Advice From a Former High School Principal…For a Day

school kid-resized-600.jpgWe all know why we’re here…to raise more money! As you may have experienced, getting the right items is one of the most challenging aspects of this process. There are those who laugh in the face of this challenge, those who rise above it and say…“You know what? I’ll just make up my own items.” Make them up? Yes! Make them up! I’m going to focus on schools, but the theory applies to all kinds of organizations.

I’ve seen so many different “homemade” items take flight and soar to the top of the “Best Selling Items” list. The way I see it, there are three different categories to these items: things with the cute factor, the cool factor, and the X factor! Be creative and as unique as possible!

The Cute Factor: When you see someone has placed a $2,000 bid for a preschool finger painting, you can’t help but wonder if one of the painters is a descendant of Picasso. Likely not. It’s cute! And who is going be the lucky kid that gets to brag about the class project hanging proudly on his refrigerator? Anything that kids create has a cute factor like: class projects, paintings, pottery, etc.

The Cool Factor: As a former High School Principal [for a Day], I’m partial toward items with the cool factor. Things like Principal for a Day, the naming rights to the private road leading up to school, a sleepover in the school gym, a day trip to an amusement park with the cool teacher, and the list goes on and on. The best part about these items is that they create their own hype. Everyone will remember the kid who gave all of her friends fake detentions and you better believe they will be talking it up with Mom & Dad before next year’s auction.

The X Factor: Sometimes things are too cool for the cool factor. They transcend all logic and reason and sell for an exorbitant amount of money. These are the things that are cool AND can solve a problem. Is pick-up or parking a nightmare at school? Auction off a premier reserved spot or two. Is it impossible to get a good picture at graduation? Here, four front row graduation seats, have at ‘em. If you can pin-point a problem, you can likely get an item out of it!

People buy this stuff? In a word: yes. This year alone, BiddingForGood has seen everything from a sixth grade class project sell for $2,000 all the way to a reserved parking spot selling for $20,000! (Actually, four parking spots were sold at that price!) It all comes down to understanding your audience and what they consider truly valuable! Are they going to go for the Cute Factor, the Cool Factor, or do you have X Factor potential? Good luck!

Posted by Bryan Farrington

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