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BREAKING NEWS!!! “Paying It Forward Fundraising”

BREAKING NEWS!!!  “Paying It Forward Fundraising”

 

PrintToday, we are proud to announce that our newest fundraising platform “Paying It Forward Fundraising” is launching in Twin Falls Idaho in several locations across the city.  The auctions benefit the United Way, the Boys & Girls Club and the Boy Scouts of Twin Falls.

cleaning for charityWhat is “Paying It Forward Fundraising”?  Over the past several years, many people have come to me and said that we should start placing Silent Auctions in restaurants, hotels and businesses.  But, due to our rapidly expanding company and time being a very precious commodity; we weren’t in a position to move forward with it. 

However, recently, I met a fantastic family who are from Utah & Idaho – The Pierce’s.  After meeting with Brad Peirce, I could see the fire and passion in his eyes to help our company help charities all across North America.  He quickly began to help charities in Idaho and wanted to learn more.  I was then introduced to his family.  They too wanted to help and were passionate about doing whatever they could to be a part of our company.  There was no better group of fine, good hearted people to help launch this platform across the United States.

“Paying It Forward Fundraising” allows charities and businesses to set up a Silent 46652399_909562845916072_2771895356521185280_nAuction with the “Buy It Now” ability in restaurants, hotels, businesses etc.  The charity or business owner sets the margin or profit percentage above the cost to nonprofit.  There is absolutely no cost that the charity or business incurs nor do they have to do anything but provide wall space.   

All the charity or business owner should do, but does not have to, is to promote the Silent Auction.  Since it benefits our charity partners, the charity should promote the Silent Auction to their supporters and through the Social Networks.  That’s it.

46501562_1560375664062119_917518749454565376_n.jpgThe “Paying It Forward Fundraising” Auction will be set up for at least two (2) weeks.  Our staff will monitor and collect the bid sheets, contact the buyers, process the payments and ship out the items to all the winning bidders.   100% of the proceeds then go directly to the charity. 

If a Business Owner would like to help a local charity, they tell us who the local charity is so that we can post it on the notice which is beside the auction.  At the end of each auction, our staff will present a large check with the proceeds written on it in the name of the selected charity.  This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to help their local community.  They can Press Release their efforts and post photos of the check presentation to the charity on the social networks and in local news.

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The auctions carry a wide array of Décor items ranging from Sports, Celebrity, Historical and Music while also offering incredible Travel & Vacation Packages.  The auctions give your guests and those visiting your business a sense of satisfaction knowing they are helping a local charity while also having the ability to purchase an item that is not sold at retail anywhere.

If you are interested in having a “Paying It Forward Fundraising” Silent Auction at your business, or if you are a charity and would like for us to help you with an auction or auctions, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  We offer a wide array of services including a full scale Fundraising Event Planning service, “No Risk Auction Items” and now our newest platform “Paying It Forward Fundraising.”  There is no finer company across North America that offers so much for the 104 million charities.  To learn more or to ask for our help, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.

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Is it time to see your Doctor? Are you suffering from “Acute Fundraising Delirium” and stuck in a Fundraising Rut?

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Recently, my team and I met with a charity who is asking for our help.  We are always humbled when we are asked so meeting with them was our pleasure.  However, after speaking with them at length, I soon realized that trying to get them to change their unsuccessful methods was going to be difficult.  In fact, one of the member who we met with pulled me aside and said “Don’t even try getting them to change, you’re fighting a losing battle.”  So the question remained, so how are we supposed to help them if they refuse to change?

So in order to help you, the reader of this Blog, here are some signs and symptoms that will help you to determine if its time to see a Fundraising Doctor:

“Stuck in Rut” Symptoms:

#1 – Are you willing to change the place or venue where you are holding your event?   The reason the venue is so important determines the level of spending your guests will be comfortable with.  Unfortunately, many unsuccessful charities will choose a low cost venue because of their belief that it will put more money or profit in their pocket.  Sadly, this is not the case – What charities like these do not know is that by choosing a venue which is cheaper – the venue is cheaper for a reason.  Potential guests who enjoy a fantastic night out will never attend an event which is “Less than.”  Affluent people or “Wealthy” potential guests will never attend because if they are going to spend a night out, they want to go somewhere nice.

#2 – Do you keep your ticket price low thinking that it will attract more guests?  Many believe this but in reality what happens is, by lowering your ticket costs, your guests will be more than likely to attend…eat, drink and leave without ever bidding on anything or donating in anyway.

