Fundraising Feature: Sharon Stynes of Very Special Kids

Helping Hand Group turns the spotlight onto one of the most consistent and hard-working charity fundraisers in Victoria, Mrs. Sharon Stynes of Very Special Kids!

We recently chatted with Sharon, and hope that our conversation will assist you, our valued partners in fundraising, in considering and planning any future events. This conversation may provide some guidance on how to improve your own events. It may also provide a better understanding of the long-lasting impact of partnering with Helping Hand Group in your fundraising endeavours.

How long have you worked in the charity sector?

“From 1998 to 2014, I worked at The Reach Foundation, and I am currently with Very Special Kids, where I’ve been working for the last four years as the Fundraising & Events Manager.”

Why did you first get into the charity sector?

“My brother, Jim Stynes, co-founded a charity where I volunteered for the first four years, and then an opportunity came up to work there. I jumped at the opportunity to help!”

What inspires you the most about working in the charity sector?

“Making a difference. I am very passionate about supporting young people and working for a cause.”

How did you first come across Helping Hand Group, and why do they continue to be your company of choice?

“I organised a Gala Ball each year, and as part of the fundraising, we ran a silent auction and were raising about $5,000. Helping Hand Group approached me early on, and at first it sounded too good to be true! I then learnt a little more and thought, ‘Why not give it a go? If it doesn’t work out, it won’t cost us anything.’ The first year, we raised more than double the amount previously, and yet we didn’t have to do anything. Helping Hand Group did all the processing on the night and followed up purchasers for payments. The second year, we included our own items, so we had a variety of items. We decided to include lesser value items so more guests would feel included. We continue to use Helping Hand Group at events where we can. They are always very helpful and a pleasure to work with.  Even though we now supply half of the items, they still run the silent auction for us at the event, and process and follow up on all items.”

Over your twenty years of partnering with Helping Hand Group, what changes and innovations have you found most impressive?

“When Ballot Bidding came out, I was very impressed. We went from $20,000 to $100,000 in funds raised! The event that we now use Helping Hand Group at is not suited to Ballot Bidding, so another platform that they have developed is their electronic bidding platform, which has been very well received by our guests.”

Hundreds of holidays have been auctioned at your events, and you have also purchased holidays for your own family to use. Why do you feel they make the ideal charity auction item?

“My family and I love Bali. We have purchased holidays with Goodwill Getaways, and have been very impressed with the villas, and their very friendly staff. If you are planning a getaway, it’s a great way to help make a difference, as well as enjoying a great family escape.”

What has been your most memorable auction moment from the past two decades?

“That would have been at one of the Reach Foundation Balls when Jim Stynes helped with the auction and sold a guitar from the rock band U2 for $15,000. Very impressive!”

If we can help with your next fundraiser, do not hesitate to contact us today!

Australia’s BEST Charity Auctioneer, Jason Kazanis

Are you looking for ideas to boost your fundraising auction total?

An experienced, effective Fundraising Auctioneer can make a significant impact on your fundraising total and the experience your guests enjoy during your live fundraising auction.

Jason Kazanis is the Head Auctioneer for Helping Hand Group, and rated as Australia’s best Charity Auctioneer. Jason (or the other top Auctioneers from Helping Hand Group) can raise your event TENS of thousands more. This due to his precise fundraising skills. Helping Hand Group will provide Jason at NO-cost to your next event, so that not only will you raise far more, you will not have to pay $1,000+ for his incredible skillset!

Here are 5 key reasons why Helping Hand Group Auctioneers are the very best for fundraising auctions:

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Jason Kazanis in action auctioning off autographed Bruce Springsteen Guitar at fundraising event.

1. Helping Hand Group Auctioneers excel at tapping into the emotions of your guests to ensure that all guests are reminded of the purpose of the fundraising event – to give generously to your cause.

2. Helping Hand Group Auctioneers will connect with your audience with dialogue, gestures, and interactivity to get their attention and maintain it. They will also ensure they know how to participate in the fundraising auction.

3. Helping Hand Group Auctioneers will find ways to encourage higher bids while running a fun fundraising auction with effective dialogue to encourage guests to start friendly bidding rivalries. This competitive process leads to the sale of ‘Multiples’, which can double, triple or in some cases, quadruple, your donation amounts!

4. Helping Hand Group Auctioneers make the fundraising auction items “come to life”. They leverage descriptive selling and promote the benefits and usability of the fundraising auction items.

5. Helping Hand Group Auctioneers can work within tight timelines for the live auction to ensure that your event schedule stays on-time.

Want to have Jason, or another TOP Fundraising Auctioneer at your next event? Contact us today!

Read another story about Jason’s impact on a fundraising auction for Starlight Children’s Foundation here.