Charity Auctions

by NDFAuthors

  • Nov 22, 2013

I’m sure you will find interesting many details around the charity  auction we organized, but that would require a lot of space so i’ll  try to share a few.  Milutin is quite an expert in choosing the best auction items for our  guests, as he understands well what sells the best, so thanks to him  we were able to have such great results.

One auction item that was always raising the most interest on our  galas and that we always had to list in our catalogue is the “match  with Novak”. That was not surprising at all to us, since he is the  founder of the NDF and a person that people most want to meet and  greet on our galas. Thanks to him we had a room full of people who  wanted to support our cause, so they were naturally ready to bid the  most for the items that included Novak. Unfortunately, this offer  comes as very limited due to Novak’s active career and busy schedule  during the year. We can only offer 1 or 2 matches per year, and  believe it or not, even those ones are quite difficult to organize,  despite Novak’s good will.

We collect auction items for several months. Many people offer us  various things they find valuable and we make the selection once we  know who will be the bidders in the room. The auction item donors are  usually art collectors, people with several properties, yachts; we  also have some holiday resorts offering a week of stay in their  hotels, jewellery brands, designers… It comes handy to know a  celebrity or two who would offer something from their personal  collection, or even offer an experience with them (e.g. “Have dinner  with…/ Play golf with…”) that is usually “once in a lifetime  experience”. Those ones are the hardest to get (since celebs don’t  have much time and offer very rarely experiences), but the ones that  raise the most money on auctions.


Reasons why people would donate an auction item for our charity,  apart from genuinely wanting to help:

1. There are many benefits for person/brand/company who donates the  item for our event. For example, by doing so they can get great  visibility – in the media, as well as among influential people who  are their potential customers. Having Novak as our team leader is  a big advantage since the media is always interested to write  about his life on and off the court. In addition, many influential  and famous people also come to support him which gives them more  reasons to write about what we do.

2. Because of good energy in the room and because it is a charity  dinner, most of the items are sold at a price higher than its  selling price. That creates a buzz in the room (and out with the  help of media) which adds to the value of the company/brand.  Imagine a watch that costs $20,000 euros being sold at $50,000.  That’s not bad at all to brag about right?

auction-bracelet3. We usually ask our celebrity guests to come out on stage and help  us sell the item. As a result, people are more interested to buy  it and more willing to bid even over their price range. When  Karlie Kloss or Naomi Campbell give you a sexy look and ask you to  pay extra $5000 for a bracelet for the benefit of children, how  can you refuse? I couldn’t.

4. For the companies and brands it is absolutely important to  allocate annual funds for various CSR activities. Therefore it is  natural that they have interest in supporting organizations that  will also give them in return certain visibility on the market.

When you take all of these points into consideration, public auction  is a very good way to raise funds. The biggest portion of our budget  comes from these auctions, followed by the money we raise from  selling individual tickets and tables, and some portion from  sponsors. Our revenues also come from private donations, where people  just send a check or make a donation through PayPal  or  directly to our bank account.

auctions-catalogueAs I’ve mentioned before, we close our auction items list just couple  of days before the event, when we know exactly who will be the  bidders in “the room”. We do that because we adjust the items to  them. Golden rule in any business, even non -profit is to sell the  customer what they want. For people to be willing to give money, we  need to offer something that has a real value for them. If we have an  art collector in the room, we will make sure to have something in the  catalogue for him. Sometimes we have to purchase certain auction  items, which is not unusual. It happens, people can’t donate all the  things for free and thus provide pure profit for the foundation. In  most cases we have bought paintings that we knew could reach high  price at the auction and exceed the cost. As I mentioned before,  Milutin is an expert on this topic and he was advising us on what  painting would be a good item for our collectors.

Here are some of the most interesting auction items that appeared on  our galas:

  • The most exclusive Pro-Am Tennis Event in the World, play on Necker  Island with Novak Djokovic (sold for $180K), John McEnroe ($150K) and  Sir Richard Branson ($125K)
  • Private match with the world number 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic,  sold for $120K
  • 4 days with Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson on board the super yacht  Silver Angel, winner of the Yacht of the Year, 2010, sold for £370k
  • Andy Warhol painting of Mick Jagger, sold for £100k
  • Garrad’s diamond bracelet, sold for £65k
  • A week on the Super Yacht Galaxy, which was sold twice for $320k  and $275K
  • A week in the Dominican Republic’s largest private villa, sold for  $300K
  • Photo shoot with Patrick Demachiler at his studio and attending a  fashion show as a special quest of Anna Wintour , sold for $170K


I hope this blog gives you answers at least to the half of your  questions regarding NDF. But if there are some more things you would  like to know, our whole team is at your disposal. Next time I would  like to focus more on our projects, as I am sure you wonder where do  we invest all this money.

If there is anything you’d like to share with me and my team, please  don’t hesitate to do so by leaving your comment below. We are always  open to learn more, and we try to share with you all we learn on our  way. We have quite high expectations for ourselves, which makes us  work hard every day. We also try to meet your expectations, and we  hope that we manage to do so. If it happens that we don’t, don’t be  too hard on us, we gave our best because we really care. Some people  don’t even try, but that’s not who we are.

We dream big. We never give up.

Lots of love,