#3 – Are you still utilizing old fundraising methods to raise money?  Are you still doing 50/50 raffles, Wheels of any type or still filling your Silent and Live Auction with donated items?  If you are, you are using very old ways to raise money which have been beat to death.  Of course people love these raffles and the reason is, everyone loves to win money.  Do you know how profitable these raffles are?  How much work does it take to get the prizes and what is pay off?  Understand these raffles have been used for years. 

#4 – Do you believe that your charity should use only donated items in your fundraising event?  Are you and your charity convinced the “Way to go” is to only utilize donated items in your live and silent auction?  Unfortunately, its fact that donated items are only bringing 1/8 to 1/4 of their retail price in Silent & Live Auctions across North America.  The reason is honest and simple but are you willing to listen and be open minded?  The reason that donated items do so poorly is for three (3) reasons:  1 – Your guests are local people, attending a local event with items donated by local businesses.  If they wanted those items, they would have gone and bought them themselves.  2 – Today, businesses are bombarded by charities asking for donations.  Each charity believes that they are the only one asking, however, every single local charity has asked the same business owner.  The business owner has to be concerned about keeping their lights on.  If they do donate, they donate something they can afford to get rid of and that isn’t selling in their stores.  3 – Many charities believe Gift Cards and Gift Certificates are incredible auction items but ask yourself this…how many times have you purchased a gift card for yourself at face value – OR – How many Gift Baskets did you give away to your family or friends for the holidays?  The answer to both is none.  Understand this – EVERYONE is looking for a deal.  Yes they will purchase your donations but at an extremely low cost.  Rarely will any pass 50% of their retail cost.  Have you thought about how that would negatively affect the donor if he or she found out their donation did so poorly?  Do you think they would donate again?

#5 – What was the “Net” or Profit from your last event?  Do you know what your event “Netted”?  Now be honest with yourself like so many who are suffering are – what was your “Net Profit” which means how much after paying the bills did you walk away with, not your “Gross”….your “Net”?  How many guests did you have at your event?  Here is how you can tell if your suffering – The “National Norm”, which is just the beginning of successful fundraising, for successful fundraising is $100.00 a head, net.  So what that means is for every guest who paid for a ticket, that person equals $100.00.  So if you had 500 people, you should at the very least had a “Net” of $50,000.00.  Did you?  If you didn’t, oh boy, you’re really sick.

#6 – Do you have an unqualified or inexperienced person in charge of planning and hosting your fundraiser?  Do you have a volunteer or someone on your staff who only plans one event for you a year?  Are they proficient and know the current fundraising trends?  If your answer is yes…well, your suffering.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, seek the advice of your fundraising Doctor soon, call today and schedule an appointment.  If you answered yes to two (2) or more, you are suffering from “Acute Fundraising Delirium.”  Good news though, there is a cure…it may be painful, but you will definitely be cured.

How to Fight and Cure “Acute Fundraising Delirium.” 

First, you should understand you are not alone so don’t be ashamed.  Many charities are suffering and need help but to prideful to ask.  So here is the way to cure what ails you.  But before I give you the cure, here are some points to understand so that you won’t come down with it again.

The Venue you host your event in is vitally, VITALLY important to your ultimate success.  People love to go to a very nice place with great food.  Affluent or Wealthy people like to be around others who have the same financial status…it’s a known fact.  About your ticket, your ticket price should be high enough to “Ward Off” the grazers, meaning people who are coming just to eat and drink and leave.  The reality is “a cheap ticket gets you cheap people.”   Your ticket price should be high enough in order to be a “Financial Hurdle.”  If they can pay the ticket price which you are profiting from, then they can also afford to donate or bid on items.  In your fundraising event, you should be using four (4) fundraising platforms – Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffles and a direct ask for financial donations.  With raffles, donated items are perfect for this platform and will bring 10 times their retail because everyone likes to win.  Do not do raffles where you are EVER giving money away as a prize or raffles that take too long to play.  Your donations are perfect for raffles but you should acquire consignment items for your Live & Silent Auction because people like exciting things such as Travel Packages, Experiences, Hard to Find Memorabilia etc.  These are incredibly profitable if used correctly and the reserve or cost is increase at least 20% to ensure you profit 100% of the time.  Your charities “Net” should equal the national successful fundraising norm of $100.00 a head “Net” proceeds.  There are methods to ensure you match this on your next event.  If you have a volunteer or inexperienced person in charge of your fundraiser, don’t fall for the “Oh I’ve held several events and I’ve helped with many” plea – because you don’t know if the events they were a part of were successful.  You need to find someone who is an expert fundraiser.  There is an old saying that goes like this “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur.”  Oh so very true…

