Planning a fundraising event? Here are 5 tips to help you make it a success

Planning an event can be very stressful and hectic. It is also be a fantastic way to raise a significant amount of money for your special cause. That being said, there is a long list of variables that need to come together in unison to create an effective fundraising event.

Our team has put together a shortlist of the top five fundraising event tips and best practices.

Fundraising Event Tip #1: Set your event budget

It is important to ensure that your ticket price will cover most of your event costs. This will ensure that the funds you raise will go directly to your cause. Set and secure sponsorships as early as possible as this also helps cover other expenses involved with putting together the event. 

Fundraising Event Tip #2: Plan your run sheet

It’s important that the event flows in the most important way to maximise fundraising. Ensure guests are well fed, ‘watered’ and entertained before really emphasising why they have all come together for your event.

Use a heartfelt speech or video that tells the story of your cause in an emotional way to appeal to you guests. This should make sure everyone understands the impact of their donations Then, ensure you go straight into your Live Auction. This is the most crucial time to drum up funds.

Important note: Ensure that food service is not happening during the Live Auction. Guests should not be distracted by dessert or their food. You want their full attention on the auction items.

Fundraising Event Tip #3: Keep the activities fun and entertaining

Do something different. Create a spark! Wow your guests to encourage them to donate and spend money. Consider including competitive games such as heads and tails, balloon raffles, or Helping Hand Group’s Last Donors Standing Format as a way to engage with your guests.

Use your table centrepieces as a way to raise funds. It is most likely that you’ve spent money to make the room attractive. Use them as a lucky draw with raffle tickets with one winner at each table!

Try out a unique venue location indoors or outdoors that offers a special view, architecture or décor. Consider pairing your event up with a public event that is planned in close proximity to your venue.

Fundraising Event Tip #4: Be well organised ahead of time with proper help to reduce stress and workload 

Consider bringing in a third party fundraising specialist (such as Helping Hand Group) to ensure your auction is stress free! They take care of everything such as bringing in big ticket items, providing the bidding platforms for you to facilitate your auctions, and providing a smooth, care-free auction process.

Don’t leave finding donations to the last minute. Plan ahead and reach out to your network and chase people up persistently to ensure they confirm all details so you can plan and promote your auction lists well in advance.

Start selling event tickets early. Planners have been known to often leave this detail to the last minute. Focusing on guest attendance should be a high priority as this is the hardest element of the event sometimes.

Note: If you will use an electronic silent auction platform, connect your ticketing system with your auction platform. This promotes registration before your event so your guests don’t have to spend time doing it at your event. Speak to a Helping Hand Group staff member today about how we can help you do this!

Fundraising Event Tip #5: Post-event Follow Ups and Thank Yous

Take the time to use the data you’ve collected from your event to thank people for their contributions. This could include your prize purchasers, your volunteers, people who donated items or people who donated their time helping you put the event together. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way when planning your next event.

Helping Hand Group can handle all your post-event auction tasks such as chasing outstanding winners for payment, handling item deliveries and ensuring guests get their vouchers and have a great time using their prizes!

Contact a Helping Hand Group Fundraising Event Expert near you for more information and tips for your next fundraising event.

Helping Hand Group’s $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle a hit!

Looking for a good fundraising idea for your next fundraising event or corporate Gala?

Helping Hand Group continues to lead the fundraising world by providing innovative ways to engage guests and inspire giving. In 2018,  the team developed a brand new way to take fundraising events to the next level. The $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle provides an instant boost to the amount of money available to bid on your auction items. It starts with an exciting raffle that sees one lucky event guest win the pot ($10,000) to bid on any auction item. Then, this winner can bid competitively against other guests on items to help drive up the value of bids. In the end, the Golden Hand Paddle pot is donated to your cause.

With several Golden Hand Paddle auctions successfully conducted, it is safe to say that nothing beats the excitement and fun of this innovative way to raise an additional $10,000 from your fundraising auction!

Want to learn more? Read more about the $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle here.

Contact Helping Hand Group today to learn more about how this program can add a $10,000 boost to your next event’s fundraising total!

What are some of the best auction items for fundraisers?

Off the beaten track: Spice up your auction list with unique holidays to remarkable destinations. 

Adding one or multiple big-ticket holiday packages to your fundraising auction is a great way to maximise the funds you raise at your fundraising event. Holiday packages inspire your guests to reach out beyond their comfort zone by appealing to their desires to get away, relax and explore the world. They are generally higher in value and draw higher than average bids. Since holiday packages can accommodate 2-10 people (depending on the package), guests have been known to band together and bid as a group. In other cases, one guest could have other friends or family in mind when he or she gets into the bidding. This can significantly drive up the value of bids your auction receives and ultimately the overall total amount you raise. 

Do you have a small budget (or no budget) for auction items? 

