Table Captain Tricks and Tips
To help facilitate your role as a host for this year’s Washington’s National Park Fund’s annual auction, we have put together a list of guidelines, tips and tricks to help you invite and host your friends, family, co-workers, and extravagant bidders.
Not only is this our largest fundraiser event, it is also our largest FUNraiser event!
Asking and Inviting Guests
When asking and inviting friends, family, coworkers to the auction, remember, this is a fundraiser so you will want to invite those people who not only who are a lot of fun, but also will bid enthusiastically and support Washington’s National Park Fund.
Tip: If you are paying for their ticket(s) to attend, also set the expectation that you expect them to spend at least the amount of the ticket during the course of the evening. “I would love to have you come as my guest and pay for your ticket, and I hope you’ll be excited about the great items and bid generously to support the parks!"
Talking About the Auction
When talking about the auction to your friends and family, share the fun experiences, items you bought, etc. from last year’s and previous WNPF auctions. Your passion comes through when you share your stories.
The Evening of the Auction: Before Dinner (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
Arrive early to set your table (table cards, gifts/trinkets, etc.) greet your guests, bring them to the Silent Auction area to show them the Silent Auction areas, as well as offering them a beverage at the bar and let them mingle and bid. Introduce them to people and especially Park Staff who you know. Explain the “Give Directly To The Parks” section, where we directly underwrite the cost of materials the parks need. Preview the Dessert Dash, too!
People can participate in the auction in a variety of ways:
The Evening of the Auction: During Dinner (7:00 p.m. onward)
After the last silent auction closes, bring your guests to the dining area and get them settled in. If you or your guests don’t know everyone at the table, make introductions at the table.
Again, there are a variety of ways for people who don’t want to bid on “stuff” can still donate and participate during the Live Auction time:
Dessert Dash and Bidding: As you enter the dining area, you will walk past tables full of desserts. There is one dessert for each table. When you get to your assigned table, you and the guests at your table have the opportunity to write down your bids—what you are willing to pay—for a dessert; the bids from all the people at your table will be added together and that is your bid for the “Dessert Dash.” The table with the highest collective bid gets the first opportunity to select their dessert for their table. The dash continues as the next highest bid, and so forth until all desserts are collected. The winning table bids can get up to more than $1,500 —let your table know so they can bid accordingly. Last year, the total raised from the Dessert Dash was about $17,000!
If you haven’t already purchased your “Heads or Tails” ticket, you will be given another opportunity before the game is played.
“Fund-A-Need” allow people to raise their paddle to donate to a specific program benefitting the parks. This is great way for people who don’t want any additional “stuff” to donate generously, and for others to continue donating.
Tip: Challenge your table to have people match your bid, for example, “I’m going to raise my paddle at $1,000, is anyone else willing to match me?” or “I challenge our table to raise $7,000 for Fund a Need.”
Post-Auction: Evening of
At the end of the evening, thank your guests for attending and show them where to pick up their items.
If you have the time, especially for Executive Leadership, Board members, please stand by the main exit area and thank all the guests for coming and supporting Washington’s National Park Fund.
Post-Auction: The Week Following
Send out hand-written thank you cards to your guests for attending and their support; and remind them of the date for next year’s auction.
If the initial auction results’ totals are available, include those as well so that your guests can see how much they helped raise.
Always feel free to reach out to the staff at Washington’s National Park Fund for any questions that may arise. Ashley Stokes, Community Engagement Manager for the Fund will be happy to assist you at (206) 623-2063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for putting together a great group of park lovers to help raise funds and awareness for these treasured places.