What is a Benefit Auction Event?

More than Just an Auction

A Benefit Auction Event (BAE) is more than just an auction. A Benefit Auction Event is an annual fundraising event that brings the movers and the shakers of your community together for an evening of fun, excitement and fellowship to support a non-profit organizations’ community mission. The BAE’s primary goal is fundraising. Funds are raised from a variety of sources, including: ticket sales, sponsorships, fundraising games, silent and live auctions and straight donations. The BAE is a special affair that is anticipated by the community and offers unique items for sale to guests that cannot be obtained through normal channels in the community. The audience is developed, rather than invited. A successful BAE will not only raise needed funds, but will bear tangible and intangible benefits for the non-profit organization throughout the year.


Why hold a Benefit Auction Event?

Fundraising, Community Relevance and Building a Support Network

In these tough economic times, non-profit organizations are facing unprecedented revenue restrictions. Government grants are drying up and local, state and federal governments are making tough budget decisions. Unfortunately, non-profit organizations are finding themselves on the chopping block. However, government cutbacks are not decreasing the needs of our communities; instead, community needs are increasing.  Cash strapped non-profit organizations must begin looking to alternative funding sources to seek self sustainability. If nothing else, non-profits who can show fundraising success, can demonstrate strong community support that can influence political decision makers who are struggling to divide the funding pie. A Benefit Auction Event fulfills three important non-profit goals by increasing the non-profit’s community footprint and relevance, by developing and maintaining donor relationships and by raising needed operational funds.

A Benefit Auction Event increases the non-profit’s community footprint and relevance to the community. Done right, the benefit event raises community awareness of the organization’s services and the community’s need for those services. The event showcases the organization’s services, staff, organization, competence and enthusiasm. The event should be designed to highlight the specific niche that only your organization fills in the community and highlight your success - making you relevant and worthy of support.

A benefit event generates excitement in the community for the organization and provides an annual event supporters and community leaders will look forward to each year. A Benefit Auction Event nurtures community relationships. The event should be structured to recognize and thank donors and supporters for their efforts to better their community. Audience development techniques identify and bring new donors and community investors into your organization; thus continually building and developing a support network. 

Finally, the event fosters strong community relationships by rewarding and thanking supporters for their efforts in a fun and exciting way.  

And yes, a Benefit Auction Event is a great way to raise operating funds. In 2009, Benefit Auction events raised more than $16 billion for non-profit organizations nationwide. The 2011 Cygnus Donor Survey reports that 79% of donors plan to give more or the same in 2011 (April 2011). Organizations not holding a benefit auction event are missing an important fundraising tool that could make the difference between organizational success and failure. 

Do we really need a Professional Auctioneer?

We have used a local personality to emcee our event. What does a professional auctioneer bring that we can’t do ourselves?

A professional auctioneer knows auctions and how to call bids in a way that raises the most money for the seller. An auctioneer markets your sale items and excites the crowd to get the highest bids. If your non-profit is not using a professional auctioneer, you should. A professional auctioneer will help you raise more funds than an amateur or a celebrity. However, don’t tell that celebrity you don’t need them, PBA has many ways for them to contribute to the cause! But, Michael Parker is more than just a professional auctioneer; he is an AANC Auctioneer, an NAA Auctioneer and a Benefit Auction Specialist. 

Ready to talk? Contact us

Why do I need a BAS?


We have never held a Benefit Auction Event - what do we need to pull it off?

Do you have bid cards? How will you keep the paperwork straight? What is the best sound system? How should the room be set up? Which items are best for the silent auction? Do you know how to set up the silent bid sheets to bring the most money? Which items are best for the live auction? How should the items be organized? What food will you serve? More importantly, how and when will you serve it? When is the best date and time to hold the event? What type of paperwork do you need? Do you know where to go to get great items for your event? How do you get the crowd to come? Who do you invite to the event? Let’s face it, your organization does important work and this is the perfect opportunity to make a great community impression and increase your community impact, don’t mess it up. Parker Benefit Auctions knows the answers to these and hundreds of other questions you haven’t even thought to ask. Let’s do it right, call Parker Benefit Auctions, we are in it with you for the long haul! 


We have a good event now, can we still benefit from a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist?

Yes! One of the main components a BAS Auctioneer brings to your event is advice and fresh ideas. Parker Benefit Auctions can also serve your organization as a consultant to help maximize your fundraising! PBA consultants maintain contact with your organization through phone, e-mail and personal meetings in the months and weeks before your event to help you plan the details for an exciting and fun evening. Together, we can make your good event GREAT! 


Why involve a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist?

Imagine your daughter is playing little league baseball when she is hit with a ball. From the stands, three people arrive to help, the announcer, a nurse and a doctor. Who do you choose to help your child in her time of need?
The announcer means well, but does not have the expertise of the nurse in dealing with medical needs. The nurse can certainly tend to your child, but the doctor has the highest level of training and experience available. Who do you ask to help? Your non-profit’s fundraising needs are no different.
You have devoted a lot of time and effort in making your non-profit a success. The Auction event may be your largest fundraiser of the year; shouldn’t you seek the person with the most training and experience to help your organization achieve its greatest potential?
Parker Benefits has helped non-profits meet their fundraising goals for more than 30 years. PBA can do the same for your organization.
According to the National Auctioneer's Association Benefit Auctioneer Business Survey, Auctioneers who achieved the professional designation of BAS (Benefit Auctioneer Specialist) raise TWICE as much money at benefit auctions.(June 2011).  These results are not surprising, since a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist is more than just an auctioneer; he is an advocate for your cause.
Michael Parker is not only a trained auctioneer, he is a professionally trained advocate, graduating from UNC School of Law in 1989 and working in North Carolina’s courtrooms as a prosecutor for 25 years. Michael has tried more than 150 jury trials on cases from misdemeanors to murder. He is a nationally recognized speaker on trial advocacy, having taught prosecutors in 14 states. If you need an advocate and an auctioneer, Michael Parker has the credentials. 

