FAQ - Alpenglow Benefit Auctions

FAQ

What is a “Benefit Auctioneer Specialist”?
A benefit auctioneer specialist is a highly trained fundraising professional who holds the “BAS” designation from the National Auctioneers Association. Auctioneers who hold the “BAS” specialize in consulting with organizations throughout the planning, implementation, and evaluation process of conducting a successful event. Less than 1% of auctioneers in the country hold this designation.

Can anyone call the bids and act as an auctioneer at a benefit auction?
We don’t believe so unless an organization is willing to assume a financial risk. There is a science and art to calling bids at a benefit auction, and by not utilizing a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist; you can actually leave money in the room at an event.

Why?
A non-professional benefit auctioneer probably doesn’t have training in reading bidder body language, intuitively knowing what bid increments to ask for and when it’s appropriate to sell an item and move on. All auctioneers call bids. However there are specialties within the profession that differentiate the type of auctions a person is trained for. You would not hire a “Storage Wars” auctioneer to conduct your benefit auction… professional fundraising auctioneers receive specialty training for their type of auction.

But we have used a volunteer in the past and have raised money?
That is wonderful, but did you leave money in the room? Were they trained on how to keep the event progressing, keep the crowd informed and entertained and inspire bidding? Most likely your volunteer did not have the training our BAS Auctioneers have had and continue to have. We take educational classes each year to stay on top of trends and changes in the industry and markets. Your volunteer does not have this training, and it can lead to disaster.

What is the added value to using a professional benefit auctioneer?
We bring fun and excitement to each event promoting mission and organizational goals. We will create an environment for future giving. This is called “the annuity factor”. Through the consultation process we understand what you do, what services you offer and who the major donors are. Our mission becomes aligned with yours.

What standards do you use for your professional auctioneers?
Alpenglow auctioneers have attended the Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) at Indiana University and/or earned their Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) designation from the National Auctioneers Association. They each have been involved in the auction business for at least 25 years. Your event is our business, so no matter the time or place of the event, it is 9am at the office for our team.

Is experience and education really important?
Experience, common sense, and continuing education are very important. This way we can stay on top of the latest trends in the industry and bring in new and innovative ideas to your organization to help with your fundraising needs. Our staff attends seminars and conferences within the auction industry throughout the year.

Will the guests be able to understand what the auctioneer is saying during the auction?
Yes. Although the Alpenglow auctioneers are skilled in the auctioneers “chant” and sell like that in other formats, we do not go at super-fast speeds for events. We want everyone to participate and understand what is going on. That is what makes the event fun for all guests. We are committed to helping you raise the most money possible, not talking fast! It usually takes 2+ minuets to auction each item at a charity event.

Do you work with celebrity emcee’s?
We have on many occasions. Each has been very successful. By playing up the talents and strengths of both the celebrity and benefit auctioneer, the organization has a win-win situation.

How should an event schedule be planned?
Each event is unique and has its own special needs. By working with our consultants we can help you achieve the best return on your investment.

Should the live auction be the final segment of the program?
If fundraising is a primary goal, the live auction should be positioned to bring in the most money possible to maximize your financial return. This is never at the end of an evening.

Can you name two things a benefit auctioneer should never do?
They should never work without a high quality professional sound system and they should never badger, browbeat, or embarrass anyone attending your event.

We are thinking of having an event, our first. What do we need to know?
The first question is are you having a party or a fundraiser? You can have parts of both, but you need to determine the focus of your event.

We definitely want a benefit auction? Where should we start?
You have a goal and a plan to raise money, Alpenglow can provide the consultations and experience to help you reach and even exceed your goal. With proper planning the sky is the limit.

So I am a newbie, and have never used a professional fundraising auctioneer, how can you help?
Alpenglow Benefits can help you establish the timeline of your event, the most important foundation you can have. Next we can work with the committee or board to help streamline responsibilities and help all progress to their respective goals. These are the two baselines that will make your event a success.

What is the cost?
We are the line item in the budget that makes you money. It does not cost, it pays to have a professional benefit auctioneer. We offer a variety of services to personally suit the needs of your organization; including but not limited to bid calling, consulting, supplies, emcee & announcement services, professional partnerships and auction and/or consignment items.

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