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Red Apple Auctions

Red Apple Auctions Your source for charity auction training and tips, preparing you to plan your most profitable fundra Benefit auction firm, offering tools, tips, and products to help charity auction chairpersons rock their auctions.

Operating as usual

This event had some good momentum .. huge gain this year! My family used palliative and hospice services for my Dad a fe...
08/17/2022

This event had some good momentum .. huge gain this year! My family used palliative and hospice services for my Dad a few years ago (in a different state) -- wonderful services.

This was kind of Seth Meyers to say this about me.  This client had a big event yesterday ... slow to start on every ite...
07/25/2022
Giving Back With Possible Dreams

This was kind of Seth Meyers to say this about me. This client had a big event yesterday ... slow to start on every item, but the numbers grew. I look forward to hearing final results as donations usually stream in over time.

Possible Dreams auction host Seth Meyers sees himself as more a sidekick to auctioneer Sherry Truhlar's superhero. Sunday's event raises funds for Martha's Vineyard Community Services.

05/22/2022

I'm working a number of indoor/outdoor venues as clients consider COVID concerns. Here is another - TOPGOLF

05/22/2022

An indoor /outdoor venue makes sense during spring 2022, when COVID concerns are still top of mind. So pretty!

They waited two long years for this ... The school was going to be one of the first to use the newly opened D.C. Conrad ...
05/17/2022

They waited two long years for this ... The school was going to be one of the first to use the newly opened D.C. Conrad back in 2020. Then the pandemic arrived. The auction chair was crushed! :( Even though they did have 2 (successful) years of virtual galas, they didn't get to use the venue. So last week, I could tell parents enjoyed experiencing this still-new venue and they didn't come to play -- it was a $550k gala

05/13/2022

They are using every bit of space in this downtown hotel room.

05/11/2022

Rodeo theme in D.C.? It's hard to beat the food at Hill Country BBQ.

04/17/2022

There's going to be a lot more "1990's" themes in coming years, and this group inspired me with their outfits. Here's one energetic guy ...

04/05/2022

Need an '80's band? The crowd (& I!) really enjoyed The Reagan Years - The East Coast’s Original 80s Tribute Band. They had 3 or 4 lead singers. Great audience engagement, too! You'll see ~1 minute that folks start getting more into it, and they are jumping at the end. Here's the clips I grabbed:
Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)
Joan Jett - I Love Rock N Roll
The Outfield - Your Love
Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
Van Halen - Jump

Last night's "American Bandstand" was such a fun celebration after 2 years of virtual galas!  It was a mix of Grease and...
04/03/2022

Last night's "American Bandstand" was such a fun celebration after 2 years of virtual galas! It was a mix of Grease and Happy Days, starting with 1950s music during the reception. Richard always plays the part well -- he doesn't look like the fitness enthusiast he really is!

03/30/2022

Happy Doctor's Day to all of my hospital foundation and healthcare clients!

03/29/2022

Great place for kids! A client is using the new Planet Word Museum as its venue. After the onsite, we stayed to check out some of the interactive exhibits. The karaoke lounge was packed with kids singing to Taylor Swift when we left.

Are we still doing virtual galas?  Why yes ... yes we are.This screenshot was from this past weekend, but other virtual ...
03/29/2022

Are we still doing virtual galas? Why yes ... yes we are.

This screenshot was from this past weekend, but other virtual galas are booked for May and June, too. These run so smoothly now, compared to the early days when there were more butterflies about any number of things. PWPvideo

03/29/2022
Advice for private school auction planners for 2022

Here's a lesson I learned at my first *school* auction of 2022. If you're chairing a school auction this year, consider this advice because I'm betting your audience has changed quite a bit from 2020.

Bullis School didn't disappoint!  "Bullis in Wonderland" drew a full house *and* financial dollars for programs supporti...
03/12/2022

Bullis School didn't disappoint! "Bullis in Wonderland" drew a full house *and* financial dollars for programs supporting the emotional well-being of students at all grade levels.

Congrats to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization on their pandemic return!  Another great in-person auction...
03/11/2022

Congrats to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization on their pandemic return! Another great in-person auction. Later I'll try to post a compilation clip of the 80's tribute band, The Reagan Years - The East Coast’s Original 80s Tribute Band, as they rocked the house.

Oh, the glamour of the Hay Adams!  I am here for a walk thru with a client.  First time I will have worked here, even af...
03/10/2022

Oh, the glamour of the Hay Adams! I am here for a walk thru with a client. First time I will have worked here, even after so many years in DC.

