Baker Auction - Volume 1

Lessons From an Unlikely Businessman ‘Some Stories: Lessons From the Edge of Business and Sport’

When we first start working with an organization to plan their next charity auction, we emphasize one thing up front: Change is okay. If an organization puts together the same fundraiser every year, their fundraising abilities will stagnate, and their donors will lose interest. It’s something I’ve seen time and time again. Taking a chance on something new is the first step an organization can take to create more successful fundraisers and get out of that stagnation. This year, we teamed up with an organization that had done the same type of auction with the same team of auctioneers for the previous 20 years. Historically, the auction had also been a dry event (no alcohol). In all that time, their record fundraising amount was $40,000, but their takeaway usually averaged about $25,000. They hadn’t even done the auction the previous year because there was no interest from their donors. From the beginning of our involvement, it was an uphill battle. But our client realized they needed to change, and they wanted us to help them do it. We got to work changing everything, including the design and layout of the space, the music, and even how guests should raise their paddles during the event. They didn’t have to follow our suggestions if they didn’t want to, but usually, if an organization has hired us, they’re receptive to our advice. Turn Off Cruise Control Stories From the Stage At Baker Auction Co., we love conducting auctions of all kinds, and we participate in over 400 auctions every year. That being said, we have a special place in our hearts for conducting charity auctions. However, anyone who has tried raising money for their cause knows just how hard it can be to bring in those donations. Luckily, there are some strategies you can use to make the process a little easier on yourself. T hink C reatively Maybe you’ve done the same type of fundraiser every year, and it’s feeling a little stale. While it might feel like a safe and secure option to go with what you know, you’ll never see the kind of success you’re hoping for unless you take risks and try new strategies. Try to think of some fun, creative events to draw in your donors, like an escape room event, a walk-a-thon, or a charity auction. O ptimize the I nvite L ist While, ideally, you want to invite all of your donors and supporters, it’s not always possible. That’s why it’s important to go through your donor list, take into account the size and frequency of specific donors’ donations, and make sure you invite those who are most generous. This will help you maximize the amount of funds you can raise, as well as honor your most valued supporters. Breathe Life Into Your Fundraising Events

You’re probably familiar with the story of outdoor apparel company Patagonia and its founder, Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard’s earlier book, “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman,” explored the early struggles and triumphs of Patagonia and gave us some insight into how the company became so successful. Now, Chouinard has given us another glimpse into his world with his new book, “Some Stories: Lessons From the Edge of Business and Sport.” As the title suggests, the book is a collection of stories and beautiful photographs that illustrate how a sense of adventure, a readiness to adapt, and, above all else, a dedication to what you believe in are all necessary parts of doing anything well (including running a multimillion-dollar business). While the book contains plenty of business advice, most of its wisdom is just as applicable to life as it is to business management. “I know of no better example than Chouinard of what entrepreneurial Americans do best,” wrote author and angler Thomas McGuane. Entrepreneurs have to take initiative and be ready to accept great risk, and Chouinard does both with the pioneering spirit of a true business owner, despite his reluctance to accept the title. He would never abandon his values or the company’s to sell a sweatshirt, and he’s constantly pulling inspiration and guidance from the natural environment. “Some Stories” explores Chouinard’s drive to learn and make mistakes along the way and paints a portrait of an icon of thoughtful action and business success. “Some Stories” is worth it just for the stunning pictures, but if you want to be pulled in by a book, and possibly forced to reconsider whether or not you’ve been coasting with your business and life, then this is a must read. As author and reporter Jon Krakauer warns, “this book might make you think twice about what you’re doing with your own life.”

2 | (208) 739-8750

Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog