On a typical night of auction, we would use 140 volunteers per night. Due to COVID, we knew that we needed to be more cautious for our volunteers’ safety. We moved into a hybrid auction, half-online and half-TV. In this way, we were able to limit how many people we needed for our fundraiser. We ended up making the same amount of money we normally do even though we had fewer donations and a different format. With the new format, it was easier on all of the staff and it showed on our live production.
We also used this year’s auction as an opportunity to help support local businesses in a way that we haven’t done before. Since we didn’t have the same number of donations that we were used to getting, we asked for the people in our community to purchase items from local businesses – both physical items and gift certificates – and donate those to the auction. This helped bring needed money into those local businesses while providing us with needed items for our auction.