The Cure

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is North America’s #1 charity fundraising firm in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  BW can help you with everything.  BW is the fundraisers for New York Cities and Washington D.C.’s elite as well as professional athletes and celebrities while also helping the White House, the Armed Forces charities, the NFL / MLB & NHL with their fundraising along with 1,000’s of charities each year.  We pride ourselves at normally raising 1.5 to 3.5 times the national norm while also helping our clients host impressive, professional events.  BW also proudly has the largest inventory of consignment items such as Charity Travel Packages, 100% authentic autographed items, Décor and beautiful jewelry which is all provided at absolutely “NO RISK” to charities across North America.  BW works with charities large and small while specializing in helping small groups grow their fundraising to incredibly successful levels.  If you are suffering and need a doctor, there is only one Doctor to call to cure your problems, BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising at 443.206.6121 or go to our website at www.BWUnlimited.com.

 

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“Broken Spoke Fundraising” – Unknowingly repeating unsuccessful fundraising tactics

IMG0071adjustedI’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying “Repeating the same thing over and over expecting different results.”  Well I’m going to introduce you to a whole new phrase which applies to the charity world – “Broken Spoke Fundraising.”  These two sayings have a lot in common because they address the same issue which many charities like yours are experiencing.  But you don’t know why you are having problems.

So imagine this – you and a friend or loved one are a part of a charity who has a fundraising event coming up in a several months.  You are invited to go to another charity fundraiser which a local charity is hosting.  You have little experience hosting a fundraiser since you only do one or two a year.  But while you’re there at the fundraiser you were invited to, you take mental notes on what they are doing to raise money.  You think to yourself “We will do these things at our event.”  Now, what they are doing seems like a great idea and also appears successful – so why not do them at yours right?

The problem is this – you honestly do not know if what they are doing or did do was successful.  What appears popular could have not been a successful way of fundraising.  As a real life example, charities all across the country have been doing a raffle called a “50/50” for decades.  But…have you taken time to think about it?  Let’s say you sell $5,000.00 worth of raffle tickets.  The prize which you give away is $2,500.00. Why on earth would you give away ½ of your earnings?  Charities hope and pray that the winner donates the money back but after a three (3) year study by our company BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, 83% of the time the winner does not donate the money.  As a professional fundraising event planner, those odds are bad and we do not ever do raffles or games which give money away as a prize because we are there to raise money, not give it away.

So, you start planning your fundraising event and utilize the ideas you saw at the local fundraiser you attended.  You don’t know if what they did was actually successful even though it appeared like it was.  But while planning it, you didn’t take the time to go and speak to the charity and get the full run down of how the raffle works and what you need to run it – so you miss something when repeating it.  In reality, the fundraising tactic they used wasn’t successful and when you do yours, you missed something making it that much more or less successful.  You now broke a spoke in the wheel which already had broken spokes to begin with.

Then you go through your event and wonder why what you did, did not produce what you thought it would but you decide to move on until next year.  You figure “Well, we will try it again and it will be different” – it’s not.  You begin to repeat the same things over and over and over again, hoping and praying or expecting different results – which never comes.  In fact, you spend days, weeks and months out of your full time life only to not be as successful as you want to be. 

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This is what I call “Broken Spoke Fundraising.”  You truly can’t copy what others are doing for many reasons:  #1 – You don’t know if what they were doing was successful and #2 – You don’t realize that people are tired of the same old things. 

Another saying which holds very true is “Everything has a shelf life.”  What this means is…if you don’t change things or evolve, what you are doing will eventually die out and fade away.  In today’s society, people tend to get bored quick.  When you’re planning your next fundraising event, think of innovative fundraising platforms which are different and exciting.  Get away from the old 50/50’s and wheel’s…and do something that people will have fun with. 

More importantly, don’t copy what another charity is doing if you don’t have all the facts – which seldom do.  Most charities just accept what money came in and move forward.  Be smart and plan to be successful.

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BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising would love to help you plan your next fundraising event and provide you and your guests with new, innovative, exciting fundraising tactics which not only your guests would love but will be extremely successful.  Contact us today at www.BWUnlimited.com

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a convenient “One Stop Shop” setting.  BW can help you plan, manage and host an incredibly successful event which has a diverse amount of fundraising platforms which your guests will love time and time again creating a unique fundraising event that they will come back to each year but will also tell their friends.  Let BW help you by contacting us at www.BWUnlimited.com.

 
 

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Houdini was a magician, not an Auctioneer !!!

Houdini was a magician, not an Auctioneer !!!

Over the past several months, we have broken records for our business, helping more charities than ever.  We are helping more charities plan, manage & host events than we ever have.

