Partner Spotlight: Chuck Dukas, Benefit Charity Auctioneer, TV Host, & Live Event MC | LuxGive

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Tell us a little about you and your organization:

Here in LA, we’re a bit of a 'Jack-of-all-trades'. I started my career as a Hollywood TV personality, which serendipitously led to over a decade of work as a benefit charity auctioneer.

Over the years, I've conducted over 500 charity events with close to 350 nonprofits across the US and Canada.  I started as a one-man show, but as the list of events grew, I knew I couldn’t be everywhere at once. 

Last year I started the Dukas Auctioneer Group, a group of talented and passionate auction professionals with years of television and improv experience. We aren’t just people calling out bids, we’re there to engage and entertain audiences. 

We really pride ourselves in helping our clients reach their fundraising event goals while implementing our proven strategies.

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How did you get your start in fundraising?

I’ve been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, with my first big break on The Price is Right. Since then, I've been an on-camera and network television audience warm-up host for some of the nation's biggest hit shows, from America's Got Talent to American Idol, The Voice, and Dancing with the Stars. 

I was approached one evening by an NBC exec to Emcee a charity event. I was used to hosting, so I agreed. But when I got there, the auctioneer was a no-show! They asked if I could fill in, and I thought: 'Why not? Let’s see what we can do.’ 

I used my experience as a TV host to make it fun and engaging. After the event, people were coming up to me asking for my auctioneer card. 

That event turned into two, two events turned into four. And the rest is history. 

I really enjoy taking an event and steering it in the right direction. I want people to realize I’m not just a Hollywood personality, I’m really there to help their organization succeed.

What goes into pulling off a successful auction?

When I do an event, I’m more than the auctioneer. For months, my group works with nonprofits hearing about what they’ve done in the past, what they’re thinking of doing this year, what types of elements will be in the show. 

I check in with them every week to see where the event is in the planning process. We use detailed templates and checklists – everything from the timing of the meal, the auction, the video appeal, to the size of the paddles and where to put the stage.

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Leading up to the event, I’m coming in an hour before, walking around looking at the space: what does the silent auction look like? Are the live auction items displayed properly for cocktail hour? 

I really enjoy taking an event and steering it in the right direction. I want people to realize I’m not just a Hollywood personality, I’m really there to help their organization succeed.

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Why is this work important to you? 

It's an incredible feeling helping all these nonprofits, schools, and churches raise money. Every time I come to an event, I know we’re truly doing something amazing. Whether it’s raising money for cancer research, helping kids, or acquiring assets that can change lives, you're doing a lot of good in society and life. 

Seeing the impact we’ve made after every event and knowing what the organization can now achieve – it’s a truly rewarding profession. 

What's your proudest moment working in philanthropy? 

I’ve done events in over 20 states, and two countries. But as a Boston native, I’m most proud of being asked to serve as the National Auctioneer for the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation

For someone growing up in New England, it’s truly been such an honor to be associated with the Dunkin’ brand and all they do to help sick and underprivileged kids across the country. 

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Can you share a highlight of a recent fundraising event? 

Last night was one of the best fundraising events I’ve ever had. The organization was hoping to raise about $45,000 in the live ask. I got them $145,000. 

But you can’t just go up there with a piece of paper and expect to sell. You have to have an understanding of the organization, the timeline – you need to build a connection with the audience. 

That’s where I can really apply my TV hosting background. I’m always thinking: ‘What could be exciting for the audience? What could be fun?’

You want to raise funds, but you also want the attendees to have fun and want to come back year after year. There has to be a give and take. 

People always ask me how I have so much energy and I tell them ‘I love what I do’. That’s the key.

How has LuxGive helped you reach your fundraising goals? 

A lot of organizations I work with don’t have incredible resources to auction off – they don’t have donors with high-end vacation homes in Vail or Palm Springs. It's important for me to connect clients who need help procuring exciting auction items to organizations like LuxGive

Their portfolio of experiences lets my clients add something to their auction that doesn’t feel purchased – something that gives the auction cachet and helps them raise a lot of funds. 

Everyone wants to buy a vacation, and they can either get it with no philanthropic incentive or with a company that helps them give back.

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Any closing thoughts? 

I didn’t come out to LA to be an auctioneer, but the career found me. I still continue to split my time between both professions, but at the end of the day, my personality, my energy, my ability to improv and command an audience – that’s a constant.

People always ask me how I have so much energy and I tell them ‘I love what I do’. That’s the key.

Learn More About Chuck Dukas

💻Website: www.DukasAuctioneerGroup.com
📱Instagram: @ChuckDukas and @DukasAuctioneerGroup

Interested in being featured in our Nonprofit or Partner Spotlight? Send us a request at [email protected]

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From exclusive travel experiences to an extensive referral network, we help our partners hit their full fundraising potential. 

Reach out to us today to see how a LuxGive partnership can help you surpass your fundraising event goals. 

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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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