03/09/2022
Handling COVID safety precautions at your fundraising auction

In this video, I share what four recent fundraising auctions did for COVID requirements.
=========================================
How are you handling COVID precautions at your gala?

Whether you are in an open state or one that is more cautious, supporters want to know what they should expect at your event.

Consider devoting a page to your gala website to COVID requirements.

* If you won’t be doing anything — tell them.
* If you expect them to upload a vaccination card, proof of booster, negative test, and wear a N-95 respiration mask — tell them.
* If you’re going to have comfort-level bracelets available — tell them.
* If no one is masked but it’s OK if they wear one (and you’ll have masks available) — tell them.

My point: Be clear.

People can make their own decisions as to whether they want to attend or not, but they need to understand what your event will “look like” before they buy a ticket.

Congratulations to ICBA!  Two record-breaking years in a row! You can now better represent "Main Street America" with yo...
03/03/2022

Congratulations to ICBA! Two record-breaking years in a row! You can now better represent "Main Street America" with your PAC.

02/23/2022

It's not ideal, but one method of getting items to sell at your auction gala is simply to buy them.

And one place to buy them is through consignment companies.

During last week’s Auction Procurement Masterclass, a student asked if it was OK / allowed to have more than one auction consignment company represented at your gala.

The answer is “yes,” and I share why you might want to do that in the video.

01/11/2022

The Omicron variant is forcing nonprofits to re-think in-person galas. Some spring clients are shifting to summer dates; others are going virtual. For virtual galas, here's an entertainment idea from Zingerman's Mail Order that offers a refreshing change from a mixology class.

Here's a seasonal podcast episode from 2020, but still relevant as Christmas tree prices are again high this year (as I ...
12/12/2021
‎Planet Money: We Buy A Lot Of Christmas Trees on Apple Podcasts

Here's a seasonal podcast episode from 2020, but still relevant as Christmas tree prices are again high this year (as I read elsewhere, due to fewer imports from Canada and weather). In this Planet Money episode, the hosts visit the largest Christmas tree auction while teaching about the economics of the tree business, too -- which is influenced from the recession of 2008. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/we-buy-a-lot-of-christmas-trees/id290783428?i=1000502117921

‎Show Planet Money, Ep We Buy A Lot Of Christmas Trees - Dec 11, 2020

Last night's gala at Gonzaga College High School felt like a reunion of Gala Chairs for me. Chairs from events past from...
12/05/2021

Last night's gala at Gonzaga College High School felt like a reunion of Gala Chairs for me. Chairs from events past from St Agnes School, Saint Anne's School, Our Lady of Good Council School, St Peter's School and Congressional School all came up to me to reintroduce themselves and reminisce. It was a stellar night of 800 guests raising money (vaccination cards uploaded pre event). Gonzaga is celebrating 200 years; what a strong community and great reputation they've built! The Mother's Club - which had a lot of new Moms on it this year - rocked their gala. It WAS "A Roaring Return!"

12/01/2021

Many groups are hoping to head BACK TO THE BALLROOM in 2022, but here are the CHANGES in fundraising galas being made. I wouldn't call them "auction trends," per se, but there are certainly shifts taking place in the live auction, silent auction, venue, & entertainment areas.

What a lovely night with St. Marcus School! It looks to be a new record for their fundraising (will it hit 7 figures whe...
11/14/2021

What a lovely night with St. Marcus School! It looks to be a new record for their fundraising (will it hit 7 figures when all matches and donations are done?) and a huge win for more kids to receive a faith-based, high expectations education in the Harambee community. Iris, Steve and I were proud to support the effort!

Last night the show went on for NAHMA Educational Foundation with festive music and new activities.  They win 2021 when ...
11/05/2021

Last night the show went on for NAHMA Educational Foundation with festive music and new activities. They win 2021 when it comes to clever names. Congrats on virtual gala 2.0, the 2021 PiñAHMA Party ... olé!

11/03/2021

6 Steps to Sharing your Nonprofit's Story: At a conference I attended this past summer, speaker Lori Jacobwith gave a presentation on storytelling. She shared a framework for creating a story. Consider using this 6-step process for developing stories to be used at your fundraising gala.

10/24/2021
Mike Phillips, saxophone

Congrats to Hope for Henry for its record-setting gala! Closing in on $1 million Some of the 360 folks have already left, but others are jamming to Mike Phillips, who played with Stevie Wonder and Prince for many years. Here's a clip.

