Frequently Asked Gift Questions
Q: I want to donate an item for the Auction. I don’t know where to start! Any ideas?
A: Start with yourself! What can you donate? What about the people you work with or your neighbors? How about the people who ask YOU for donations throughout the year? Time to call in the favor! What about relatives who are interested in your success? Clients are a good source as are vendors to your company, they all want you to be successful. It is easier to ask others to help if you start with yourself.
Q: OK. So I know a lot of people. I just don’t feel right asking them for something. How do I approach them without imposing?
A: You are not imposing. Remember, your friends and associates want to help you. They just need to know how. Make it easy for them by not asking for just anything. Ask for something SPECIFIC! You will be amazed at how responsive people are when they don’t have to make a decision. The biggest block to getting donations is expecting the people you ask to know WHAT to donate. Take the decision process to the next level. Decide ahead of time what they COULD donate, then ask if they would be willing to help out Mount St. Mary by donating THAT item. Most people will say yes or offer an alternate idea.
Q: My next door neighbor has a great lawnmower he has had for 10 years. He would like to get rid of it. Should we take it for our auction?
A: Generally you should accept only new merchandise. You don’t want the attendees to get the feeling they are attending a “garage sale”. The exception is genuine “antiques”. Also, sports memorabilia and other unique one-of-a-kind items.
Q: I can get a round of golf with a celebrity. Is this a good item?
Q: I have an airplane. Would a ride in my airplane be a good item?
A: Yes, it would. Also, any other “unique experience” would sell well. Some examples: A ride in a fast boat, a cruise on a yacht, a classic car ride, a motorcycle tour to the mountains with a picnic lunch, or anything else that people might not be able to go to a store and buy.
Q: I like to fish and I have a boat. How would a day of salmon fishing do at the auction?
A: Always a very good seller. Throw in a picnic lunch or a stop at a waterfront restaurant to complete the package.
Q: Some of the people I talk to don’t really want to donate any tangible items. Would we take a cash donation?
A: Yes, absolutely! Cash is always good. We have expenses for decorations, mailings and other out of pocket expenses. Cash underwriting is an excellent donation.
Q: My mother wants to help, but she doesn’t know what she can donate. Any ideas?
A: Does she do any creative work? A knitted sweater, a gift basket, a crocheted afghan or a gourmet-catered dinner all sell well.
Q: How are donors recognized?
A: All donors are acknowledged in the comprehensive catalog that each guest receives and each donor is recognized on the mobile bidding app under each item donated.