One of the biggest obstacles for corporation's looking to fundraise is obtaining prizes to sell. Whilst they need to raise funds for their corporate social responsibility policy, they also don’t want to spend large sums of money purchasing luxury holidays and designer jewellery. However, utilising unwanted hospitality tickets, gifts and merchandise to fundraise has huge potential if promoted correctly.Unwanted gifts
Often a business may receive items they no longer need or want, such as gifts from clients. Equally, a member of staff may have received a personal gift that they would be willing to donate to a cause. It’s important to ask your staff if they have anything they’d like to donate, as some may be more inclined to donate a prize, rather than money.
When collating prizes, think about your target audience and the items that would appeal to them. If it’s a broad audience then it’s vital to include a variety of experiences and items. Remember that prizes will gain more interest if they can’t be bought elsewhere. Yes, donors take part in online fundraisers to help a charity, but they are usually attracted to that fundraiser in the first place because of their interest in the auction item, so avoid prizes they could easily purchase on Amazon.
If you can collaborate with other companies to create your own one-off prizes or limited edition items then you're also on to a winner. In 2016, Absolut worked with fashion designers from the LGBT community to design one-off Absolut bottles. The collection of custom bottles was auctioned online and raised over £6,000 with proceeds going to the LGBT charity Stonewall. This campaign was cost-effective to produce, unique and pulled in support from the designers who have a large network of fans.
Often corporates receive tickets to major sporting events or concerts, and in some cases, they can’t attend. Tickets to events make excellent prizes for an online fundraiser, especially if the event has sold-out. Having exclusive items to auction can turn your fundraiser into a big money maker. A pair of tickets to see Adele perform on her sold-out tour managed to raise over £8,000 in a prize draw on Givergy.com, as super fans purchased multiple entries to increase their odds. Alternatively, Latymer School were gifted 4 hospitality tickets to a Chelsea Premier League match. They decided to use this to benefit their foundation and auctioned the tickets on Givergy.com raising over £1,000 in just 2 days. The auction was held a week before the match and naturally picked up a lot of attention on social media.
Tip: Auction tickets to sold-out concerts a couple of weeks before the event to ensure the demand is at an all-time high.
Many businesses will have an array of branded materials left over from networking, industry events, or partner organisations. Items like these tend to be left in storage collecting dust. However, they could be put to better use. Since the aim is to raise funds and not recoup the cost price, they could be auctioned with a relatively low starting price which will draw people in and create a competitive bidding atmosphere.
If you’re looking to increase the number of items available to your online corporate fundraising auction, then hospitality, merchandise and limited-edition items are a great way to raise funds, without taking up too much time to produce and with minimal expense.
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