Posts Tagged ‘Auctions’

UALRThe University of Arkansas at Little Rock recently held their inaugural SpectacUALR event, a silent auction and awards ceremony to benefit UALR Athletics. The event (held in their newly constructed Jack Stephens Center) featured two main objectives, recognize alumnus Annette Fisher as the SpectacUALR Honoree and raise money for UALR Athletics.

Both objectives were met in tremendous fashion during the event which saw over 500 attendees and $180,000 raised to support the athletic department and their honored guest. The funds were raised in a variety of ways as the event promoted ticket sales, corporate partnerships, and a silent auctions. Surprisingly, $100,000 of the revenue generated was from the former two, and not silent auctions (as most benefit banquets do).

ULAR’s new approach to a banquet event shows that auction items are not the only revenue generator for athletics departments looking for big event results. Corporate partners and the ticket office can cash in on the goodwill created by a large benefit event. With UALR hosting the event in their own facility, the costs were certainly kept at a minimum. Their event shows that successful banquets and auctions should not be exclusively for donors, but for corporate sponsors and ticket holders as well.



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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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ebayAthletics Departments looking for new and innovative ways to increase their donations must look to the partnership between online auction giant, eBay, and the nonprofit organization, MissionFish. This new avenue for fundraising is simple and can easily provide value to intercollegiate athletics departments.

Here’s how it works: a donor can sell an item on eBay just like anyone else, except instead of accepting the payment for themselves they can designate an athletics department to receive the funds. eBay takes care of the auction, while MissionFish handles the collection and disbursement of the donation and keeps track of each organizations contributions. The best part, the donations are still tax deductible for the donor.

Or, if a donor gives a physical gift-in-kind, the athletic department can sell the item on eBay and collect the proceeds. Either way, the eBay-MissionFish combination provides a new way for university athletics to raise funds.

Universities, it seems, are just starting to explore this service, which eBay has named “Giving Works.” IUPUI and Lewis & Clark Athletics both have accounts listed on the eBay Giving Works site, which also allows direct cash gifts through PayPal.

Whether looking for a new way to solicit funds from donors, or looking to sell old items sitting around the athletics department, eBay-MissionFish’s Giving Works is certainly an idea to explore. For more information, click here.

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The floating green at Coeur d'Alene Golf Course was a stop for a WSU Golf Classic

The floating green at Coeur d'Alene Golf Course was a stop for a WSU Golf Classic

The spring often ushers in booster club caravans, public appearances by coaches, and many other events to stimulate interest and giving during the summer months. Washington State University’s Athletic Foundation delivers a different twist to these traditional events by hosting 11 “Golf Classics” throughout their region from May to September.

These golf outings, as is prominently displayed on the webpage dedicated to them, are soliciting proceeds that directly benefit the Washington State University Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund. Of course, golf tournaments require many hours of preparation and organization, not to mention the high fees that many courses charge. WSU has compensated for these factors by hosting multiple events (fewer golfers) and getting sponsorships for each stop (Sterling Savings Bank, Banner Bank, and Bank of Whitman Palouse, to name a few).

What makes these golf stops unique, and more successful, is the added benefits that come with the golf. Head coaches and prominent members of their athletic administration are always present at the courses and among the players. In addition, most of the stops include a social after the golf coupled with a banquet dinner and auction with all proceeds going to the scholarship fund.

WSU makes registration for these events easy by providing complete instructions and registration on the Athletic Foundation website. Guests can also sponsor a hole at one of the outings online and will earn traditional priority points that typically determine ticket and parking designations for home football and basketball games.

By providing a great event at many locations throughout the northwest, Washington State’s Athletic Foundation will be able to reach out to more donors than they would have with a traditional, large-scale golf tournament closer to home. Donors will get more personal attention at the events, and will be able to interact with coaches and staff in an intimate setting.

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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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