Summer Days and Lively Auctions
Last week I was vacationing in Kelowna, British Columbia which included biking through the stunning Myra Canyon, wine tastings at some of the more than 230 wineries in the area, cheering on the Kelowna Falcons minor league baseball team, and running the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon.
This week I’m back home gearing up with the Ann Plans team for this Saturday’s Guthrie Theater Gala along with our friends and colleagues from Fladeboe Advancement, one of the largest benefit auction companies in the country. Auctioneer Glen Fladeboe will be selling five premium packages including a dinner for 10 at Sea Change, a week-long ski vacation at a luxury three-bedroom home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a walk on role in A Christmas Carol.
Even though we’re technically in the “lazy days of summer,” the Twin Cities gala scene has become a year-round affair! This month we are revisiting one of our most popular newsletter topics from two years ago – fun and exciting live auction packages that are raising lots of money for local nonprofits.
What Local Auctioneers Love to Sell
When Ann Plans and Fladeboe Advancement consult with nonprofit clients on the best live auction packages, we focus on dining experiences, travel, and other unique experiences. As you will see from the ideas below, when you put a special spin on an experience, the sky’s the limit when it comes to fundraising potential.
Thank you to the Fladeboe Advancement team for sharing insights on what’s selling well!
- Glen Fladeboe consistently reminds clients that “food is the clear leader” when it comes to live auction packages. Over the last few weeks, a theme for Glen’s events has been dinners hosted by CEOs including a Best Buy Foundation dinner that sold for $30,000, Miracle Ear Foundation dinner that raised $25,000, and a barbecue hosted by the CEO of Summit Academy that sold for $20,000.
- Andy Imholte had the opportunity to sell a pub crawl with a very popular priest from the Basilica which he was able to sell three times at $10,000 each, as well as a private distillery party for 25 with former Minnesota Viking and Super Bowl Champion Matt Birk which sold for $9,000 three times!
- Even though Hamilton first debuted in 2015, Katie Imholte Gabriel noted that Hamilton packages in New York City and Chicago are still selling well!
- I love this fun item sold by Dave Nelson – a six-day, five-night Napa and Sonoma Valley bike tour for 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 bikes which opened this package up for riders of various abilities.
- People will spend a lot on their kids, and a day-in-the-life of your child video recently sold for $6,000 at a Montessori school. This creative package involved a videographer filming a child for a day, and then creating a high-end video that included photos taken throughout the year.
- One of the hottest items to score is an in-home dinner for eight people prepared by a local chef in the winning bidder’s home. Several of our clients have had the opportunity to sell the chef’s table for six at Bellecour which consistently sells for several thousand dollars. Another spin on the “so very hot food-based items” category is a hands-on experience such as a pasta making class at Mucci’s Italian or a dessert making class at Edwards Dessert Kitchen.
- Unique travel packages we’ve seen this year include a guided tour and stay at a Montana working ranch, a five-day stay in Iceland with the donor customizing the trip to fit with the winning bidder’s interests and style of travel, and a culinary tour of Nashville.
- Think big when it comes to sporting events, and create a trip focused on a major sporting event such as The Masters, Super Bowl, World Series, U.S. Open, Daytona 500, or the Kentucky Derby.
- Stacey McCurnin had a lot of fun selling an Oscars party that brought the red carpet to the winning bidder’s home where the party of 12 was entertained with food and drink, the show, and themed games and activities.
- A mission-based item is a powerful addition to a live auction. Kristine Fladeboe Duininck had the opportunity to sell naming rights of a truck needed by an organization working to end poverty in Guatemala. This truck replaced a vehicle that broke down earlier in the year used to haul materials to build new homes for families in need, and the naming rights sold for $20,000!
While fundraising events are always on our mind in Minnesota, we hope you can push “pause” next week in honor of July 4th. We wish you a fun, safe, and relaxing holiday!