A Brief Look at Events AFGI has Helped With

At Auctioneers Fundraising Group International (AFGI) we have been honoured over the years to work with our clients representing a wide range of non-profit causes. When new clients approach us to work with them one of their first questions is usually – how will a silent auction work at one of their events?

Fortunately, AFGI is a leader in the silent auction world. For over 40 years our family-run business has been dedicated to providing the highest quality auction experience for our clients and their guests. Whether you are holding an intimate event for 50 or a large-scale event for hundreds AFGI can work with you to create a profitable and memorable event.

While AFGI is based in Markham, Ontario we work with clients all over the North America to support their non-profit endeavours.

There are four types of service we provide:

Silent Auctions

AFGI provides a wide range of items for people to ‘silently’ bid on via bid sheets we provide. Silent auctions often take place over a number of hours and can occur while other activities (cocktail reception, dinner) is taking place. AFGI is happy to tailor items for your silent auction to your audience’s interests. AFGI takes care of all the sourcing, set-up and take-down.

Live Auctions

AFGI also offers the traditional auction experience for our clients. As AFGI has been in business for decades we have the best live auctioneers at our disposal and all of our auctioneers are from an accredited school and are in good standing with the National Auctioneers Association. Unlike for-profit auctioneers our auctioneers are skilled at working fundraising events – and have provided services for hundreds of successful events. We offer customized live auction items and packages and are dedicated to making your charitable cause the most money possible.

Online & Mobile Bidding

AFGI is a leader in auction technology – we only work with technology developed by fellow auctioneers and know what works and what doesn’t. We happily pass this expertise on to our clients. If you do not wish to hold an in-person event or auction we can provide the technology and support to online-only timed auctions and love online bidding with real-time video and audio. People can bid from the home or office – and with our technology built with the bidder in mind; the ease in which people can bid will add greatly to the profits of your online auction.

Auction 2 Go

Many non-profits we have worked with over the years have enjoyed getting their board members and other volunteers involved in sourcing items for their charity auctions. In this instances AFGI can still be a great resource for your organization; we can help augment your auction items if you feel you require ‘big ticket’ items are missing, help organize your items at the event and even help with bid sheets. AFGI are experts in all aspects of auctions and we enjoy working closely with our clients and acting as consultants to help you organize a memorable and profitable event.

At AFGI we work closely with our clients to design an Auction event that will be entertaining, lucrative and fun. Below is a selection of successful events we have executed for our clients.

Parachute Gala 2015

Created in 2012 after the amalgamation of four charities who are dedicated to preventing injuries at home, at play and on the move. Parachute works coast to coast to keep people safe in all areas of their lives. In 2015 the organizers approached us to be part of their inaugural gala. Held at the Fairmont Royal York the event was a who’s who of Canadian entertainment. Highlights of the event were appearances by Martin Short, Jason Priestly, Deborah Cox and even Wayne Gretzky. AFGI provided an exciting live auction for the event – raising important funds for this important charity. Live item auctions included sports experiences with Wayne Gretzky’s fantasy camp and a golf experience with PGA Tour Pro Ian Leggatt. We worked closely with the organizers to tailor the live auction items to suit their audience. By providing once-in-a-lifetime experiential activities for the guests AFGI helped Parachute create a memorable inaugural event.

Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation

AFGI was extremely proud to work on this exciting, high-profile, event held at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. Country singer Garth Brooks started his non-profit in 1999; it is dedicated to providing support for various children’s charities and causes. His foundation has partnered with thousands of athletes from the fields of baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer to hold events which raise money for children. AFGI provided a wide range of items for guests at the Wynn hotel to choose from: from sign guitars from rock n’ roll royalty, to signed sports jerseys and exquisite jewellery items AFGI went above and beyond for this important event.

Toronto Taste

One of Canada’s best-known fundraisers was held at the Corus Quay and was presented by The Daniels Corporation. It was an incredible evening and raised $850,000 for Second Harvest – Canada’s largest food rescue charity. During this annual event AFGI was again pleased to provide auctioneer services for this important event – in fact our auction this year broke the previous record for funds raised. Not only did we provide unique culinary themed items for people to bid on but AFGI also broadcasted the auction live online which opened to event to bidders in Canada and around the world.