But with this, especially as we transgress our great country, we are faced with several issues which plague charities.  Most of the problems arise from not being educated and still believing in the various myths that still exist.

speedo-wearing-flag-carrying-mountain-climberCharities, or I should say the people who make up the charity and actually planning their next fundraiser, tend to live in a “Fantasy Land.”  It’s not their fault, you must understand but trying to educate them so that they not only better understand the “Reality of Charity Fundraising” is harder than trying climb Mount Everest backward in a “Speedo and flip flops.” 

 

Charities don’t want to believe that the items donated to them are not going to bring full value (aka Retail Value).  The refuse to believe it – in fact, while I am often am talking to them about their fundraising, they stare blankly back at me with a dazed look on their face.  The reality is that they never go back and look to track what the items they had at their event, actually did or how they performed.

Sadly, charities (I am truly talking about the people) don’t think when seeking donated items, what kind of items they should be going after.  And, here is where you want to rip my head off, don’t truly care about the business who donated the item, they only care about how much money they could possibly make from the sale of it.  How do I know?  Because I use to be the “Donation King.”  I had it down to a science.  But then when I really figured it out…that is when I became a Donation God!!! 

Are you ready for a dose of reality?  Are you sure?  Before I go into it, let me tell you photography-quotes-reality-welcome-to-reality-Favim_com-581101-500x264a little story.  I was helping a charity at an event which they had donated some very high end art.  In fact, they brought in the artist from out of the country – six (6) in total – all from South America.  The artists insisted that it had to be displayed in a very high trafficked area with amazing visibility of the artwork.  Understand that the event was very high end and the place, high end as well.  But…I know the reality of the reality.  I asked the artist if there were “Reserves” on the art which they said there were none.  I explained to the Artist what may happen and they obviously disagreed with me.  The pieces ranged (retail mind you) from $7,000.00 to $15,000.00 Retail – original art.  Because they wanted the art to be prominent, I ensured that everyone could see it and it was the centerpoint.  This same art took up the majority of the Live Auction.  Again, I asked them if they would be upset if it did not receive high bids, they laughed and shook their heads as if I was telling a joke.  Well during the live auction as I began to sell the art, the room fell silent (can you hear the crickets?).  The highest bid for the art was $350.00 for a $15,000.00 piece of art.  Then at the end of the evening, one of the buyers tried to back out of the bid so that he could buy items from us (our No Risk Auction Items – Mike Tyson autographed Boxing Trunks and a Sugar Ray Leonard/Roberto Duran dual signed Boxing Glove).  The artists were devastated but came over to me after the event and thanked me for educating them while asking if they should ever do it again – I told them no.

I could provide you with example such as when a donor was present at an event and the item which his business (which he was the owner of) donated an item worth $900.00 and it sold for $45.00 – he walked out immediately after seeing it sell for that amount furious.

 

 

houdini_handcuff_kingLadies & Gentlemen, I am sorry if you think differently, but Auctioneers are not Magicians.  We auctioneers cannot turn water into wine or make money fly magically out of people’s pockets.  Not one auctioneer in the world can.  You have to provide people with items or experiences that they would want.  Unfortunately, in the example above with the Artists, our Decor items sold higher than their original art – I find that sad.

 

Furthermore, charities must market the items which they have and will be available to bid on.  Facebook and email newsletters are perfect for this.  But putting people in a room and expecting them to bid on stuff just because…doesn’t happen. 

Another myth – this one will probably sting so gear up – people do not bid on items at your charity fundraiser because they are helping your charity.  This is 100% false.  What is true is this – they bid on items that are attractive, that they want.  The items that get the most bids are Hard to find items, things they have never seen before or Travel Experiences.  If this weren’t true, why do people get buyers remorse and try to return the items the following day?  Charities tend to think people walk in the door blind folded with a stack of $100 bills in their pockets and just throw it up in the air…wherever it lands is what they are going to buy and say “Well it’s for charity” – That is totally false and those days are over.

Be smart about what you are doing, be strategic when seeking donations and then market your donations as much as humanly possible.  Use Facebook religiously to market your event and the items available.

Something else very important – why is it acceptable to pay a venue for food & drinks, a florist for floral arrangements but not to use consigned items and travel on your live and silent auction?  I’ll leave you with that thought.

If you would like to learn how seek and get incredible donated items while ensuring the donors are happy by the result and how to also absolutely ensure that those items bring an amazing amount of money – or if you would like to learn more about how to host a successful charity fundraising event and how to plan your fundraising platforms such as the Live & Silent Auction effectively, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help you exceed your fundraising goals.

