The Significance of 2009
This month I was reminded of two life-changing events that happened in 2009. Three weeks ago we were visited by twin sisters Meghana and Sanjana from India on their United States tour during their break from medical school. It seems like just yesterday that Meghana, a dear friend and extended family member, was living with us through her Rotary Youth Exchange in 2009.
That same year I met Glen Fladeboe of Fladeboe Auctions at the American Diabetes Association’s gala. Several months later Glen invited me to consult with some of his clients, helping them determine the right live auction packages for their audience and develop strategies for the fund-a-need or direct giving moment. I am proud to be in my eighth year of consulting with Fladeboe Auctions, one of the largest charity auction companies in the country.
As we enter into April, the busiest gala season of the year, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas for exciting and high-revenue producing live auction packages. Read on for ideas from Glen and his team of auctioneers.
What Local Auctioneers Love to Sell
When Ann Plans and Fladeboe Auctions consult with nonprofit clients on the best live auction packages, we focus on in-home dining experiences, travel, and other unique experiences such as premium sports packages at a professional sporting event or a VIP experience at the hottest concert in town. As you can see from the ideas below, when you can put a special spin on an experience, the sky’s the limit in terms of perceived value and selling potential.
- Some of the most exciting packages I have sold recently include a Paisley Park tour with the head of the museum, naming rights for a cancer center lounge at Hennepin County Medical Center which raised $20,000, and a Thanksgiving Dinner for 20 in the winning bidder’s home prepared by a local chef.
- A very fun item I sold recently was a six day,five night Napa and Sonoma Valley bike tourfor two. The package included most meals, wine tastings, accommodations, a flight voucher, and all the necessary gear. What was especially unique was that the winning bidder had the option of using electric-assist bikeswhich opened this package up for riders of various abilities.
- Earlier this month I sold a parking spot at a Catholic school for $19,000. This sale was much less about the value of the item and more about what guests were willing to spend crazy money on in support of the school.
- One of my clients offers a long weekend at a cabin every year. The word has spread that this is an incredible property, and there is increased competitive bidding each year. This particular cabin is only a few hours away from the Twin Cities and sleeps 20+ people with access to a pontoon, jet skis and paddle boards. There is so much excitement around this item!
Katie Imholte Gabriel
- Earlier this month I sold a historic home in southwest County Kerry Ireland which sleeps 10 comfortably. I had an entire table of guests go together to bid on this item, and it sold for $7,500. Each time this group bid on the item, it created so much energy and excitement in the room. It was our highest selling item of the night!
- If I could make any live auction package come together it would be a mission trip to somewhere in the world that brings the buyer and the mission of the organization together in a way that creates heartfelt memories and an emotional investment with the organization that can last a lifetime. My family is currently in Nicaragua to see the work of one of our clients, Feed My Starving Children.
Kristine Fladeboe Duininck
- My best live auction experience was the day I sold one hour of ice time and a pizza party with Zach Parise from the Minnesota Wild. Zach was in attendance at the event, and I had him help me auction the item. We sold it for $21,500!
- Almost all organizations sell trips, but adding an amazing experience to a vacation package is something I wish more clients could do. I sold a backstage Hamilton experience in New York City with dinner with a cast member for double package value. A wine trip to Sonoma with a day at the Audi raceway went for three times the value. These are the kinds of boosts that can bring great returns on vacations.
Next month we look forward to sharing what Ann Plans is up to this year as we celebrate our 10thanniversary. Until then, happy spring – and happy bidding!