Hybrid auction tonite in Boston for Nashoba Learning Group. BIG record-breaking event, but also -- from a tech standpoin...
10/17/2021

Hybrid auction tonite in Boston for Nashoba Learning Group. BIG record-breaking event, but also -- from a tech standpoint -- the smoothest hybrid gala I've worked thus far. 100 in the room and maybe a few more guests than that participating from their homes. A camera tracked me as I went thru room. For my clients planning 2021/22 events, I'll be sending an email with details. Each event gets a bit better!

If you want guests to come "dressed in theme" to your virtual event, consider focusing on visual elements that will appe...
10/15/2021

If you want guests to come "dressed in theme" to your virtual event, consider focusing on visual elements that will appear from the waist up, like this cute theme from tonight's gala -- Hats Off to You. Lots of guests donned hats; 3 won a prize. :)

Virtual galas are still in the rotation. This setup was tucked into a DC office (formerly a townhome). Raising funds for...
10/10/2021

Virtual galas are still in the rotation. This setup was tucked into a DC office (formerly a townhome). Raising funds for research of a rare disease, PKU.

10/08/2021

Work for an association? On average I work for ~4 associations a year that host a gala auction during their annual conference. Some of the auction items at these events can look a little different than what we'd sell at a traditional nonprofit gala auction. Here are some ideas for items.

As I prepare to fly to my next in-person fundraiser, I just got the photos and results back from the last in-person gala...
09/30/2021

As I prepare to fly to my next in-person fundraiser, I just got the photos and results back from the last in-person gala I worked in IL. Loaves & Fishes Community Services watched supporters donate at strong pre-COVID levels! Amazingly, straight through the pandemic, this nonprofit ran a capital campaign while simultaneously rising to meet higher demand. They'll soon open a new warehouse that has refrigeration, thereby enabling them to offer fresher food and have a broader reach with food distribution. Way to go, folks! Props to Time Stops Photography for the beautiful photography!

09/22/2021

I didn't want to screw up the description of the 5-bottle Far Niente wine lot. It's pricey stuff -- and the donation even included a unicorn 2016 vintage.

Furthermore, with ~300 C-level people sitting in the room, *somebody* was going to be enough of a connoisseur to know the difference between the vintners Oakville Estate and the easier-to-obtain Napa Valley blend.

This is why I'm such a stickler for researching my auction items. I like to be prepared -- really prepared -- when I'm onstage selling. I know the presentation of each item matters in different ways to the donor, the nonprofit, and the guests.

In this video, I share a recent example of how the printed description of a charity auction donation (a 2013-2017 vertical of Far Niente wine) didn't seem to match the lot I was selling.

Bidding could have been depressed had guests thought the item was the Napa Valley blend. But in my research I stumbled across a video that prompted me to double-check some things. With confirmation from the donor, I clarified the description onstage, promoted the rarity of the set, and it sold for almost 200% of value.

09/19/2021
Medinah Country Club

Congrats to Loaves & Fishes Community Services on your gala! Generous bidders (and an elegant venue, too). Providing healthy food is critical now more than ever.

Southwest's contest drawing for nonprofits (1 way travel vouchers). Enter to win. Last day to enter is TODAY.
09/17/2021

Southwest's contest drawing for nonprofits (1 way travel vouchers). Enter to win. Last day to enter is TODAY.

Hey 501(c)(3) nonprofits!

Could you use 100 domestic one-way Southwest travel awards to spread kindness and support your mission over the next year? To celebrate reaching our goal of completing and logging one million Acts of Kindness, we’re paying it forward by giving away a total of one million dollars of travel to deserving organizations like yours. Learn more and enter for a chance to win: swa.is/AoKContest

Virtual gala is done so I'm cleaning up my desk. I have appreciated this inexpensive ring light for work. If lighting is...
09/10/2021

Virtual gala is done so I'm cleaning up my desk. I have appreciated this inexpensive ring light for work. If lighting isn't great in your home, or you just need a boost of light for Zoom calls, consider buying one. I find it handy.

08/26/2021
Giving from warm hands

In my most recent video, I talk about the saying, "Better to give with a warm hand than with a cold one." Professional fundraisers might find it useful to remember this as they plan conversations with major donors.

Tonight's gift bag for The Fund For Alexandria's Child is out and ready to go.  Virtual gala 2.0!
08/12/2021

Tonight's gift bag for The Fund For Alexandria's Child is out and ready to go. Virtual gala 2.0!

It was a rainy evening working outside last night, under a tent. It was the 1st "regular" auction in 18 months and hones...
08/10/2021

It was a rainy evening working outside last night, under a tent. It was the 1st "regular" auction in 18 months and honestly, I felt a bit odd and out of the groove /rusty. EG: I forgot to bring some things I usually bring to events... I didn't take a lot of photos ... etc .. just felt "clumsy." It probably didn't help my confidence that I looked like a drowned rat. (How many times will I backup to the edge of the tent and have rain pour on me?) When I first arrived I took these photos -- pretty center pieces with fresh fruit accents. The items were good, raffle popular ... and everything else about the event was "normal" -- for instance, the crowd was upbeat!

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Arlington, VA
22206

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Tuesday 12pm - 11pm
Wednesday 12pm - 11pm
Thursday 12pm - 11pm
Friday 12pm - 11pm
Saturday 12pm - 11pm
Sunday 12pm - 11pm

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(888) 474-0838

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Get ready for the best prom you've ever had (or only prom for some of us) and have the most fun you've had since 2019! From the delicious food and beautiful venue courtesy of the Williamsburg Lodge, music that will keep you dancing from Good Shot Judy, and Red Apple Auctions keeping the night on schedule and in high energy, it's sure to be a night you will never forget!
Get your tickets today and beat the rush at https://baconstreet.org/gala/
Pulling this over from my company page...
Last night's work.
JUST IN: Check out the highlight video from our 50th+1 Anniversary Sunshine Gala!

It's been one month and we are still in awe at the incredible generosity of our San Diego community who came together in support of seniors. You made this a record-breaking milestone event, with over half a million raised!

It was an evening full of fun, dancing and celebration! We can't wait to rock the night away again next year!

Again, THANK YOU!

West Health, Sempra, Qualcomm, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Chelsea Investment Corporation, Hyder & Company, TRIO Community Meals, 62ABOVE, Toni G. Atkins, Best Best & Krieger LLP, California Bank & Trust, Intuit, RCP Block & Brick, Slalom, Sycuan Casino Resort, U.S. Bank, Ranch & Coast Magazine, TW2 Marketing, Inc., KPMG, Senior Resource Group, Molly Cartmill. Paul Downey, Red Apple Auctions, Sherry Truhlar
6 steps to craft a for your event -- especially your from me and my colleague & friend Sherry Truhlar from Red Apple Auctions

Test 3
The band is kickin'
Thank you to Sherry Truhlar and Red Apple Auctions for helping us host our most successful auction to date! We are beyond grateful to have such a talented team by our side year after year as we raise the funds that go towards bettering the lives of our students, members, and their incredible families.
What an incredible evening! ✨

Thank YOU to all our gala guests, sponsors, and supporters who made this a record-breaking milestone event! After postponing our gala twice due to the pandemic, we were so happy to finally get together and celebrate 50+ years of service to seniors!

We are still finalizing the numbers, but I’m sure you are eager to know….drum roll please because the gala exceeded expectations:
Our preliminary estimates show a net income of approximately $530,000 - over half a million dollars raised!

Because of YOU, the funds raised for our 50th+1 Anniversary Sunshine Gala will go a long way in ensuring at-risk, vulnerable seniors have access to meals, housing, health and social services, and enrichment activities.

To view event photos, visit: servingseniors.org/50thanniversary

West Health, Sempra, Qualcomm, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Chelsea Investment Corporation, Hyder & Company, TRIO Community Meals, 62ABOVE, Toni G. Atkins, Best Best & Krieger LLP, California Bank & Trust, Intuit, RCP Block & Brick, Slalom, Sycuan Casino Resort, U.S. Bank, Ranch & Coast Magazine, TW2 Marketing, Inc., KPMG, Senior Resource Group, Molly Cartmill, Paul Downey, Red Apple Auctions, Sherry Truhlar
Tune in next Thursday Oct 1st for the 2020 Nyumbani Virtual Fundraiser!

Hear from Executive Director Sister Mary Owens, IBVM, bid on wonderful silent auction items, and buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a luxury safari to Kenya.

We are exciting to welcome Tommy McFly as our emcee for the event and Sherry Truhlar of Red Apple Auctions as our auctioneer!
Live Stream Program begins at 8:00 p.m. EST
Registration and Pre-Show begins at 7:45 p.m. EST

Join us! You do not need to purchase a ticket to view the livestream but you must register in order to participate in the silent auction or make a donation. Please go to https://Nyumbani.givesmart.com or text “Nyumbani” to 76278 to donate or register for the event.
Congratulations to Upaya Social Ventures for successfully turning their annual in-person gala into a virtual event--in ONE WEEK! What a fabulous example of how to connect with donors and would-be attendees through video, so well that donations continue to come in.

In the comments below is a link to their blog post about how they did this!

via Red Apple Auctions
Not all of these are preventable, but we can certainly be prepared! Thanks, Sherry Truhlar at Red Apple Auctions!
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