The Keys to Successful Charity Event Ticket Sales

ImageEveryone wants their Charity Event Gala to be a success and one of the keys is for it to be SOLD OUT.  However, do you have the “Keys” to its success?  Here are a few topics & tips which will lead you there:

1. Advertisement – Everyone today believes that merely advertising your Charity Event will sell it out.  However, Advertisement today does not guarantee anything.  The “Old School” advertisement methods are unsuccessful.  Bill boards, Magazines, Newspapers, Mailers and Radio Adds have gone away.  Today, in regard to Charity Event Ticket Sales, there are two methods that are key to your Success:

a. The Charity or the Event:  This is perhaps the hardest Key to understand and accept.  Talk about the Event and not the Charity.  Why?  Because again, there are 104 Million registered Charities in the U.S.  People are constantly being approached by charities for the same purposes.  Talk about the event, what will be there, what the food is…talk about the Event and not the charity.  Your supporters will be easily purchase tickets but it’s the others who will be much harder to get to attend.

b. Social Networks:  Facebook is an incredible way to get the word out since everyone is there.  mzl_utbsbllqUnderstanding how to “Share” or “Comment” and how it impacts everyone is vitally important.  Furthermore, the ability to “Tag” people in your Flyer is as important as picking the right Venue to host it.  Plus these methods are “FREE.”

c. Email:  You have the ability to email your flyer and the information to everyone across the country in seconds.  If you were to quantify or “Monetize” this in comparison to the U.S. Mail, it would cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars, however, it’s free.  The method is placing all the information in the body of the email and send it to your entire address book regardless if those in your address book will attend.  The next step is to attach your Event Flyer.  Then the last and most important key is….place everyone in your “BCC” line (Blind Carbon Copy) so that no one sees who you emailed.  Write the content or body of the email General but as if you are talking to them, like this as an example: “How have you been?  I saw this and thought about you.  It’s really going to be fantastic, it’s a Charity Event at ….etc. (Fill in the blanks)”.

d. Word of Mouth:  Nothing sells out a fundraiser like “Word of Mouth.”  It takes people talking to people, selling your event.  People generally do not respond to advertisement anymore as discussed above.  Talk to everyone but understanding how to talk about your event is also key.  Remember, no one likes “Boring.”  Plus understanding that there are Charity Events going on all around yours, you must “Oversell” it.  Here is an example of the WRONG WAY – OR – the RIGHT WAY, you be the judge:url-1

WRONG WAY – “Hey, do you want to come to charity dinner on (Date)?”

RIGHT WAY – “Hey, WOW did you hear about that event on (Date)….it’s going to be incredible.  The tickets are cheap plus there is going to be a lot of great items on the Live and Silent Auction like (describe the items).  As soon as I saw it, I thought about you…are you getting a table?”

e. Ticket Sales Supervision:  Someone must be appointed as the Ticket Chairman or the person in charge of handling all of the ticket sales.  This person, perhaps it may even be the Director of Development or the person in charge of Fundraising.  Understanding that people must be supervised, constantly reminded about ticket sales and directed on what to do plus how to do it.  Place your team in charge, have your team each accept the responsibility of selling at least one (1) table of ten.  Several will sell many more than one (1) table.

f. Tables are more important:  An entire venue or event can be quickly sold out in “Blocks.”  For instance, if you are hoping for 500 people to attend your event, sell “TABLES” instead of individual tickets.  Most tables have ten (10) people at a table which equates to only fifty (50) tables.  You only need to have 50 people buy tables, find 50 to purchase tables and it’s sold out.  But trying to sell 500 tickets is a much higher goal to fulfill.

g. Identify Table purchasers:  All of a Charity Vendors or Sponsors should be identified before ticket sales begin.  Understanding the businesses that a charity purchase items from should be approached about table purchases.  Many Charities have many vendors or businesses which they purchase items or services from including Lawyers, Accountants, Land Lords, Suppliers etc.