AFGI is Canada’s top charity auction company and is staffed with highly skilled staff and professional charity auctioneers. We have extensive experience in managing complex events and we are constantly striving to learn more about our clients and their guests so we can provide a curated array of items for their events. We are leaders in new auction technology and are often consulted when new features are developed. When working with AFGI we can assure all of our clients that our family values and dedication to quality are infused in everything we do – our goal is always to raise the most money for your charity.

So, whether you are organizing an event for 50 or 500 give us a call to learn how we can increase your profits and work with you to create a fun, entertaining and memorable event. We can be reached at 416-733-2344 or at info@afgi.ca – we look forward to hearing from you!

So what’s it like to hold a silent auction with AFGI?

Silent Auction - Silent Auctions with AFGI.ca

AFGI is Canada’s top live and silent auction fundraising experts. We have been in business for over 40 years and have provided our clients in Toronto and the GTA professional auction services at a silent auction or charity fundraiser at no cost, no risk and without hidden fees. If you are organizing a charity fundraiser for your non-profit please contact us so we can share how we help you raise money for your worthy cause.

Below we recently caught up with a client we helped a couple of years ago. Here’s what they had to say about working with AFGI.

Q:           What kind of event were you holding?

A:            Well my family had recently experience a brush with cancer with one of our family members. Fortunately the person went through treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and after a few months of treatment the cancer went into remission. We were so grateful that we wanted to hold some sort of fundraiser to support cancer research and the Princess Margaret Hospital. So we decided to hold a dinner as a fundraiser.

Q:           Why did you decide to hold a silent auction?

A:            When we looked at our event we realized that we had a cocktail hour with no entertainment. We also thought there would be an opportunity to raise more funds beyond the price of the event ticket – so we started thinking about having a silent auction set up during the cocktail hour prior to the dinner.

Q:           How did you find AFGI?

A:            We started with a google search! And it was pretty apparent that AFGI had a long history of producing excellent silent auctions. So we contacted them and told them about our event…from the first phone call they were fantastic to work with and very helpful.

Q:           Silent Auctions sounds like a lot of work…how did you find the experience?

A:            That’s what we were worried about! There was no way my family had the time to call companies and ask for donations or organize all the pick up of items. To our great relief AFGI did all of that! Not only that but they also took the time to ask about who was attending the event and what we thought our guests would be interested in. We knew a lot of the people attending and knew they were interested in sports – so AFGI pulled together a great selection of items that included sports memorabilia.

Q:           What did you learn from holding the silent auction?

A:            A lot! I honestly don’t think our event would have been nearly successful had we not had a silent auction. At the beginning we thought a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and some speeches would be enough. But the silent auction added a whole other layer of entertainment and excitement to the event. We actually had to extend our cocktail hour to accommodate everyone who wanted to bid on items! I noticed it was a great way for people to meet and make small talk during the cocktail hour, not everyone knew each other but by the end of the event complete strangers were chatting away to each other. We also noticed that people that finished eating a little early got up and wandered around the silent auction items to take a second look. AFGI left all the items out until after the event and people were still making bids on the way out!

Q:           How much did your charity make from the silent auction?

A:            We made $2000.00 for the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Q:           Would you use AFGI again?

A:            Oh definitely! We only had to meet with them a couple of times to discuss what we wanted and then AFGI just did everything related to the silent auction. They set up everything, created all the bid sheets, stayed during the event to answer questions and then removed all the items at the end of the event. We would never have been able to pull of a silent auction of such high quality without AFGI

The Benefit of Holding a Silent Auction for your Non-Profit

 

If you are a non-profit and are looking for a unique way to raise money for your organization you should consider holding a silent auction. Beyond the money you can raise from the auction, there are a couple of other reasons for your non-profit to consider holding this fun event.

The concept of the silent auction is fairly straightforward:

  • non-profits solicit goods and services from businesses
  • items are then usually assembled into an event space and guests are invited to attend for a set duration of time
  • the event can be ticketed or open by invitation
  • guests are invited to ‘bid’ on the items on a sheet of paper placed in front of the item (the paper takes the place of the auctioneer – hence the term ‘silent’)
  • bidding will close at a set time and whomever has the highest bid on closing ‘wins’ the item

There are number of themes that your silent auction can take advantage of.