No problem! We understand that putting on a fundraising event is taxing on an organisation’s budget. Helping Hand Group offers holiday packages at no cost to your event budget. The packages are only paid for when sold. So, any type of fundraising event can showcase one or multiple holiday packages. This allows you to take advantage of the bids they can obtain. 

How can you WOW your guests and get them engaged with your silent auction? 

Off-the-beaten-track style holiday adventure packages are a great way to bring a buzz to your auction. They are similar to that one-of-a-kind piece of art or autographed sports jersey from a famous sports player.

Here are Helping Hand Group’s Top 3 “Off the Beaten Track” holiday packages that will surely turn heads at your next fundraising auction:

#1 – Ancient Adventure in Jordan for 2

Your auction winner will visit the magical ancient city of Petra – one of the Middle East’s most spectacular, unmissable sights for four days and three nights. They will enjoy the hospitality of a modern Bedouin family and experience true Jordanian culture with a home cooked meal. The adventure will start with a trip to Al Madras to see the upper and lower halves of a single monument. Then, they will see Obelisk Tomb and Bab as-Siq Triclinium and the Roman Theatre from above. Then, they will continue to the High Place of Sacrifice and pass the Roman Soldier Tomb via Wadi Farasa to Qasr Al Bint. The third day will have them trek on a five hour hike to Petra and the Treasury, Amphitheatre, and Monastery El Deir. They will trek along the lesser known back trail across mountain ridges to the Baida region enjoying breathtaking scenery and archaeological monuments that portray the layers of Jordan’s rich history, heritage, and religious relevance. A truly incredible and one-of-a-kind experience!

#2 – Whale Sharks in West Papua for 2

Your auction winners will enjoy a city tour on the first day and explore the town of Nabire. They will visit a traditional market and ‘tembok MAF’ – a popular hangout place for the locals. On days two and three, they will head to Sowa where they will experience a breathtaking swimming excursion with whale sharks being fed at the bagangs (traditional fishing platforms). After swimming, they will enjoy a late fish barbeque served on a beautiful small island.

#3 – Behind the Veil of North Korea for 2

Your auction winners will spend five unforgettable days and four nights in Pyongyang commencing with a visit to the Arch of Triumph and the Mansudae Grand Monument. On day one, they will drive to Kaesong and visit Panmunjom, DMZ and the Karson Koryo Museum. After lunch, they will visit the Tomb of King Kongmin before transferring back to Pyongyang. Day three will have them visit to Mt Myohyang and the Pohyon Buddhist Temple as well as the International Friendship Exhibition Hall – the hall of gifts to DPRK’s leaders. Following lunch, they will visit the Ryongmun Caves before returning to Pyongyang. On day four they visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kong Jong Il), Fountain Park and Juche Tower. After lunch, they will visit USS Pueblo followed by the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the school children’s palace and the Kwangbok Supermarket. This incredible package includes four nights accommodation as well as private English speaking local guide. It also includes private transportation, sightseeing, all meals (excluding drinks), DPRK visa fee, DMZ entry fee, flowers to lay at memorials and airport transfers. (US Passport holders cannot travel).

Questions or want to learn more about all of the holiday packages we have to offer? Contact a team member today to discuss.

View more of our auction items currently available for fundraising events.

Auction items for fundraisers: Upcoming events at ANZ Stadium in Sydney

Unique events of all sizes – from small, intimate performances to big, international headliner shows – can provide a unique attraction to your auction table.  It can appeal to a wider range of people and inspire your fundraising event guests to participate in your auction. By encouraging more participation on various auction items, you will generate the opportunity for higher bids and ultimately raise more funds for your charity or cause.

Helping Hand Group provides a wide range of auction item packages that feature unique events. Moreover, these packages come with various additional features such as food and drinks, full service, signed memorabilia related to the event, and more! Enquire with our team for our available options for fundraisers.

Featured auction items for fundraisers at ANZ Stadium, Sydney

ANZ Stadium in Sydney will be closing in October 2019 for a period of two years. We now have available some experience packages for fundraising silent and live auctions that can provide your guests the opportunity to experience it again before it closes!

STATE OF ORIGIN 3: July 10th, 2019 at ANZ Stadium

This auction item package includes four tickets to access a luxury VIP private suite for one of the biggest blockbusters on the Australian sporting calendar – State of Origin 3 –  on July 10th 2019, at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Your auction winners will enjoy superb food, drinks and full alcohol service as they experience the intense rivalry between the Blues and the Maroons. To top it off, they will also receive their choice of either a beautifully framed squad signed 2019 NSW or Queensland jersey. A unique auction item for fundraisers that is sure to turn heads!

