Audio Visual: Going Digital for Dollars

Article written by Rob Lind

One of the largest sectors of functions and events are fundraisers. Almost every week there is one of many charities hosting an event in order to raise funds for their respective group. I thought it might be interesting to toss around a couple of ideas on using technology to help drive dollars to these groups.

One of the most common fundraising tools is the “silent auction.” A new twist on this tried and true routine is to employ an electronic bidding system. Using small handheld units about the size of a cell phone, attendees can bid on the item of their choice. Once the bid is placed, the items and current bids would appear on a large display. In between the items, sponsors could display ads or even commercials. Not only will the audience be spurred to bid, but an additional revenue stream can be created by selling sponsorships on the bidding system, or placing paid advertisements on the screens.

Another opportunity to enhance the donor’s experience while increasing the revenue is through digital signage. You can use digital signage to inform your donors about your cause in an interactive, engaging way. All the while you can intersperse acknowledgement of your corporate sponsors. You can even sell advertising with video. So not only are you getting your message out to potential donors, but you are being paid to do so.

With the widespread use of broadband internet, why restrict your income to potential donors that are attending your event, when you can invite the world to join you? You can even take email bids on your auction items. Or set up a PayPal account to allow visitors to donate directly.

My message here is to not look at audio visual as a cost, but as a potential income stream. The added benefit of course is that you can get your message out to your donors, and possibly make even more money by doing so.

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