 

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“The Reality of the Reality of Donated Items”

If you are a fan of mine or read my blogs, you repeatedly have heard me say repeatedly Man on a soap box spouting bubblesthe same things over and over again.  As with most things I say, the lessons I am trying to teach come from real “Honest to Goodness” mistakes I’ve made or have seen made over the vast amount of years I’ve been involved in fundraising.

I am always incredibly inquisitive about why charities have the beliefs they have and why they do what they do.  What do I mean by “Do what they do”?  Well, what I mean is simply this – charities believe that donated items will bring close to if not higher bids than what they are worth.  Or, why they continually put items in a fundraising event which will not have the return they believe.

Ok – so the best examples are real life stories or real life examples right?  Well, I hate to admit but over the weekend, I saw most of what I preach against happen at an event which we were a part of.

What most charities do not know is this – the larger, more profitable charities don’t even deal with small donated items.  They know these items are not profitable and only go after Sponsors and large items which are always on their live auctions.  They educate themselves because in the end, they are evaluated on their fundraising successes on a continuing basis.

So at this event we were a part of – prior to, we had begun to help their founder but our tactics seemed extremely counterintuitive.  But because she believed in what we were saying, she allowed us to do what we are known to do.  In her many donations, we found a basket which was better than most.  Because of the quality of items and that we also believe that a smaller scale fundraising event should not be all of our items – we placed this basket in the Silent Auction.  If I were to guess, the retail value would have been well over $200.00.  But as you hear me say over and over and over again, donated items only bring 1/8th to 1/4  of retail in any Silent or Live Auction.  Well, it brought only $65.00 – exactly what I say day in and day out.  Proof positive.

Then, another issue which I address all the time is donated Vacation homes as well as locally donated items.  I tell our clients continually how if someone can get a vacation home either given to them free or less, they will not bid on those items.  Same with locally donated items, if you live closeby to a store which donated items in the fundraising event you are attending, you’re not going to bid to the retail value – you and everyone else is looking for deal 100% of the time.  This is always correct at every single event we do.

So, after the event was over and we were packing up to leave, I overheard a friend of our client say to her “I wasn’t going to bid on that because I can use it for free” about a Vacation Home which was in the Live Auction.

200167732-001I literally fell out of my seat yelling “Oh my God”….in fact, I said to my client “Remember that, we will talk about it tomorrow.”

Folks – people do not want donated items.  If you are solely relying on donated items, you will see the inevitable result – that everyone is looking for a deal.  People are NOT and will NOT bid on items anywhere near what they are worth despite the fact that they are attending a charity event.  This NEVER EVER happens!!!

People bid with their wallets, not with their hearts.  It’s sad, gotcha, but it’s the truth.  Wake up to the reality of fundraising.  Fundraising is a treacherous place to be.  There are monsters under the bed if you go looking.

If you understand the reality of the reality, you will make the right decisions which will always prove to be profitable.

On another note, smaller charities believe that consigned items (like ours) pull money away from their donated ones.  This cannot be farther from the truth, in fact, they pull money out of the crowd that would not have been spent otherwise.  This is the same belief as previously stated above – that people pay full retail for donated items (Fantasy and Myth).  In fact, the profit they make on our items at the starting bid far exceeds the highest bids on the donated items.  I challenge anyone reading this to see how people will win items at very low levels for the donated items but will bid on our items which the starting bids are much much higher.

Your guests DO NOT walk into your charity fundraiser with blinders on and a pocket full blindof cash, throw the money up in the air and spend it blindly.  This ideal or thought process can’t be further from the truth but for some reason, charities think this way.  Your guests bid on items they want and will bid heavily on them.  However, if the items have a known retail, they are looking for a deal and will not bid anywhere near the retail.  However, on items such as ours or another provider, these items have no known retail causing your guests to make incredibly high bids over and over and over again.

This my friends is the “Reality of the Reality of donated items.”  I am not saying do not go after donations and only use consigned items, I am saying if you are going after donations, to use them in a way that they have a certain high profit return.

If you would like help with understanding the reality of charity fundraising and how to use your donations in such a way that they have a very high return, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help you.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Joe Namath New York Jets autographed Helmet

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We are proud to be sending this Joe Namath New York Jets autographed full size helmet along with a bunch of other Charity auction items to a charity auction in New York City.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a ” One Stop Shop ” convenient setting.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Rare Charity Auction item

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1980 Team USA “Miracle on Ice” Olympic Hockey Team autographed Jersey.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a ” One Stop Shop ” convenient setting. http://www.BWUnlimited.com

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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