Artwork, Jewelry and Collectibles

Some of the most heavily sought after items at silent auctions are artwork, jewelry and collectibles. Offering framed prints, estate jewelry and other fine art associated collectibles is a sure way to get people bidding on unique one-of-a kind items they can’t find anywhere else.

Experience Packages

Experiential auction items are always popular. You can offer your clients everything from day-trips in your local area to multi-day vacations. Beyond auctioning off hotel nights and flights you can also offer all-inclusive getaways or airmiles for guests to use on their own. Many organizations also choose to develop experience packages related to the purpose of their non-profit (think art museum offers an art-viewing trip to Paris).

Genuine Sports and Hollywood Memorabilia

Memorabilia, whether from the world of sports or Hollywood, always make for successful silent auctions. You can offer: signed memorabilia, posters and tickets from past events and items of historical value. When organizing a sports related event you will also want to make sure you offer items from local sports teams. Many organizations incorporate sports-related experience packages to their event – tickets to a big event, meeting a sport legend – are guaranteed to drive the bidding (and your donations) up.

Spa and Wellness Packages

Spa days, massages, meditation, yoga classes – these items have never been more popular! Of interest to both men and women, these items make for great gifts at any time of the year. Spa packages can also be incorporated with weekend getaways.

Numismatic Collectibles (Coins, Banknotes, Silver & Gold Bullion)

One of the most traditional items of any auction are numismatic collectibles. By providing an interesting array of coins, banknotes and even silver & gold bullion, you are giving your guests the opportunity to learn more about the value for these sought after items.

Food Items/Restaurant Gift Certificates

For years people have been interested in fine foods and hard to get items – which is why food items have become so popular at silent auctions. People will gladly bid on baskets of items of their favourite goodies. You can also offer restaurant gift certificates from the best restaurants in your city. The advantage of offering food/restaurant items is that the restaurants located in your city will be eager to promote their offerings to your audience as a way to market their business/restaurant.

When planning your silent auction you don’t need to be constrained by one of the above themes – you can combine all of the items above to give your guests an incredible selection of bidding options to choose from.

Building your Donor Prospect Pool

Silent auctions are a wonderful way to attract attention to your organization and increase the people in your donor prospect pool. Many organizations choose to combine their silent auction with a dinner or cocktail party – creating a fun event allows you to sell tickets through your established fundraising channels and beyond. It is also a good opportunity to invite individuals that may be entirely new to your organization.

As any fundraising professional will tell you, identifying and cultivating a potential donor takes great time and care. If you are an organization that holds events for donor cultivation then you realize the time it requires to create a unique event. Holding a silent auction accomplishes these goals – you can tailor the auction to suit your guests preferences, and instantly create a fun event where you can meet your guests and network. Silent auctions are also great ways to get your board or fundraising committee involved, by asking your high-level volunteers to help sell tickets for your event you are expanding your community with like-minded people. While a lot of work, silent auctions can create contact point with potential donors that can establish fundraising patterns that can contribute to your organization for years.

At AFGI we offer professional management of your silent auction; we work closely with our clients to ensure that your event is held to the highest standard. One of the most time-consuming parts of organizing a silent auction is gathering items to be auctioned off. This is where AFGI can truly help your organization – we can provide you with a large assortment of items for your silent auction. Auction items can be tailored to your audience and your event theme. Our staff are experienced in setting up and dissasembling your event space and will be present throughout the event to offer assistance to you and your guests. We also manage all of the bid sheets and the opening bid process. AFGI has mastered a quick and efficient check-out process POS technology and will provided you with a detailed summary of all bids along with a final reconciliation.

At AGFI we pride ourselves on executing events that sets us apart in the industry. We apply proven marketing techniques to your silent auction and strive to make your event memorable.

We look forward to working with you!

AFGI will motivate your guests to feel generous with their hard earned money by:

  • Applying proven marketing techniques
  • Having the right products in front of them
  • Putting “show business” in the auction and create a thrill of bidding that will drive up bidding on all items

Many organizations do not exploit the more powerful strategies that make fundraising auctions successful because they don’t know about them.

People who attend charitable events with AFGI managing the auction, come away feeling they have received something of value, as well as that they have given to a cause they believe in.