Auctions are a crucial fundraising effort for many choruses and the success of them often relies on member involvement. So how can chorus members help?
Join the Planning Committee
Typically a volunteer auction coordinator manages the event planning. But in some cases, the coordinator may need a committee to help. One way that members can get involved is to join this committee which helps create the marketing materials required to promote the auction, motivates other members to get involved, solicits donations themselves, promotes the event, and coordinates the live event.
Help Promote the Auction via Email
Using a sample email, chorus members can help promote the auction and bidding by forwarding to their friends and family.
Hi friends and family,
My chorus is hosting an auction from [dates]. It is an important fundraiser for us and I hope you will consider bidding on an item. We have all kinds of items that you would enjoy such as [list items]. You can also help me by forwarding this along to your friends. I would appreciate your support!
-[Chorus Member Name]
Help Promote the Auction via Social Media
Chorus members can promote the auction via their social channels by retweeting, liking, and sharing all auction-related posts. Members can also help create custom content for the chorus's social channels. For example, if a member donated an item they could film a quick video of themselves with the item to promote it. They can then post to their social channels and tag the chorus!
Members can help contact local businesses and request donations. Items like restaurant gift cards, sports tickets, music performance tickets, fitness classes, and museum passes can be easily obtained.
The planning committee should help members solicit by creating a chorus-branded business packet that is professional-looking and can easily be emailed or brought into local businesses. This packet should include the auction dates, information about the chorus, a formal letter of donation request from the auction coordinator, a list of benefits for the business should they give a donation, and contact information of the sender.
If multiple members are involved in soliciting donations, a spreadsheet of donation requests can help avoid duplicating efforts.
Some members may feel uncomfortable soliciting donations, and that is okay! Instead, members could donate their professional services, host a group event, make or bake something, or donate an item directly to the auction. For 50+ ways members can donate without having to solicit, download this list!
Participate in a Competition
If the sections are super competitive, why not pin the altos and sopranos against each other on a battle of donations? Have the losing section do something for the winning section like bake cookies for them or call them the "best section" in every rehearsal for a month! A competition for individuals who procure the most items or who acquire the most monetary donations can be another great motivator.
How do your members engage in the chorus auction? Let us know in the comments below!
Tori Cook is the former Director of Sales & Marketing at Chorus Connection, an active board member of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium, and a soprano with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. In a past life, she was the Music Director of the Harborlight Show Chorus and President of Chorus pro-Musica. When not making music, she daydreams about adopting a golden retriever puppy and scuba diving to exotic locations around the world.