Use these methods in your ticket sales and soon your event will be SOLD OUT!!!  If you would like more information on how to plan and host your Charity Event Fundraiser, contact BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising at

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


5 Tips for Donated Items

ImageWhile attending 100’s of Charity Events each year, there is a common theme at each – the donated items which are used on Silent and Live Auctions.  Charity Fundraising Event organizers are often confused on what to do and if they should utilize items which are not donated.  If you are a fan of my blogs, you can find others addressing the same topic – all answering why we are so essential for a Charity’s success.

Donated item procurement is always the main topic of every Charity when planning their event.  However, the common mistake that everyone makes when seeking donations is the thought behind the procurement.

Here are several helpful hints to influence the outcome and greatly influence the overall profit of the items donated:

1.  Know your guests – As you start to plan your event and the topic of seeking donations comes up, think of yourselves as guests and what you would like to bid on.  What excites you and then go after those items as your main focus.  Create of list of “Hot” items.  Also, if you still have your previous years bid sheets, see what items brought the highest bids as well as what items were unsuccessful.  Don’t repeat the same mistake.

Image2.  Local Donations – Remember, your charity event attracts people from the local area.  Then add in the fact that the donations come from local businesses.  Your guests are already familiar with the businesses and the products which they have for sale.  Since your guests are already familiar with items that they can find in the local area, the items will not be exciting whatsoever.  The items will have little appeal. 

3.  Why do businesses donate – When approaching local businesses for donations, understand why these businesses donate.  Furthermore, understand what level of donations they can provide to your charity.  However, this has multiple issues which you should understand:

    a.  North American Charities – Currently, there are 104 Million charities in the United States.  With only 50 states in the nation, there are millions in each state.  Each of these charities seek donations, each business owner is subjected to thousands of donation requests each year. 

    b.  “Out of Business” – In order to keep their doors open and the lights on, business owners can not possibly donate to everyone.  They must pick and chose who they donate to and WHAT they donate.  Commonly, businesses will donate items which are not selling in their retail or wholesale outlets.  Remember, these business owners have bills to pay like you.  They can only donate what they can afford to donate.  The business will donate items which are not selling, then you will take the item which is not selling and utilize it on your Silent or Live Auction while expecting maximum results.

    c. The Myth of the Tax Deduction for Donors – Each year, businesses are only allowed to claim a certain amount of Tax Deductions based on donations.  After that amount, everything is a loss.  With all the charities in the area requesting donations, the myth of the Tax Deduction is no longer an effective tool while asking for an item for your event.

    d.  Marketing – If a business owner is part of your charity or has a personal reason why they support your charity, they will donate simply to help.  However, with all of the businesses which are approached and asked to donate, the main reason why they donate is simply for “Marketing” or “Advertisement” to your guests.  However, understanding that this is the main reason why they will donate, ask yourself the following questions prior to asking or accepting it for effectiveness:

        (1)  Event Marketing – Are you providing a means for businesses to be advertised or marketed at your event?  Examples:  Event printed program, PowerPoint presentation, announcements, Charity Website Sponsors Page etc.

        (2)  Will the item receive a high bid?  If an item receives a low bid, how will this affect the business?  If the business owner knows his/her item received a low bid, will they donate again?  As an example:  If an item retails for $500 but sells for $50, was this an effective way for the business to market themselves?  No.

4.  Profit Margin – Recently, while assisting a charity, we reviewed the donated items they had collected.  While reviewing them, I took a poll of the highest they would bid on the items.  There were eight (8) items (all gift baskets) and totaled their highest bids – $355.00.  Each item had a maximum bid of $40 to $55 at the highest.  In order to use these items for their profit effectiveness, I placed these same items in a Raffle setting.  Remember if used on a silent auction, they would have brought the maximum of $355.00, however in the Raffle setting, those same items brought $2,100.00.  The donors were extremely happy because of the amount of money and exposure their items brought – answering all of the concerns.