When should we involve a BAS Auctioneer?

The sooner the better! A successful Benefit Event should be an annual event and takes six to twelve months to plan. Involving Parker Benefit Auctions before the planning begins allows you to incorporate all the great ideas a BAS Auctioneer brings to your event. Don’t wait; call Parker Benefit Auctions today – after all, you can’t plow a field by just turning it over in your mind! 

What are Parker Benefits?

Parker Benefit Auctions help you create more than an EVENT - we create an EXPERIENCE that your guests will remember, relive and retell the whole year!  The Greatest BENEFIT . . . a Benefit Auction Experience!

What's with all the letters? AANC, NAA, BAS??


What is an AANC Auctioneer

AANC is the Auctioneer’s Association of North Carolina. An AANC Auctioneer is an auctioneer who seeks to association him or herself with the best professional auctioneers in North Carolina. An AANC Auctioneer keeps track of the most recent North Carolina trends and auction laws. An AANC Auctioneer wants to take advantage of all the North Carolina Auction market has to offer. AANC represents a community of professionals and Matthew Parker is a member while Michael Parker is a lifetime member.


What is an NAA Auctioneer?

NAA is the National Auctioneer’s Association. An NAA Auctioneer is an auctioneer who is connected with the best auctioneers in the country. An NAA Auctioneer keeps up with the latest trends in the auction business, is held to the highest professional standards and seeks the best training and continuing education in the business. An NAA Auctioneer takes his profession seriously and wants to stay current with the latest technology and Auction innovations. An NAA Auctioneer is recognized as one of the best in the business. Michael and Matthew Parker are NAA Auctioneers. 


What is a Benefit Auction Specialist?

A Benefit Auction Specialist is an NAA auctioneer who has been specially trained in planning and conducting benefit auctions. As a Benefit Auction Specialist, Michael Parker specializes in fundraising events and helps you maximize your revenue during every minute of your event. Benefit Auction Specialists specialize in:

  • Creative fundraising ideas 
  • Developing event marketing plans
  • Acquiring the right items for your event 
  • Developing your audience 
  • Organizing silent auctions to maximize your donations
  • Organizing live auction items to maximize bids 
  • Developing event floor plans to achieve guest satisfaction and increase donations 
  • Conducting the live auction 

What's up with the cowboy hats? Do you wear them every auction?


They are a Tool

No, we don't wear them every auction but like a microphone, they serve several important functions.  First, a microphone allows an auctioneer to be heard by a larger crowd, the hat allows an auctioneer to be seen by a larger crowd.  An auctioneer communicates with more than his voice.  We also use our hands, our bodies and our heads.  When soliciting a bid, we often learn forward and gesture "come on" with our hands.  If you watch closely, we will even nod as if saying "yes" to encourage a reluctant bidder to take the plunge.  In a large room, it is hard to see an auctioneer from a distance, the hats amplify our head motions - like the microphone amplifies our voice.


They are Essential in Large Venues

The hats are essential in large crowds, large venues and under bright lights.  We recently handled a 600 person event in a room over an acre in size.  Without the hats, I could never have found my Assistant Auctioneers.  Once the sale began, the spotlights came on and we could not see past the stage. The large brims shielded our eyes from the light and helped us connect with the audience.  Sounds silly, but in 300 person venues, the hats are almost essential.


Finally, they are just plain fun!

And cool . . . nuff said.

Seriously a bell? Why a Bell?

I have been to your events and sometimes you ring a bell - what's up with that?

In the old days, auctioneers did not have the internet or email to advertise their  Auction.  Instead, they used a bell (and a red flag) to attract people's attention and invite them to the auction.  Today, we use the bell to get people's attention when we are drawing a raffle winner. (If you look closely, we also use a red bandana to pay homage to those old auctioneers.)  More importantly, we ring the bell when a live auction item goes OVER value during the live auction.  


Commitment, Public Service, Passion and Advocacy

Why Should we consider Parker Benefit Auctions?

Michael Parker began serving the public in 1977 when, as a 13 year old, he joined the local volunteer rescue squad. For more than 20 years, Michael answered calls and helped with fundraising for a volunteer squad that did not receive tax money. During his 20 years of service, Michael was a member of volunteer teams that won three state junior first aid championships and four state Heavy Duty Rescue Championships. Before he was 18 years old, Michael had five people die in his arms. Michael knows grief, he knows heartbreak, he knows the value of community and he believes in the volunteer spirit.

In 1989, Michael graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and began work as a prosecutor. For 25 years, he prosecuted all types of criminal cases, from juvenile offenses to murders. From 2004-2010 Michael served as the elected District Attorney for a three county district – he knows what makes politicians tick. During his career, Michael tried more than 150 jury trials and prosecuted or supervised the prosecution of more than 500 homicides. He has met with victim’s families; he has seen the effects of gangs, domestic violence, rape, robbery and murder on victims, families and the community.  Michael knows the value of early childhood programs, intervention programs and victim service programs.

Michael has been a passionate professional advocate for these causes for more than 20 years. Michael began in the auction business in the 1970’s working at the foot of his father, an auctioneer since 1946. Michael put himself through law school running his auction business. He knows auctions, he knows the auction method of marketing, he knows the value of hard work and professionalism.

“As a rescueman, I went to the aid of people in trouble. As District Attorney I worked to reduce violent crime, improve law enforcement and comfort victims. I have worked for the benefit of the community my whole life.  As a Fundraising Auctioneer, I work to help worthy organizations garner the resources they need to serve their communities. I have the experience, the commitment and the passion to advocate for you.”