Elk NetworkProven Banquet Fundraising Tactics

Volunteer Newsletter | March 25, 2024

Here are some low risk, high reward tactics that you can implement to increase your banquet fundraising.

Here are some proven tools and tactics available to RMEF chapters that are not currently being used to their fullest potential. RMEF volunteers and staff agree that these low risk, high reward tactics can help your chapter raise more funds if you are not already using them.

Live Auction Multiples:

Selling multiples of a single item at a live auction can result in a significant increase in net revenue. If you have 30 live auction items but you sell multiples of five of each item, it’s possible for your live auction to make 35, 40, 45+ sales! Of course, you can only offer multiples on certain items, and only if those items sell for a worthy price.

It is vital to know the prices at which they need to sell to determine if you should sell multiples or not. Knowing when to cap bidding when offering multiple of the same product is a tactic worth considering. Is it worth stopping a bid at a certain price to sell four or five, versus only one or two and letting the bidding increase? Setting selling “trigger points” and noting them for your auctioneer and emcee will ensure you don’t miss a sales opportunity.

Here are some suggested items that often have multiple sales at events:

  • Quigley-Ford Rifle Scopes:
    • Quigley-Ford is a long-time supporter of RMEF. Its products have been featured in banquets for more than a decade. The company offers a custom 4-16x50mm rifle scope, valued at $1699.99, that can be sold at your live auction. The cost of this rifle scope is 50% of the scope’s sale price, which must be sold for at least $700. If you only sell one for $700, your chapter nets $350. However, chapters often see the scope sell for at least $800 and they sell three or more per auction. Quigley-Ford will supply a display scope and information to your regional director for you to include at your live auction. If you are not currently offering this scope among your auction items, discuss it with your regional director. We suggest setting a sale price goal of $800 to $900 and stopping the bidding somewhere in that range to sell to more auction bidders.


  • Silencer Central Silencers:
    • Silencer Central offers a .22 caliber suppressor to any chapter that would like to use it for fundraising. The SoLo 22 LR Suppressor ($345 value) is available at no cost to the chapter, regardless of how many are sold. Buyers are responsible for paying Silencer Central $200 for the federal tax stamp and Silencer Central offers upgrades to those buyers for larger calibers. These silencers often sell for $250+ at a live auction, and by offering multiples, an average chapter can sell five or more. Again, these come at no cost to the chapter, so if you sell five of them for $250, your event nets $1,250 with this single item. There are even times when an event sells 10+ at their live auction! We suggest setting a sale price goal of $250-$300 and stopping the bidding somewhere in that range to sell to more auction bidders.


Ultimate Gear Package:

Another proven fundraising tactic is utilizing the Ultimate Gear Package. This is a grouping of firearms and merchandise that allows the buyer to choose which items they want to purchase. Within the package are different groups of gear, and the buyer typically chooses one item from each group. For example, there may be a weapon group, optic group and gear group from which the buyer chooses one of each. The items included in these packages have good profit margins and allow RMEF to generate solid net revenue per package. Plus, the buyer gets a good deal based on the highest potential fair market value (FMV). For this package, we suggest advertising the highest FMV potential coupled with the minimum bid price. For example, if the buyer chooses the highest FMV items within each group, the value could be up to $4,000. If RMEF’s highest cost is $1,500, the advertised minimum bid is $3,000. The poster would read “Up to $4,000 value. $3,000 minimum bid.”

When selling these packages, the biggest risk is the time it takes to sell, especially if there are no bids. If that happens, you’ve lost two minutes from the auction, but the potential of having multiple buyers in the room willing to buy it for at least $3,000 makes it worth it. Don’t let your banquet size prevent you from trying this package, events with fewer than 100 people have been successful selling these. Reach out to your regional director for more information on implementation.



HGA Vacation Trips:

RMEF teams up with HGA, a company that solely works with nonprofit organizations, to offer vacation destination packages at their fundraising events. HGA supplies vacation trip boards to display in your auctions. RMEF chapters then sell the packages and HGA help the buyers arrange their trip. Buyers have two years from the date of purchase to take their vacation. We suggest offering five to seven of these trips and scattering them throughout your silent auction.

It’s common for events to sell at least one HGA trip, but another tactic is to try and sell multiple. Each trip will generate at least $1,000-$2,000 in net revenue. These are a great way to increase the revenue generated by your silent auction and allow attendees to bid on something they don’t typically see at a fundraising banquet. Just because you don’t sell a trip your first year, don’t be afraid to offer them again. The only risk is the amount of space the poster and bid sheet take up on your silent auction.


The Auction Bump:

This live auction feature gives the opportunity for each successful bidder to “bump” their bid an extra dollar amount (chapter’s choice, but most often either $100 or $150). If the successful bidder of the live auction item does not want to bump their bid, that bump will be quickly auctioned off (usually within 30 seconds). Some live auction items will have multiple bid winners and each successful bidder may buy that bump, but any declined bumps on an item with multiple buyers will not be auctioned off. All successful bump buyers will be entered into a drawing for a nicer prize, such as the banquet firearm or other high-cost prize.




Hopefully, you consider implementing at least a few of the above ideas. These are low or no risk with high reward, and they are being used by hundreds of RMEF chapters. Why not go all in and give them all a try?