We raised money last night.. this is how we did it

Last night we held our first annual silent auction fundraiser and it was a success. We wound up raising close to $1500 and it cost us only $150 to put on!

The first thing we did was made sure we had a website with as much information as possible. We wanted to make sure that we looked as professional as possible. Then I literally spent a WEEK emailing, calling, emailing, and calling as many local businesses that either I had networked with previously or knew were interested in supporting our local city community. I told them about Help-Portrait and the goal and then lead in to the specifics of the organizations and/or people we will be working with locally. Then I explained to them specifically the expenses we needed to cover and why the fundraising is so important (a lot of people forget to do this!)

I was pretty relentless in asking businesses and artists and I had originally though that we would have more artists than businesses but it turned out the opposite!

Some of the auction items we had:
$100 Hair Salon Gift Card
Eyelash Extensions
Professional Airbrush makeup application
A month of unlimited Bickrham Yoga Classes
5 Classes of Yoga from another studio
Professional Photography Studio Rental
Professional Photography Lessons
Photo-realistic pet portrait painting of your pet
A collection of artwork from Jesse Lei
Photography from a local known art gallery owner
A collection of statue figured from the 1960s from the art gallery owner's person collection
Screen Printed Photo from one of my favorite graphic designer/illustrator
Package of beginner Pole Dancing Fitness classes
A custom vinyl toy from a very well known artist (the highest bidded on item!)
A chef's tasting menu and one night stay in an award winning bed and breakfast w/ celebrity chef

After I had all of the items collected (i kept a spread sheet of everyone who donated) we then laid them out on tables. Each item had a paper on it explaining the item and then had a grid. The party went from 7pm-9pm but bidding was only the last half hour.. so we opened bidding at 8:30. People approach the tables and then write in their bid. Someone else can walk up and up the bid and so on. Very much like a traditional auction but instead of raising your hand you write it!

After the time limit was up (and there were some very sought after items with intense bidding wars!)

Then I simply walked down each paper and announced the winners for each item. People would get their papers and then pay before they left via check, cash, or credit card (if you have a paypal account you can accept credit cards via your cell phone like a swipe machine!)

We had wine and food (lots of it donated by a lovely event planner) and some music. We also played the Help-Portrait video on a TV screen in the front room..

It was a great event.. I wish I had more people so the next time it happens I will work harder on getting a higher attendance, but not too bad for our first ever fundraising event!!!!!!!!!!

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Awesome!! A great way to raise funds!!

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