NRL GRAND FINAL: October 6th, 2019 at ANZ Stadium

This auction item will give your auction winners four tickets to a luxury VIP suite for the biggest game on the Rugby League calendar – the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final – on Sunday, October 6th 2019, at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. They’ll be part of the action as they watch from the best seats in the house while enjoying superb food, drinks and full alcohol service! To top it off, they will also receive a hand-signed framed jersey featuring the 2019 Grand Final winning team – their own one-of-a-kind item!

Contact our team for more information how to add these auction item packages to your next fundraising auction at no cost to your budget.

Treat your guests to some sunshine! Host an outdoor fundraising event for summer

Hosting a fundraising event at an outdoor venue can not only take advantage of the beautiful summer weather but also provide a great environment for your guests to enjoy and get involved with your fundraising activities.

Combining an outdoor component with your event schedule can create a new way to engage guests in your live and silent auctions. Pre-dinner drinks & champers outside, for example, are a great way to introduce everyone to your event and cause. This time can also be used to introduce your guests to the fundraising auction items and inform them on how they can participate or buy a ticket for pre-auction programs such as Helping Hand Group’s $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle (read more about this here).

Our team has supported and hosted hundreds of events over the last two decades and events with an outdoor component have been unique, memorable and most importantly – successful! Pictured here is our team at the Sydney Cricket Grounds and the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. We supplied and displayed a series of fundraising auction items plus ran the Ballot Bidding (classic paper-and-pen silent auction) on behalf of the fundraising event organising team as a complement to their fundraising event.

Contact our team to discuss ideas for outdoor venues in your area that could add a special touch to your next fundraising event.

Helping Hand Group specialises in providing items for fundraising auctions including holiday packages, art, signed memorabilia and experience packages designed to help fundraising event teams maximise the effectiveness of silent and live auctions.

Helping Hand Group Launches the $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle

Jumpstart your fundraising event with up to $10,000 to encourage your guests to participate in your live auction.

Introducing Helping Hand Group’s $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle.

Helping Hand Group is excited to announce a brand new add-on service for fundraising events that improves guest participation and guarantees you up to $10,000 added to your fundraising total. Named the $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle, the program is uniquely suited for fundraising events with a live auction component. It adds an exciting, fun dynamic that encourages participation in the fundraising portion of your event. Best of all, Helping Hand Group’s expert fundraising event team can facilitate the program on your behalf — as always, free of charge!

How it works:

1. The program is a raffle. At the start of your fundraising event, 100 Golden Hand tickets are sold for $100 each.

2. The Golden Hand Pot starts to grow until all tickets are sold to amass a total of $10,000. If it is not possible to sell all 100 tickets, the Golden Hand Pot becomes the total amount collected (ie. if 50 tickets are sold, the Golden Hand Pot becomes $5,000).

3. The Golden Hand Pot then becomes a prize for one lucky Golden Hand Ticket holder that is drawn out just before the start of your live auction.

4. The winner receives the amount of the Golden Hand Pot as credit that must be used in the live auction. They will also receive a special Golden Hand Paddle that they will use in the live auction to signal their bids.

5. The Golden Hand Paddle holder will add an exciting dynamic each time they hold up the Golden Hand Paddle to bid in the auction. It will entice fun back-and-forth bidding rivalries with other participants. Your auctioneer can also have fun with it when working the crowd.

6. In the end, the $10,000 is added to Bids places in your Auction, and not paid out as cash. This can increase your fundraising total by more than $10,000, as the Golden Hand Paddle winner drives up the prices of Auction prizes they win, and also those they do not!

It is essential that your team of Golden Hand ticket sellers are gregarious, love to sell and love your mission. This will help to increase the number of tickets sold and the total amount in the Golden Hand Pot. Helping Hand Group provides an expert team of fundraising event staff to sell Golden Hand tickets for you and can also work alongside eager individuals from your team to sell as many tickets as possible and set you up for success. Best of all, the $10,000 Golden Hand Paddle program is a complimentary add-on to Helping Hand Group’s fundraising event service.

Contact Helping Hand Group today to learn more about how this program can add a $10,000 boost to your next event’s fundraising total!

Helping Hand Group’s Ballot Bidding Programme and Live Auction Support Contributes to $65,000 raised

Recently, our team was out lending a helping hand in full force at Heart on My Sleeve. The event was hosted at the fantastic Luna Park in Sydney and raised over $65,000! Our team assisted the event with Dane Wheeler as the live auctioneer along with our expert fundraising auction team and Ballot Bidding® programme.

What is Ballot Bidding®?Ballot Bidding® is the classic paper-and-pen silent auction format that lists all of your auction items. Here are some of the benefits:

Cut to the chase: Ask your guests for their maximum auction bid once and eliminate back and forth “penny bidding”. Keep them tuned in to your speakers rather than constantly checking their silent auction bids.

