The Trudeau Center hopes to par one for the course with their latest fundraiser which will benefit their Special Olympics team, the Trudeau Tigers.
On Monday, they teed-up an online auction that is being held in conjunction with their 33rd annual golf tournament on August 22 at Potowomut Golf Club at 439 Ives Road.
“I always look at agencies that are running silent auctions to see what they have for items and noticed that three in a row were using Bidding For Good,” said Ed Egan, the Director of Development at the center. “At the same time, a representative from their company happened to call Trudeau and said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you heard about us.’”
After Egan and his coworkers researched Bidding For Good, a business based in Cambridge, Mass. that provides charitable organizations with software and expertise to run online fundraising auctions, they decided to give it a try. The center then paid a $300 fee, which gave them access to the database for a year. In that timeframe, they can hold as many auctions as they wish.
“I expect the website to generate approximately $3,000,” said Egan. “I’m looking to increase that simply by taking the bids and making them the opening bids at the tournament. On August 21, the online auction will end and the bids will be printed out and brought to the tournament the next day. Then, people can decide if they want to place more bids. Right now, the goal is to get the word out to as many people as we can.”
Egan said some of the hottest items include autographed Boston Bruins memorabilia; autographed footballs from New England Patriot players Tom Brady and Wes Welker; signed baseballs and bats from Boston Red Sox players Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia; and autographed items from Bruce Springsteen, just to name a handful.
“We’re collecting thousands of dollars worth of auction and raffle items and the only people who lay their eyes on it are the people who come to the golf tournament, which sells out every year,” said Egan. “We’re still looking for players and we chose to cap it off at 132. If we took more, it would slow down the playing on the course. It’s $175 per player.”
While the auction is open to the players, the public can also visit to place bids and watch the competition. Further, Egan said Michael Salvadore, a professional auctioneer
and nationally accredited equipment appraiser, is going to give guests a chance to bid on additional merchandise such as a team autographed Boston Celtics basketball; Celtics tickets; Red Sox tickets; and a six-night stay in Florida. Trudeau will also have raffles for items like gift certificates for area businesses, such as restaurants and hotels.
But, that’s not all. For the first time, Egan said they have partnered with LeaderBoard of Boston, an organization that specializes in making charity golf tournaments have the look and feel of a Professional Golf Association telecast.
“We are very excited,” he said. “They are going to provide us with a 10-foot video screen with a projector and plasma TVs. From the moment the participants leave their golf carts, they are going to see a TV that shows them what their tee assignments are. We’re going to be able to conduct our raffle in a very exciting, entertaining way, too. We definitely turned it up a notch.”
Egan also said the plasma televisions offer “great” sponsor opportunities with “high impact visibility,” as the center is still looking for more sponsors. He hopes teaming up will Bidding For Good and LeaderBoard will help the center’s mission to provide people with disabilities with care and support.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to survive,” he said. “There are so many worthwhile charities out there that you have to set yourself apart from the next person. We’re not settling for the same-old same-old.”
One of the aspects Egan said he enjoys about Bidding For Good is the fact that they assigned Trudeau with a personal consultant that is dedicated to their auction. The consultant assists by guiding them through the navigation process; customizing the colors and layout of the website; uploading images; writing a narrative; as well as setting them up with potential donors.
“I can e-mail them and say, ‘I made a few changes to the site,’ and they say, ‘OK. Just make sure you do this, this and this,” said Egan. “You also get to download one of their distribution list of companies that are prone to make contributions based on the cause. I was able to tap into an additional 146 e-mail addresses from companies, hotels, restaurants, and sporting teams that are rated by Bidding For Good as companies that give to online auctions. Within 48 hours, I received four overnights at hotels.”
Kaijsa Kurstin, Media Relations Manager for Bidding for Good, said the company started in 2003 and offered a simple platform for non-profit organizations and schools to hold online auctions. Over time, they expanded to provide customers with the services Egan described.
“We help them secure partnerships with companies so they can choose to have items in their auctions for free,” Kurstin said. “They don’t have to go out and get it because we can do it for them. We’re connecting non-profits, consumers, and businesses into this holistic ecosystem. It’s a win-win-win triangle for everyone involved and it’s really cool. We’ve become a new kind of product that drives charitable causes.”
Kurstin said the company has run more than 10,000 auctions and raised more than $125 million since they began.
“Fifty-percent of the $125 million was raised in the last year,” she said. “That is huge momentum.”
Egan said this is the first time Trudeau has used their services and hopes all goes well. With tee off for the tournament at 12:30 p.m., the players will finish by six in the evening. Following the game, dinner will be served at the facility, complete with appetizers and a full-course meal.
“The winners are announced after dinner just before the end of the night,” said Egan. “People like the fact that we hold it at a private course. They get to play at a really nice place.”
To make an online bid visit biddingforgood.com/trudeaucenter. For more information about how to sign up to play in the golf tournament, call the Trudeau Center at 401- 739-2992.