Archive for the ‘Auctions’ Category

ucla-logoHead Men’s Basketball Coach, Ben Howland, along with current and former UCLA basketball players will be playing a big part in a special event this week. UCLA has teamed up with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America to raise awareness and money to find a cure for the devastating illness.

The event is a “Speed-Free-Throw” contest where teams of ten can enter the for a fee of $950.00. Individuals who wish to watch and enjoy the experience without competing can enter for $125.00. The event includes an appearance from Coach Howland, mingling with UCLA players, food from some of LA’s best restaurants, and a silent auction with special and unique items.

UCLA is creating a feeling of additional good-will in their athletics donors (who are likely the patrons of an event like this) by providing an atmosphere that combines their passion for UCLA Athletics with the reward of benefiting such an important cause. An event such as this can strengthen a donors desire to stay connected with UCLA and their awareness of Huntington’s Disease.

In addition, this event is also an example of a unique fundraising strategy that places the donors in the athletic arena. Similar to a golf tournament, an activity which allows donors to display their own athletic ability provides them with a unique bond to the school and their athletes.

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williamsAt the University of Illinois, two famous alumni athletes are making the trip back to Champaign to help with fundraising efforts at their alma-mater. Deron Williams and Steve Stricker will each give back to the university in the form of their appearances at major fundraising events this fall.

Williams will host the Illini Hoop Legends for Charity Dinner and Auction as well as a golf tournament the next day. Both events will feature well-known Illini basketball alumni with the focus of the event being on the 1989 team that advanced to the Final Four. With so many basketball legends in attendance, Illinois is certainly aiming to draw high-capacity donors to the events. Proceeds from the events will be split between the basketball program at Illinois and Williams’ local charities.

Stricker, in similar fashion, is working with his alma-mater to host the annual Stricker Illini Golf Classic. Like Williams, Stricker’s event will include a gala reception and auction in conjunction with the event in order to maximize the fundraising efforts. The tournament, which is so popular that it will certainly sell out, will have two waves of tee times, again offering many donors the opportunity to participate. All proceeds from Sticker’s event will benefit the Illini golf program.

Both of these events follow a successful formula: bring high-profile alumni back to campus, provide donors with first class experiences, combine the event with a dinner/auction, and make the event an annual staple in fundraising efforts.

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Sports memorabilia is a staple at every athletic auction

Sports memorabilia is a staple at every athletic auction

Looking for a proven method of fundraising on a college campus? Look no further than one of the oldest techniques around, the auction. Boise State University is one of the many universities around the nation using this simple and effective way to raise money for their student-athletes and athletic departments.

For years, individual sports have held auctions to benefit their specific programs, earning enough money for an extra cross-country road game or new balls for practice. However, to take full advantage of this giving opportunity, departments should investigate hosting a large-scale auction. At Boise State this spring, the Bronco Athletic Association and Boise State University Alumni Association will team up to host their annual Boise State Auction (started in 1983). Proceeds from the event, in their case, go directly to academic and athletic scholarships. According to the Boise State website, over $2,800,000 has been raised during the past 12 auctions, or approximately $233,000 per year. The price to attend the event starts a $150 per person, and climbs as high as $6,000 for a table of 10.

In addition to their live auction held every spring, Boise State also supports an online auction that runs from November to March each year. Items include specialty sports items as well as hard-to-find Boise State memorabilia that dedicated fans and donors would appreciate. The key for BSU appears to be their partnership with the university’s alumni association. By “tapping” into another set of donors, the athletics department is opening themselves up to money that may have otherwise been off limits.

How then, with an auction, can you make the experience above and beyond the typical auction atmosphere? I had the opportunity to be involved in the Aggie Auction, held each May in Davis, California at UC Davis. One of many unique aspects of the Aggie Auction is the degree to which the student-athletes become a part of the event. Student-athletes are invited to mingle with the donors during the silent auctions, they are the servers/wait-staff during the meal portion of the program, and the student-athletes often provide the entertainment during the night. I can promise that few of the attendees of the 2007 Aggie Auction will forget when the men’s basketball team’s 7-foot center took the stage to sing a modified version of “New York, New York” (modified to “Davis, Davis”).

By giving the group of donors at the Aggie Auction a chance to see a side of the UC Davis student-athletes that differs from what is on the field of competition, UC Davis is adding value to the their donor base. When donors feel a more personal connection with the student-athletes of the university they support, their willingness to become further engaged will likely raise.

Of course Boise State and UC Davis are not alone, and many other universities host auctions each year. An auction, be it online or live at the university, can bring an annual flow of cash that will always be welcome. Here is a sample of other such events held at universities across the nation:

Western Oregon, Wolfpack Athletic Auction

Augustana College Athletic Club Auction

Humboldt State University Sports Auction

Drury University Athletic Auction

Georgia College Athletics Auction

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