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?
3. 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.
As 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,