Facebook page: Me and The Girls

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Auction...part 1

Ok, I realized that I needed something BIG to raise the next $1000+ that I needed in order to walk.  Another bake sale or fb challenge was not going to cut it; I needed a big event.  And the only thing I thought I could pull off (after looking into a bunch of ideas from the 3 day message boards) was a silent auction.  The information I found said that it was a big payoff, but ALOT of work.  Sigh.  My teammates were not interested in helping with the enormous amount of preparation work that goes into an auction, since they still had people that were going to donate to them and weren't having trouble meeting their minimum. Sigh.  So I started on my own...

At first, I planned on using a fundraising/ auction company I found online that would ship you sports/ movie memorabilia to use in an auction, on consignment.  Which meant that you got a certain percentage of the things that sold, and you could just return things that didn't for no charge.  While looking into this my husband started to get interested in helping (yay!!)!  It was very nice to have someone helping me, so the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and "in over my head" abated slightly. So anyway, while in the process of communicating w/ this company via email, my husband saw a flyer in the mail about a sports memorabilia store in town that provided the same services!  That sounded so much better, since I could walk into the store and talk face to face w/ someone, and wouldn't have to worry about any shipping problems.  So my husband and I went to the store, and we signed up to do an auction with their merchandise. It was very simple and we even got to hand pick things we wanted to auction off.  Check!  One thing to cross of the list...

Next, we needed to find somewhere to hold the auction.  I was NOT willing to resort to doing this in my backyard!  So in reading about how other people worked their auctions, we saw that most did them in a bar or a rented hall.  Well our attempt at getting a local firehouse (where my husband has volunteered for years) to donate the use of their hall for a night was shot down, so we got the idea of using a sports bar/ restaurant.  So I called Buffalo Wild Wings and spoke to the marketing manager, and arranged a meeting with her to discuss our auction idea. At this point I was so far out of my comfort zone I was physically ill!!   My husband was extremely helpful and volunteered to put together a power point presentation to show, and to go with me to the meeting.   So a few weeks later, with my in-law's laptop and my supportive husband, I met with the manager.  She was intrigued by the idea, and told me BWW had never held an auction before.  She also wanted to hold a "dine-out" nite where we would get a percentage of sales for the night of the auction from people who brought a flyer with them (which we would design), and ok'd our idea of a 50/50 raffle.She even offered to make a BWW basket for us to raffle off as well!  Since this was a new thing for them though, we would have to have a 2nd meeting with the regional marketing manager... Sigh.  Another thing to stress out about!

So as we continued to prepare for meeting number 2, we also continued to email HUNDREDS of hotels, spas, casinos, resorts, adventure places, amusement parks, etc. to try to get more and different auction items. We visited, wrote, and emailed everyone everywhere.  We got very few responses though.  But we were able to get a casino/hotel package in Atlantic City, a family YMCA membership, a local restaurant gift card, and a local shop donated an item from Vera Bradley.  I really thought more places would respond to such a worthy cause, but we were largely ignored.  But I did learn a valuable personal lesson:  the worst thing that can happen by asking is someone will say "no," and that someone saying "no" is not nearly as bad as you think it will be.  In fact you get used to it!  And that for every thousand times you hear/read the word "no," someone is bound to say "yes!"  I know people have told me about this lesson from their experiences, but experiencing it for myself made me feel like a stronger person, and almost a feeling of being liberated.  I no longer got physically ill or embarrassed from asking for a donation, and it felt wonderful!

Meeting number 2 went just as well as the first meeting with Buffalo Wild Wings, and the auction was on!  I still felt overwhelmed, but also wonderful!  I couldn't believe what I had accomplished so far, and I was proud of doing so much by myself.  So now I had a place, and items for my auction.  Now I just had to get people to come!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment