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ComeToTheFarm.com   ©Khimaira


 

 

Presented to: ADGA Annual Meeting – October 24, 2001 – Portland Oregon

"Internet Fund Raising Auctions" – Linda S. Campbell

Nearly everyone has heard about eBay, and that’s the first name that comes to mind when "internet auctions" are mentioned. But, internet auctions are becoming more popular and there are now hundreds of auction sites. Many have specific themes or purposes, while others are generic and general purpose. Charity or Benefit Auctions are also very popular. A quick search on the web will turn up a number of sites offering services to help raise funds for various causes. Most are limited strictly to registered charities and are not available for other efforts.

We implemented our first Benefit Auction in 1999 as we set up a Fund Raiser to help raise funds for a research project at Cornell University, which is still ongoing in an effort to study rabies vaccination in goats. This year, we have opened a new Benefit Auction opportunity and expanded our offering to individuals as well as organizations. To date, over $50,000 for various causes has been raised.  We are quite pleased with the success of the auctions, and the generosity of the donors and bidders has been outstanding. Our most recent auction (which is currently in place) is the American Family Benefit, and we are raising funds for organizations such as the American Red Cross.

How It Works

We are offering approved charity programs the opportunity to raise funds through online auctions on the ComeToTheFarm site.   Following are some of the groups  we might approve for inclusion.   We focus primarily on projects that are involved with the farm community in some way, and demonstrate good organizational plans for conducting the promotion, administration and reporting of their Auction.

* Non-profit Organizations
* Disaster Assistance Funding
* Research Projects
* Community  Projects

To apply, provide the following information to us via email:

  •  Administrator of Auction
    The  contact person for the event.  Include name, address and telephone number. This person (or designee) will receive funds for the event. We strongly suggest setting up a separate bank account in the name of the Beneficiary.
  •  List of involved parties: 
    This could be the organization's officers or others with decision-making responsibilities. We suggest you have several people to assist the main Administrator in helping to solicit donations and helping to follow up after an item closes.
  •  A complete description of the aspects of the Auction:
    This will be provided in an information page for review by buyers and sellers.  If there is a website with additional information, please provide that URL.  Describe the date this effort began and a brief history to date. 
  •  Financial Goal:
    Not required, but recommended.
  •  Time Frame:
    When would you like to begin?   How long do you want to run the auction?  We suggest 60-90 days, but longer is not a problem for us.  If you have a stated goal amount, you could run until your goal is reached.  You want to have enough time to get the word out. For some auctions, it would be very helpful to have notices in the various club newsletters and industry magazines, which obviously requires some lead time.

· Details of other funding sources:
What other sources of funding  are you receiving; have applied for; or are considering.

Administrator's Responsibilities

The effectiveness of the Auction Administrator will be the  key to a successful Benefit.   Roles will include:

· Promote the Auction and seek donations

· Assist users who may have difficulties with completing the donation process

· Send a note of thanks to each person donating, and let them know you will follow up when a purchase is made.

· Answer questions about the Auction   

· Act as liaison, if necessary, for following up and receiving payments and ensuring that auction purchases are shipped to buyer.

· Review Closed Auction Items to make sure all purchases are paid for and credited promptly.   

· Provide a reporting to Khimaira within 30 days of close of the Auction.  This will just be a summary of total income received and a list of any unpaid or unresolved Auctions.

 

Once the requested information is received, we will review the request and make a decision as quickly as possible, usually within 2-3 days if information is complete.   If approved, the Benefit Auction will promptly be added to the list, and your promotion of the project can begin.  If the request is not approved, the parties can reapply at a later date.  

We ask that everyone review the policies of auction sales (located on our website at ComeToTheFarm.com).  We will not allow any illegal activities or illegal items for sale.  This is a family site, and will do not allow adult orientated items for sale.  We reserve the right to delete any Auctions that don't comply with our policies.

What We Offer

All of our services are free, and include the following:

· Provide the mechanism (the software program) for conducting the Auction

· Provide a list of Closed Auctions Items for use by Administrators 

· Maintain the Auction script and provide enhancements and improvements in any way we can.

· Answer users' questions as promptly as possible, which may mean referring them to the Auction Administrator, if applicable.

· Provide technical assistance as necessary 

· Assist Administrator and User in any way we can to help facilitate a positive experience for all. 

Setting up and hosting a Benefit Auction can be time consuming for both the host and for the Benefit Administrator. We spent many hours installing the Auction Software, and many more hours in ongoing support as we add enhancements. But, it can be a very rewarding experience as generous donors and bidders come together to raise funds for worthy causes.

Having A Successful Event

Following the points above will help ensure a successful Fund Raiser. Good organization, good record keeping, dedication to following up, and a concerted effort to soliciting donations can result in a successful Benefit Auction. It is not a job for one person, as it takes teamwork to pull it all together without creating undue burnout for any one person. Internet auctions can certainly bring FundRaising to a new level! Since we also offer free use of our auction site to folks who just want to buy and sell, this brings more users to the auction, and therefore a greater audience potential. It does cause some confusion, but we are trying hard to find ways to make it as simple as possible!

We invite you to visit our Auction site: