Topics: Barn Cat Dog
Silent Auction Tips and Tricks
BARN CAT DOG
Sorry – this is not a happy ending! While at Dallas Animal Services waiting for the mom and kittens from last week’s blog, a young lady came in with an injured dog. It was a young dog (6 months old approximately – mixed breed). It was laying in a yard in south Dallas with ants crawling over it. She wiped off the ants and put the poor animal in her vehicle. She spoke to a neighbor who thought the dog belonged to the home owner where the dog was found. However, the home owner (despite bowls for food and water in the house) denied ownership. She called the SPCA who told her to take it to DAS. Well, we have all heard the stories of injured animals languishing in a cage at DAS for 5 days waiting for their “time to run out”. Well – OVER MY DEAD BODY! We took the dog to our vet who scanned for a chip (none – of course) and then began treatment. She had no movement in her rear end….no tail movement, could not stand, could not control pee or poop. She stayed there overnight while we consulted with an orthopedists and a neurologist. The prognosis was nerve damage. The decision was made to put her to sleep. We all cried…but she was no longer suffering. During the entire 2 day ordeal, she never snapped, barked, or whimpered. Just a perfect lady! We named her Molly – the first Barn Cat Dog!
SILENT AUCTION HINTS AND TIPS
1. If you ever set up an auction or even attend an auction, the value of an item is not what it cost – but what the bidder is willing to pay for the item. If you list a “Buy It Now” price, that amount should be well above the cost of the item…like $100 or $200 over. If someone wants it that bad – good news for your auction! If they don’t, then the bidding continues and may get well over the actual cost of the item. REMEMBER: “Buy It Now” removed that item from other bidders and not you have one less item to keep everyone interested.
2. The goal of an auction event is to raise money for the organization. Be careful of having too many “distractions” that take attendees away from the biding. An occasional door prize is okay because it gets everyone’s attention for a FREE something but it also gives you their attention to steer them to unique items or no-bid items. Lengthy announcements, presentations, and other vendors take away from valuable bidding time. FOCUS – FOCUS -- FOCUS
3. Displaying is always a problem. Make sure all the items are at eye level or a little higher. Putting items in chairs is loose/loose….nobody can see them! We have a problem at our auction location – Grotto – in the spring because we only use the front room. The auction then takes away sitting area for attendees and puts it in a corner of the restaurant. Grotto is dark even on a sunny day but at least we are by the windows. All we need to resolve this problem is about 30 or 40 additional attendees so we can reserve the entire restaurant…HA HA!
4. All the fundraising books say to mail out invitations 3 weeks ahead of the event. In today’s environment, that is not enough lead time. I send them out 6 weeks ahead. This year we are giving out a door prize to the person who sent back the invitation FIRST just as an incentive for attendees at future events.
5. Door Prizes: Usually you pick a ticket and give a prize. Well, what if it is something that person does not want or need….hummmm! This year we are putting together a BIG BASKET with wine, boxes of Russell Stover candy, and nuts from the Texas Pecan Factory. If your number is selected, you get to PICK your prize. I think folks will like that much better.
6. WINE: YES! The more wine the better. As folks get more and more tipsy, the bids go higher and higher. Giving a limited number of drink tickets sounds cost effective but can cut down on your total profit from the auction. So, pour, pour, pour and bid, bid, bid!
It was another weird week:
6 to SPCA Downtown – mom and 5 kittens
1 “dog” – PTS unfortunately with nerve damage to her spine
1 declawed cat to a home in Plano
2 to Lindale in East Texas
4 to a garage in Prosper
7 to a polo pony barn in Denison
2 to Waxahachie