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How To Capture Fund-a-Need Donations at your Fundraising Gala

Most events are incorporating Fund-a-Needs, Fund-a-Cause, or an Ask at their fundraising events these days. Many events are scrapping the live auction all together and focusing solely on this portion of the evening for donations. The fund-a-need is one of my favorite portions of the evening because it gives everyone in the audience an opportunity to make a difference. 

The biggest concern for my event chairs, directors of development and foundation directors is how to capture these donations. There are several ways to ensure that these donations are captured and I will cover three of the most common.

1. Paddle Raise - When bidders raise their paddles at the amount they would like to donate, volunteers come around and capture their bidder numbers under the amount they have committed to and it is added to their check out. This is the most traditional way to do capture bids. What's required? Many Volunteers, Bid Paddles, Pens and Paper. Pros: creates excitement in giving. Cons: room for human error as sometimes the volunteers don't see everyone or the bidders lower their paddles before a volunteer can get to them.

2. Commitment Cards - This is where we would ask people to raise their hands to show their commitment and build excitement and then we would ask them to follow through on their commitment by filling out a card with their credit card information and commitment amount. What's required? Pens, Premade Fund-a-Need commitment cards, Envelopes on each table.  Pros: Donors do not have to sit in check-out. Cons: Some people don't worry about raising their hands as they fill out their cards instead which will cut into the excitement and therefore impact giving as a whole. Also, some people do not feel comfortable filling out these cards at each table.

3. Mobile Bidding: This is becoming more and more popular as technology is becoming a bigger part of our lives. People would use a mobile bidding device (provided by the mobile bidding company) or their own smart phones. What's Required? Mobile Bidding software (Such as BidPal). Pros: Real Time donation tracking, no check-out, many donors give more than once. Cons: Mobile bidding software costs money.

I have done fund-a-needs all three ways and have had a ton of success with each one. If you are wondering what is the best way to capture donations during your fund-a-need, contact me today and we can discuss what will work best for your event.