Some of the fundraising auctions I conduct are large events with impressive auction catalogs to match. These auction catalogs can be expensive to print. In fact, printing costs are one of the highest expenses when producing a fundraising auction. Anything we can do to reduce unnecessary printing is good for your fundraiser’s bottom line.
One of my clients was brilliant. She dropped her charity auction catalog production costs from $14,000 to $7900. Impressive! But how did she do it?
1. Eliminated tabs in the benefit auction catalog Tabs are expensive. Although I think the tabs make it easier to find a particular silent auction ideas section, I do not think they are worth the added expense. Have the printer show you some other options (heavier-weight paper) as an alternative.
2. Take a look at layout and get more text on each page. You can reduce the font size to get more text per page and you can completely change up the layout. One bit of caution, fundraising auction catalog text must remain large enough for someone over 40 to read it. It doesn’t need to be as large as the font you might have on your website, but it needs to be a comfortable reading size. To test the font size, have your committee read it. They are representative of your guest population and can judge whether the font will work for most people.
Cutting costs by reshaping the charity auction catalog is an effective way to help your bottom line, but it’s not the only place to reduce expenses. If a budget reduction is in order, reduce expenses in areas that have hard-to-prove ROI. In their auction planning, my clients have cut expenses in the following areas over the last two years:
– Create your own floral arrangements versus using a florist
– Eliminate the auction catalog. An option is to prepare an online catalog.)
– Redesign the benefit auction catalog to get more for less.
– Use a DJ instead of a band.
– One group eliminated the entertainment entirely, mentioning (after this organization and I worked together for a year) that the benefit auctioneer was entertaining enough without the added cost of entertainment.
You and your benefit auction committee should take time to figure out budget priorities. Here are a few hints about what WON’T make you money.
– A killer local band will not help you make more money.
– Elaborate centerpieces will not help you make more money.
– Beautiful decor will not help you make more money.
– An expensive venue will not help make you more money.