5.  The “WOW” Factor – Using the topic addressed above (#4 – Profit Margin), the use of BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising “No Risk Auction Items” rectifies all of the concerns and this is how:

    a.  The “WOW” Factor – Using the first topic, “Local Donations with Local people” analogy, your guests will get excited by the items which BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can assist you with.  The question is this simply – Will your guests get more excited over a Gift Basket or an Autographed Sports Item, Charity Travel Package, Jewelry?

    b.  Profit Margin – Using #4 as a guide, the top bid for a donated item is $50, however, our Charity Fundraising Experts will advise that our clients start the bid (or set the reserve) at 20% above our Cost to Non Profit – which equals the highest bid.  The 20% above reserve commonly equals $50 profit already built in at one bid.  Furthermore, this is only the starting bid, these items do not have a Top or Ceiling bid.  The bids on these items routinely award our charity clients $100’s of dollars in profit.

    c.  Ease – Instead of seeking donations for months only to profit little, it is much easier to use the items which we provide.

    d.  The “WOW” Factor II – While understanding that there are 104 Million charities in the United States and that most use the “Fully donated” item approach, how will utilizing high quality, exciting items affect the attraction to your event?  At charity event, people routinely take photos with the items or send photo’s to their friends.  These items get people excited and routinely bring incredibly high bids.  Your charity event will become highly attractive to everyone who attends and “Word of Mouth” will be your best advertising.


I hope the topics discussed above will help guide you in the future.   Everyone at BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising wants your next Charity Event to be highly profitable.  We would love to help you by guiding you through the thousands of wrong street signs and get you to your financial success destination.

For more information, go to our website at






Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


Huh? What is Profit Margin?


Several weeks ago, I was assisting a client with their charity fundraising event which was about to occur in an hour or so.  Prior to the event, I was giving a guided tour around the venue to the volunteers when we came upon a raffle which we were doing.  While explaining the raffle, that is when it “Hit” me, why using our items makes so much more sense.

ImageSee, I have always known why but could not see it in these terms, which made so much more sense to uneducated perspective clients.  On the raffle were eight (8) Gift Baskets (one of the most common donated items found at any Charity Event across the country) and while standing there, I asked all twelve (12) of the volunteers to tell me what their “MAXIMUM” bid would be on any of the items available.  The maximum bids for all eight (8) baskets was about $45 to $50.00 each.  But a total of approximately $345 to $350.00 for all of the items combined.  The cool part of the raffle was, using these items in that raffle profited the charity $2,100.00 with only the possibility of $355 on a Silent Auction.  That is when I saw it clearly….”Profit Margin.”

Every day, while speaking with perspective clients, we get the same questions on a constant basis – OR – the same response to what we are offering charities all across North America.  We have found, however, it’s the smaller Charities and Benefit Organizers who do not understand the ability we are giving them by providing such an incredible service.

Without ever thinking it through, these organizers respond negatively, while the larger charities, who commonly host large events, don’t even hesitate.  If these great people were to stop and ask “Why should we do this”…the question would be answered in two words – PROFIT MARGIN.

Let me explain it to you this way, most everyone will understand this.

From the next two items, which has more appeal?

  1. Gift Basket from a local Business
  2. Autographed Helmet from an Iconic Athlete

Do you even need to think about it?  First, let’s talk about the appeal.  Think about it like this – if you were to walk up to these two items, which would draw more of your attention?

Let’s use two more items:

  1. A $25.00 Gift Certificate from a Local Restaurant
  2. A highly decorative Collage from an Iconic Band

Still not sure, how about this:

  1. A Time Share from one of your friends at a local beach
  2. A Vacation Package to Disney including Airfare and a Gift Certificate

The answer to all of these questions is “B.”

