Their job is to get guests to bid and make sure they have a great time while doing it. But they do much more than that.
They put the “fun” in fundraising. Fundraising ambassadors run through the room, they point, clap and shout. Some have been known to climb on tables, others get down on bended knee. Their job is to get guests to bid and make sure they have a great time while doing it. But they do much more than that.
“Fundraising ambassadors help guests transfer their heart into money. They’re at the event for a reason. We help them feel good about giving,” said Shannon Mays, CAI, AARE, BAS, auctioneer and fundraising ambassador at Raising Paddles, and instructor at the Professional Ringmen’s Institute and World Wide College of Auctioneering. “We up the ante. If guests have fun and are engaged, they’re going to spend more money,” she said.
Misty Marquam, BAS, owner and principal auctioneer at Marquam Auction Agency, calls her fundraising ambassadors “Mavens.”
“On average we show about a 15% gain with our Mavens,” Marquam said.
Fundraising ambassadors can create moments with guests because they are on the floor. They interact one on one with bidders and build relationships.
Scott Jones, CAI, BAS, likes to set himself apart. The auctioneer and fundraising ambassador with Raising Paddles often wears unique outfits. But there’s a method to his madness. “A lot of times what I’m wearing will give people the opportunity to engage with me. It opens up a conversation,” he said.
Fundraising ambassadors have the ability to elevate the guest’s experience, add energy to an event and make it memorable.
“They have the ability to build trust with the audience. That’s important because people do business with people they like, people they know and respect, and most importantly, people they trust,” said Scott Robertson CAI, BAS, auctioneer at Scott Robertson’s Auctioneers and instructor for the NAA’s Benefit Auction Specialist course. Robertson was “a fundraiser auctioneer before it was cool.”
“Professional fundraising ambassadors know when to push and when to pull back. They read body language, focus on bidders who want to be recognized, and also on bidders who are low key. They are the auctioneer’s eyes and ears on the floor,” said Robertson.
Put out fires
Is there an unruly guest? Fundraising ambassadors can diffuse situations without disrupting the event. “Often times good fundraising ambassadors make their job look really easy. They take care of things and situations the charity may not even be aware of. They can help the charity avoid pitfalls that pop up unexpectedly,” said Robertson.
Thank you are two words that can make a big difference. “From start to finish we engage with the audience and every single person should leave feeling appreciated,” according to Mays.
Fundraising ambassadors can thank bidders immediately. They let guests know they made a difference, make them feel important. That gratitude can translate into money for the charity, not only during the event, but long afterward.
Find a benefit auctioneer in your area through the National Auctioneers Association.