The sluggish economy has dealt a blow to charity auctions, which aren’t raising as much money as they have in past years, according to a new survey by cMarket, an online-auction company.
Sixty-five percent of charities said the economy had an impact on their fund-raising event, while 66 percent said it had become more difficult to get donated items from local merchants. Twenty-nine percent reported lower attendance at this year’s event, while 20 percent said they’d had fewer bidders.
Two hundred and fifty charities responded to the survey, which was conducted from January through April.
Of those surveyed, 38 percent said merchants were demanding more marketing benefits, while 34 percent said corporate sponsors had become more demanding.
“We found that respondents were feeling the impact of the economy in many different ways,” said Timothy Matthews, senior analyst at cMarket, in a statement. “Even those whose auctions did well said they felt at least some softness, particularly on the supply side in terms of item donations and acquisitions.”
Charity leaders reported that travel, entertainment, and dining were the most-popular auction items. Art, collectibles, and jewelry performed less well, according to the survey.
The survey found that charity leaders had different ideas for how they might compensate for the soft economy. Sixty percent said they had start getting items farther in advance, while 39 percent said they’d use the Internet more to auction off goods.
What has been your experience with fund-raising auctions this year? Are you finding it more difficult to acquire items and raise money? If so, how do you plan to compensate?