I always say to perspective clients prior to beginning business is this and any of our Representatives can vouch that I warn people about is “There are two things people love and hate about me.  They love that I am blunt & honest.  They hate that I am blunt & honest.”  If you chose “A” on any of the options above, you are lying to yourself.  The truth of the matter is – across North America people only pay 1/8 to 1/4 of Retail on donated items – period.  You may get lucky and get 1/2 but that is it.

ImageSmaller Charities look at the LARGE blockbuster Charity events and wish to be raising that kind of money, but they can’t see the forest for the trees.  The reality of how those BIG BLOCKBUSTER charities get the items they do is, they work with us.  They understand what people want and they don’t even “Bulk” at the idea.

The reason our items are much more valuable to charity event guests is simply this – PROFIT MARGIN.  If you are not aware, the profit margin is how much potentially you will make (or profit) when an item sells.

We always recommend to our clients that they start the bid 20% above our Cost to Non Profit.  Using the Raffle items as an example with this idea in place, a Gift Basket’s maximum bid would be $45 to $50 but a $250.00 cost to nonprofit has a starting bid of “$50.00.”  So at the very first bid, a charity will profit $50.00 on only one (1) bid!!!

Now remember I asked you what has more appeal?  Let’s talk about maximum profit.  The items we carry are offered at or below Wholesale with no true Retail Value.  That means there is no known retail price – most of our items are priceless.

ImageLet me ask you a crazy question – how much do you think someone would bid at the maximum for a fantastic gift basket OR a $50.00 Gift Certificate?  The answer is – Not anywhere near the retail!!!  People don’t go absolutely “Bonkers” over Gift Baskets.  And – come on, the retail on a $50.00 Gift Certificate is….$50.00!!!

Remember what I said about what people love and hate about me!!!  People DO NOT, WILL NOT, WILL NEVER EVER, EVER NEVER pay anywhere near retail on a Gift Certificate!!!  They don’t…and if you are thinking I don’t know what I’m talking about because at your event they pay over and above the face value (which I have heard on several occasions from a multitude of Charities, only to find out the person saying did not know what they sold for – and they only sold for 1/2).

So (taking a deep breath), a signed Guitar is up for bid.  At the minimum or “Reserve Bid”, the charity stands to make at least $300.00.  Remember, a signed Guitar has no “Suggested Retail.”  The Guitar sells for $5,000.00.  The charity profits $3,500.00.

Ok, you want me to chose an item which is not as big as a Guitar, how about one of our incredible decorative pieces – Beatles 1st American Tour ticket Collage.  Cost to Non Profit is $225.00 and it routinely sells for $800.00 to $1,000.00 in a Silent Auction.  Make Sense?

ImageOn another note, recently, a autographed Bruce Springsteen Guitar was at the same event that I described above (with the gift basket raffle that made $2,100.00).  During the Live Auction, no one bid on it and it went “Unsold.”  But the following day, one of the event guests called and asked if was still available – which it was and the guest purchased it from the charity for the minimum bid.  On the same Live Auction, there was a Gift Basket filled with Household Paint items with a Gift Certificate worth “$800.00” for a professional painter to come to your house and paint for eight (8) hours – which was fully donated – guess what it sold for?  $300.00.

So the profit margin on the guitar and the profit for the gift basket was $300.00.

But what was most amazing was what the buyer of the Guitar told me “I wasn’t ready to see a signed Guitar from Bruce Springsteen.  We go to a lot of Charity Events and we always see the normal stuff…nothing like what was available there.  If I would have known, I would have been ready and spent a lot more money.”

A common falsehood charities also believe is that “No Risk Auction Items” pull profit away from their donated items – 100% false.  You have to give people a reason to spend their money.  Let me ask you this – are there stores in your favorite mall that only sell gift baskets?  No.  Remember that donated items are local items donated by local businesses, at a local event with local people attending – if they want those items or Gift Certificates, they would have gone and buy them themselves.  Now, you are asking people to spend “Top Dollar” on these same items.