Maximise bids for your charity: This “blind” method encourages guests to think about possible bids from other guests and encourages them to bid at or as close to as possible to their personal maximum bid. This helps to ensure your fundraising auction raises as much as possible.

Sell multiple auction items for your charity: When available, we can facilitate selling more than one of an auction item to the top bidders. Yes, that means the amount you raise multiplies!

Let us do the work: Our team will design, print, and distribute our Ballot Bidding® forms to your guests’ seats at no cost. We seamlessly incorporate all items available at your event.

Contact us for more information about how Ballot Bidding can work for your next fundraising event.


Helping Hand Group has raised and donated over $100 million for leading charities, community groups, schools, and sporting clubs since 1997. We help fundraising events with a long list of auction items and full event assistance with our electronic silent auction system, Ballot Bidding® programme, and expert fundraising event staff to help you raise more money for your special cause.

Best of all, our services come at no cost to our clients! We provide auction items on a consignment-type basis and that means no cost to your event budget. Our friendly event staff will set up item displays at your event, manage the auctions, and take care of payments, removal, and shipping. That’s how we lend a helping hand.

Fundraising Auctioneers: Unique Skills and Customised Approach to Auctioneering

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Jason Kazanis helping with fundraising ideas.

Did you know that there exists a specific type of live auctioneer that specialises in fundraising auctions?

Fundraising auctioneers have a unique, tailored approach to hosting live auctions that can significantly improve guest participation, bidding, and overall fundraising results. Helping Hand Group has developed a network of fundraising auctioneers over more than two decades who assist our team at hundreds of fundraising events throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other countries in Asia. Our team has witnessed improvements in size and number of bids due to the specific skills that fundraising auctioneers bring to live auctions held at fundraising events.

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Jason Kazanis in action auctioning off autographed Bruce Springsteen Guitar at fundraising event.Fundraising auctioneers are different than other auctioneers who focus on items such as cars, equipment, property, or livestock.

Fundraising auctioneers work with fundraisers on a regular basis and have developed the experience and skills required to effectively engage with different types of audiences that attend fundraising events. Fundraising auctioneers conduct their auctions in a different way because participants are bidding based on a different motive than, say, a standard property auction. During a property auction, participants bid based on their desire to own a particular piece of property at the best possible price up to their maximum bid. However, during fundraising auctions, participants not only bid based on their desire to own a particular item, but also to give generously to the benefitting charity. This is where fundraising auctioneers excel:

1. Fundraising 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. Fundraising auctioneers will connect with your audience with dialogue, gestures, and interactivity to get their attention, maintain it, and ensure they know how to participate.

3. Fundraising auctioneers will find ways to encourage higher bids while running a fun auction with effective dialogue to encourage guests to start friendly bidding rivalries and push bids as high as possible for your cause.

4. Fundraising auctioneers make the auction items “come to life” by leveraging descriptive selling and promoting the benefits and usability of the auction item itself.

5.   Fundraising auctioneers can work within tight timelines to ensure that your event schedule stays on-time.

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Richard Ernster in action auctioning in Singapore.Live auctioneers for fundraisers are flexible and can auction almost anything that you have to offer.

Fundraising auctioneers have the ability to present and auction off a wide range of auction items. Helping Hand Group has a variety of autographed memorabilia, themed items, unique experiences, and holiday packages that work well with our fundraising auctioneers. However, if you have acquired your own items – regardless of the value – our fundraising auctioneers have the skills to adapt and connect the value and theme of the item to your guests to ensure as many people are inspired to participate and bid as generously as possible.

Live fundraising auctioneers can be provided at no cost to your event budget.

Helping Hand Group can provide one of our live fundraising auctioneers at no cost to your event budget when our team also supplies five auction items to your auction list. Our team can also work with you to ensure that the type, theme, and value of the auction items are well suited for your guests to ensure the greatest opportunity for success possible. Our team covers our service costs when our auction items sell at your event. So, it is up to us to ensure that our team strives for the best possible results at your live auction!

Helping Hand Group maintains a network of fundraising auctioneers that can be made available to perform their services for your live fundraising auction.

Live Auctioneer for Fundraising Auctions Richard Ernster and team supporting fundraising auction in AustraliaContact our team to discuss the many options available to suit your next fundraising gala or corporate dinner auction.

Helping Hand Group’s Ballot Bidding Supports Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore

This beautiful Lamborghini was on display at Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore‘s Gala Night! We were proud to be out lending a helping hand at this fundraising event with our effective Ballot Bidding® program and expert fundraising event team to assist the organisers and guests from start-to-finish.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit association recognized by the Italian Government and member of Assocamerestero, apex body of over 70 Italian Chambers abroad. The Chamber aims to strengthen bilateral relations between Italy and Singapore in collaboration with strategic partners from the two Countries

What a great night! Thank you to the ICCS team for having us.