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What is a Clean Sweep Auction?

Think of a Clean Sweep as the opposite of a traditional live auction. Rather than driving bidding up, you’ll gradually bring the price down. 

Sounds counterintuitive, we know! 

But just like a paddle raise, the power of the Clean Sweep is in getting as many paddles in the air as possible. 

Refresher: What is a Paddle Raise?

A paddle raise—also known as a fund-a-need—is a direct fundraising appeal at a fundraising event. This technique encourages audiences to pledge money to your cause by putting up their paddles.

Paddle raise fundraising usually takes place right after an emotional appeal or “mission moment” with the goal of getting as many people to raise their paddles as possible.

What You Need for a Clean Sweep Auction

1. A highly appealing travel experience

Your item should be exclusive enough to generate desire but universal enough to appeal to the whole room. Luxury travel experiences strike the perfect balance!  

2. An experience you can sell unlimited times

Donated trips are strictly off the table. Your trip needs to be a consignment item you can sell unlimited times.

3. A low-cost travel experience

The majority of your guests should be able to afford the trip while still leaving your nonprofit a good fundraising margin.

How A Clean Sweep Auction Works

🎯 Step 1: Choose your target price

Start with the price you want to sell your trip for. Consider the nonprofit cost and how much money you’d like to raise. In this example, let’s sell a $1,200 vacation for $3,000 (that’s $1,800 in funds per trip!)

📣 Step 2: Showcase your experience

Show off the experience to your guests. Highlight the breathtaking destination, luxurious accommodations and inclusions, and other selling points. Take advantage of marketing visuals from your consignment partner to create hype.

💲 Step 3: Start the bidding high

Start your bidding high! Ask your audience who would love to take home this luxurious trip for $10k while supporting a worthy cause. One or two paddles will rise.

👇🏽 Step 4: Lower the price

Drop the bid amount slightly and ask who would love this stunning trip for $8,000. Guests will start to get curious and a few more paddles will go up.

📉 Step 5: Keep dropping it...

Continue dropping the price slowly in increments from seven thousand to five to four. More and more paddles will rise in excitement as the prize comes into reach.

🙌🏼 Step 6: One last time...

When you hit your target price of $3,000, ask the question one last time. Watch as 20, 30, or even more paddles soar! 

✨ You Have a Clean Sweep! 

Congratulations, you’ve just 20x your funds in a matter of minutes! Your audience is now walking away with an incredible vacation for just $3,000 and you're taking home $35,000+ for your cause! 

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Benefits of a Clean Sweep Auction

Get Everyone Involved

Live auctions can exclude up to 90% of bidders in the room. By offering an affordable experience, you capture funds from the entire audience rather than selling to just one or two high-rollers.

Raise in High Volumes

This fundraising technique is a quick and easy way to raise proceeds in high volume. The same experience sold once at a silent auction can now sell ten, twenty, or even thirty times!

Entice Audiences to Bid

Clean Sweep's open bidding up to everyone, capturing all the funds that weren't spent at the live or silent auction. Adding the incentive of a luxury trip also gives audiences an extra push to put their paddles up.

Generate Excitement

Excitement is contagious! As the cost of the trip drops, the excitement of the crowd goes up, encouraging others to get in on the action. This enthusiasm also rolls over into your next auction or fund-a-need.

Clean Sweep Fundraising Tips

Secure a Starting Bid

Connect with a few key donors before the event to secure your starting bid amount. That way, you ensure a few paddles go up when you start the bidding, encouraging others to get in on the action. 

Go Out With a Bang

We like to run a Clean Sweep at the end of the live auction when donors least expect it. Their surprise as the price drops instead of rises creates contagious excitement in the room. By the time you finish, enthusiasm is at an all-time high and carries over into your paddle raise. 

Trust the Professionals

Hiring a professional auctioneer can take your Clean Sweep to the next level. Benefit auctioneers are trained at driving bids and are proven to raise more funds than volunteers. 

Need an auctioneer? Let us pair you with a professional in your area. We also work one-on-one with your auctioneer or volunteers to coach them on our travel experiences and proven fundraising strategies.

Take Action

Planning a fundraiser for your nonprofit? LuxGive offers a wealth of resources to help you plan and execute a successful benefit event.

At LuxGive, we believe in the transformative power of travel. Our mission is to help nonprofits raise more funds at auction through once-in-a-lifetime home and villa experiences.

Our travel experiences feature Premium Guest Services for trip planning and access to an exceptional portfolio of over 1,500 stunning private properties across the world. 

Whether it’s a luxury Caribbean villa, an enchanting Tuscan apartment, or an alpine lodge steps from the powder, we have something for all your clients' needs.

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