I hope this helps you understand how you can go from a mediocre Fundraiser to a BLOCKBUSTER!!!  BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising can help you take the donated items you have and raise 5 to 6 times what you would normally profit.  Just ask us how.

We would love to help, contact us today at

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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


Fundraising Reality Check


Every single day, while talking with Charity Clients as well as our Representatives all over the country, I hear things that make me wonder what world people are living in.  The problem is, generally charities do not truly understand fundraising but they will just take a stab at it and hope for the best.  I certainly hope my next surgery does not end up like this.

I used to use the statement “When you have medical problems, who do you consult?  A Doctor.  When you have legal issues, who do you consult?  A Lawyer.  When you want to build a house, who do you consult?  A Contractor.  When you need to raise money to financially support your Charities Mission Statement, who should you consult?  A Professional Charity Fundraiser.

What most people fail to realize is, we do this seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year and have been doing it for many years – successfully.  Furthermore, understanding fundraising is not knowing everything about Charity or the Charity hosting the fundraiser, it’s not that at all – It’s understanding PEOPLE and how they think generally.

For instance, here are some common Falsehoods charities often believe:

No Risk Auction Items take money out of the room:  Many charities falsely believe that having items which Businessman Throwing Money into the Aircost them will divert money away from their donations.  These charities believe that people blindly walk into their fundraising event and just blanket the place with their hard earned money in order to support the charity.  That is 110% False.  People do not spend their money like that, if they did, there would be no need to even host a charity fundraising event, they would just donate the money.  However, the truth is, people attend these events and hardly ever bid anywhere near retail on donations.  Remember, these are local people attending the event for a local charity with items donated by local businesses – if they wanted those items, they would go to the business and buy it themselves.  Everyone is looking for a deal.  Who loses?  The Charity does not lose BUT they are not maximizing their profit.  To answer the “Who loses” question….the donor does.  The donor expects to get some type of advertisement from the event and for their donated item or items to sell high.  When it only brings 1/8th  to a 1/4 of retail…are you going to tell them if they ask?

What charities need to focus on is the “Margin of Profit.”  Furthermore, by having these “No Risk Auction Items”, the profit margin is 100% guaranteed.  We can guarantee that if an item sells at their auction, it will bring much more money than their donations in the exact same setting.

2009 Event 058People come to our event and bid on items to support our Charity:  This is very common, however, it’s a “Half Truth.”  The sad reality of it this – people most commonly purchase tickets to a charity event to support the charity but do not bid on items for the same reason.  Routinely, if a Table of ten (10) (offering a full table of ten tickets) sells at your event, 8 of the people sitting at the table do not even know who the charity is.  The buyer of the table filled it with friends and family.  People attending charity events to have a great time, eat good food, have a few drinks and have fun.  Here is how you qualify this – how many times have you heard “Well, I bought tickets to support the charity” NOT “I bid on items to support you” – NEVER.

Understand this – it’s a give and take.  How so?  When someone purchases tickets, they get food, drinks, a good time….they get something from it.  But, have these same people ever just sent you a check as a donation?  Did they pay for their tickets and then say “Go ahead and give my tickets away…it’s my donation” – NEVER.  Those people are there, eating the food, dancing, hanging out with their friends and having a great time.

When it comes to bidding on items, they will only bid on items that excite them.  They never bid on items just for the sake of bidding to support the charity.  With nearly 1,000 charity events each and every year, this simple fact never changes.  Charity MUST have items which have mass appeal in order to garner high bids.  Gift Baskets, Gift Certificates etc. never get high bids.

“Our crowd does not have that kind of money to bid on high priced items” – I personally hear this all the time and every single time, they are 100% wrong.  My reply to this is this “How do you know?”  The reality of it that people do not spend a lot of money on low end items.  However, they do a lot of money on items or experiences that have a high return.

