of the nature of your event. Be sure to get additional online ads as part of any package.

13. Issue a news release. Although major media may not run a story, it’s always worth a try. Your event will compete with many other types of news. You can always reference the news release as you introduce the event to individuals.

14. A news release will be most effective (and may result in some free coverage) if you have a unique angle. For example, maybe your event will feature a hometown hero or a celebrity who achieved some fame on TV or in films.

15. Finally, think out of the box as much as possible. You can do that best as a team rather than tackle brainstorming all on your own. Connect with anyone affiliated with the event. You’ll get ideas at regularly scheduled meetings, but use e-mail as well to solicit creative promotional suggestions.

For example, you may be able to get city elected officials or leaders to promote the charity auction in city facilities or community events. Organizations like the Jaycees or a Rotary club may spread the word depending on their policies and how you will be spending the proceeds.

It may feel like you have your work cut out for you. But it won’t be as daunting if you surround yourself with the right people. Your promotional efforts will take off when you do. Contact Charity Fundraising to learn more today!