As an example:  Recently, one of our Representatives assisted a local charity which had low attendance at their san-gimignano-bestevent.  The event was not held at a high end resort or catering facility, but in a Fire Department.  The charity chose several items which were not very expensive because they did not believe their crowd would pay much.  However, our Representative mistakenly placed our “Tuscany for 8” Package on their Silent Auction which he had the auction placard from.  Understand that this package has a Cost to Non Profit of $5,995.00.  During the evening, one of the guests walked over to the Silent Auction and bid $10,000.00 on the trip.  Our Representative was shocked and immediately called me to let me know about the bid.  Of course I laughed because I have seen this time and time again.  Our Representative walked over to the bidder and told her how great the package was and she said this:

“I have been coming to this fundraiser for three (3) years and for the very first time, I saw something that was worth me bidding on”

That’s a very powerful statement.  Do not under estimate your crowd and their financial status.  Present items or experiences that have the “WOW” factor and watch what happens – you will be shocked.

These are just a few common tall tales….remember, Reality is an eye opener.  Most people like to believe certain things however, think like the person in the seat and you too will be crossing the finish line successfully.

If you would like our help, please visit us at, we would love to help guide you to a successful result.

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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


Why do people donate?


For years, when I was a charity volunteer a very long time ago, I use to ask every single business in my area and then even ones outside my area to donate to our event.  Of course I had great reasons why they should and had my donation request letter in hand.  I hit up everybody, no matter the business had, I asked them.  I sat tirelessly writing letters, licking envelopes sending donation request letters across the U.S.  And of course, I got used to hearing “No.”  I would get angry when they wouldn’t donate and didn’t understand why.

But as I became educated about donations – both financial and items, I began to realize what the reality of it all is.  I also learned just how many Charities are out there and then to add to it, how many people have their hand out looking for donations.   Then add in all the Benefit events occurring, then it all became clear why businesses either donated or did not.

First, let me give you some perspective on the charity world.  Currently in the United States, there are 104 Million Charities or registered U.S. Non Profits.  The United States has been in a recession for many years which have pushed many businesses into financial ruin.  Business owners are fighting to stay afloat.

When we approach a business and ask for a donation, they immediately will determine if it is beneficial to their businesses.  They first ask themselves these questions:

1 – Do I know the organization?

2 – Do I support the organization?

3 – Do I know the people who are involved?

4 – How many people will be attending the charity event?

5 – Will my name get out there?

6 – Will it pay off to donate?

7 – Can I afford it?

Commonly, businesses will donate items which answer “Yes” to question #7, which commonly is an item which they can afford to part with.  However, on the charity side, this is not a good thing because the item that the business donated is not high quality and routinely, it is something which has sat on a shelf not selling at retail.

(If you are a BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising Representative and you are reading this Blog, please go to the comments section in our Facebook Rep’s Page where this blog is posted and put your name in the comments section to receive a surprise gift.)

The next important fact is that many charity event guests are other charity organizers.  They attend other charity events to show their support but to also check out the competition.  I have seen this time and time again.  Furthermore, they note who the donors were and approach them later for their charity event.  But what does this do?  The charity attending has the same exact “stuff” as the original charity which drives down the bid price because the items are not unique.

The most important factor to note:  Remember, the items donated by a business to your event took hard earned money.  What I mean by this is, the business owner had to pay for the items which they are giving you.  They normally donate items both to help but to also get their name out there, hoping that it will bring people into their establishments.  Basically, they want to be marketed. 

For instance, you will often see “Tastifully Simple”, “Avon”, “Pampered Chef” gift baskets in Silent Auctions.  The representatives of these companies donate the baskets (along with a stack of business cards) hoping to get more sales or “Parties” from the event.  Does this happen?  Rarely.   Remember, businesses want something from the donation – give that to them.  Highlight their names and address in your printed programs, announce their names during your event…encourage your guests to seek them out.

The Negative side to donations:   Across the U.S., donated items are only bringing 1/8th to 1/4 of retail in any Silent or Live Auction.  Let’s say a business donated an item that retails for $100.00.  At most it is bringing $25.00.  Understanding the Charity does not mind it because it’s $25.00 in their pockets, however, after your event the donors commonly ask what the selling price was for their donation.   What will you do when the item only sells for pennies on the dollar?

There are 100% effective ways to utilize donations that will bring 4 to 5 times the retail price while also ensuring that your donors are extremely happy that they donated.  If you would like help with your next charity fundraising event, contact us at

Or to join “Team BWU” and become a Charity Fundraising Representative, contact us at


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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


“What do the Animals know that I don’t” – Noah’s Ark Fundraising

noahs-beaver-problemI am sure by now that everyone knows about Noah’s Ark.  Noah had a direct connection with the Almighty and prior to a massive flood which covered the world, he loaded up two of every single animal across the world onto one immense boat.  Can you imagine for a second how big that boat must have been?  As you can imagine, most of the animals must have began to find him because it would have taken centuries to collect them all.

But the important part was, the animals must have known something was coming and they easily climbed onto the boat for a seven day cruise (That’s a really bad reference to Gilligans Island).  They often say that animals know something before anyone else does.  And the same holds true in regard to Charity Fundraising.

Recently I met with an employee of an outdoor charity over lunch.  While we ate lunch, we discussed their National Package of items provided to their Charities.  What most don’t know is (this is where the Noah’s Ark reference makes sense), the Outdoor Charities provide their chapters with a product catalog of items they have to buy to put into their auctions.  These items range from Prints, statues, gear etc.  But they understand that people only want the “Good Stuff” and they must provide it to the Chapters to ensure their fundraising success.

Then we spoke about the reality of “Donations.”  Without skipping a beat, with a mouth full of French fries, he said “They are junk.”  But what was odd is, I was saying the exact same thing as he was saying it.  Donated products or Auction items are more often than not “Not the highest quality” otherwise known as “Junk.”

74149_178119295534827_100000102726561_631228_8109011_nNow, let’s go back 15 years ago when I was a volunteer seeking donations plus couple that with my experience in the Charity Fundraising community.  The donations I was able to get from local businesses were items which were commonly not that valuable.  During our fundraising events, we would use them as “Filler” for a package in a raffle or silent auction.  Today, in our fundraising events all across North America, you would not believe what I see that our Charity partners get donated.  Recently, I saw a used bread maker.

However, what the moral to this blog is this – Charities must have high quality items in their fundraising events to ensure that they get the maximum return.  You have to “Spend Money to Make Money.”  But outside of the outdoor industry charities, some charity organizers believe that everything must be donated.  I have written Blog after Blog about why that doesn’t make sense and how their fundraising efforts will be negatively affected if they stay with this line of thinking.

$(KGrHqF,!h0E9Q4N5VQJBPo(GsEH0g~~60_12Going back to the Noah’s Arc concept, the Outdoor Charities which raise money for Protection of Habitat or your rights as an outdoorsman, have figured it out.  When I first introduced the “No Risk Auction Item” concept to the North American charities, I started receiving some “Kick Back.”  We hear on a constant basis “Oh no….we can’t pay for items, they have to be donated.”  However, the facts remain which I addressed in my blog titled “How much is the Chicken” that the charities are paying for an entire list of items and services for their event but when it comes to the actual items they plan to raise money with – the thought seems to disappear.

I want to congratulate everyone who understood that high quality items are needed for fundraising events in the Outdoor Charities.  They cut the path for successful fundraising, however, now it’s time to start loading up the humans on Noah’s Ark.  They may learn a few things from our animal counterparts.

If you would like to learn more about why “No Risk Auction Items” guarantee success for your fundraising efforts, contact us at

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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


Leading with our “Decorative Foot” – Why unsigned Decorative Items benefit Charities more then Autographed items


When Dorothy walked down the yellow brick road, she walked toward Oz wearing her Ruby Slippers.  Somehow, those Ruby heals made the walk much easier.

About a year ago, something happened that changed my opinion a great deal about Autographed Memorabilia.  Now, understand that BW Unlimited was founded on representing the “Charity First”, this mistake struck me right between the eyes.

We were assisting a charity with their fundraising event’s Live and Silent Auction.  While working with the Charity, they chose a signed Jersey which was pricey based upon the fact that the player who signed it was extremely expensive.  So that you and anyone reading this Blog understands, Athletes charge to sign their autographs when it comes to dealing with Memorabilia providers.  Some Athletes are relatively cheap and others are ridiculously expensive.   At the same time, we had conducted the signing, one of the photo’s slated to be autographed was missed.  Prior to the fundraising event, we found the photo and decided to just frame it and put it into the silent auction at a very low starting bid.

The Jersey was on the Live Auction with a starting bid of $410.00.  The Charity was going to make $80.00 with just a minimum bid.  However, the unsigned photo in a frame had a starting bid of only $135.00.  At the end of the night, the Jersey only received one (1) bid netting the charity the $80.00 – however, in contrast, the unsigned framed photo sold for $375.00 netting the charity well over $200.00!!!

That is when lightning struck me!!!  Over the next ten or so charity fundraising events, we began to test the theory that decorative items do much better in charity events then autographed items.  Time and time again, the decorative items brought high bids, benefiting the charities over and over again.  But did it make sense?  Why was this happening especially when the Charity Fundraising Market is all about autographed items…so the research ended with solid answers.

564844_383020088401670_100000810455789_916740_250179159_n - CopyThe answer lies in the “Price Point.”  Based solely on the fact that Athlete’s charge a premium for their signatures, then add in the cost of the item which is signed, the prices sky rocket.  Furthermore, legitimate autographed items are costly due to the above as well as payment to have them reviewed for 3rd party authentication.  As you know, there are many providers out there who offer autographed items which are too good to be true, which often they are.  However, with Decorative items, these problems don’t exist, keeping the prices very low and affordable for everyone.

Based on what we saw, we began to design highly decorative items such as collages with laser engraved signatures, 3D Laser cut logo’s with brass plaques and much more.  We researched the best photo’s with the most appeal, not worrying about getting them signed.  We slaved over designs, seeking replica tickets and the overall appeal of the entire item.  We began to research categories of these items which would have appeal outside of the Sports world since not everyone is a Sports Fan.  We began to design Celebrity Photo’s, Americana and historical as well as a full line of Sports related Decorative Memorabilia.

The response was and is phenominal!!!  The bids on these items are tremendous and the appeal is even more.  Now, Charity guests can bid on items which are much more appealing then autographed items, allowing everyone to get in on the action.  Plus, with the bids running extremely high, charities all across North America can quadruple the amount of money they can raise.

Beatles_TicketsNow we can provide fantastic decorative items such as the Beatles 1st American Tour which comes complete with a Getty Photo of the Beatles playing on the Ed Sullivan Show, laser engraved signatures, the tour schedule as well as replica tickets from all of their shows during the tour.  Routinely, without a doubt, it sells for $850 to $1,000 on Silent Auctions across North America.  This is just one example of 100’s of incredible choices.

Furthermore, our inventory of these items can be produced over and over again without the concern of dealing with Player appeal.  What I mean is….take for instance the Aaron Hernandez story.  One day he is playing for the New England Patriots and the next he’s playing for the local Federal Pen.  Players get hurt, contract negotiations etc.

You wouldn’t believe just how successful our Decorative items are for our Charity Clients!!!  And that is why BW Unlimited leads with our Decorative foot.  I know it doesn’t make sense, but test it out…you will be a believer in no time.

To see our incredible Decorative Catalog, contact us or ask your Charity Fundraising Representative to send it to you.

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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