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May 2013 | Issue No. 52

Note from Kathy

How much money can you make?
Kathy leads a mini-workshop at AFP
International in San Diego

Photo credit: Nat Craig

I recently attended AFP International in San Diego where I taught mini-fundraising auction workshops and met tons of fundraising professionals at the Mitch Stuart Destinations of Excellence booth. It was terrific to meet fundraising leaders from all over the globe: Kenya, Mexico, South Africa and Canada and all 50 states!

Auctioneers: Early bird ends June 30th for "Consulting for Benefit Auctioneers Workshop." Extremely limited spaces left. Join me in Atlanta for two power-packed days to raise more money and add a profitable income stream to your business. Details and sign up here.

I spend an inspiring day painting plein air (outside) at the "Brush with Botanicals" watercolor workshop at the Wellfleet Audubon Sanctuary on Cape Cod. Just scroll down to see my "Iris."

Always BIDhi!

Kathy Kingston signature


Early Bid Ends: June 30th  ~ Register now
Consulting for Benefit Auctioneers Workshop
August 5 & 6, 2013  Atlanta, GA
Very limited spots:

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Feature Article

How to Make Money Out of Thin Air!
15 Obscure Fundraising Auction Item Ideas

By Kathy Kingston, CAI, BAS

Feature Article Photo
Use Kathy’s Sock Monkey Factor
To Make Money Out Of Thin Air

When consulting with auction committees and boards, I am often asked how to procure new and profitable auction items. My favorite and yet one of the most overlooked categories of live auction items is "Make Money Out of Thin Air Items."

Do you wonder how to infuse your fundraising auction with fresh auction items that fetch big dollars and excite your guests? Here's how to make money out of thin air at your next benefit auction. Think "creative experience auction items" that are very meaningful to your benefit auction guests that are fun and pack a Sock Monkeypowerful punch for your charity auction profits.

Leverage my "Sock Monkey Factor"

Imagine wild bidding on a handmade "sock-monkey" lovingly crafted each year by the founder of the organization (sold for over $1,000 each year with euphoric bidding); a 10 lb. salami (a yearly delicious tradition that brings big bucks and big laughs), or even naming and visiting rights to a newborn dairy calf (believe it or not, two high bidders each paid $1,000 to name twin calves.)

In each case, these unique experience items have a big emotional connection to each particular organization and connects guests to your cause. Many times these fabulous items become legendary and take on a life of their own and it becomes an honor to be the winning bidder each year. 

Get super creative with your auction committee to see what YOU can add to your auction to make it even more fun-and profitable. Send me an email (with subject line FUN to and tell me about your unusual items that went for sky-high prices!

Read about 15 more profitable auction item ideas here.

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Benefit Auction Audio Encyclopedia

Expand Your Fundraising Library & Raise More Money!
7 Audio Volumes of Kathy's Best Benefit Auction Ideas
Listen with your entire Auction Committee
Bonus: Quick Start Tool Kit & Consult with Kathy
"No Brainer" Price Now


Nonprofit Professional Development

Watch for Kathy’s Fall Seminar Schedule

Danbury, CT and Boston, MA

*Want a seminar in your area? Just contact Kathy


For Professional Auctioneers

Consulting for Benefit Auctioneers Workshop

Create a Highly Profitable Stream of Income for
Your Benefit Auction Business with Consulting
August 5 & 6, 2013 - Embassy Suites: Atlanta Georgia

Limited Spaces. Register NOW:
Auctioneers - create a highly profitable income stream for your benefit auction business with consulting. In this highly interactive 2-day workshop you will practice and hone specialized skills and techniques that you need to add highly requested and profitable consulting services to nonprofits.

  • Provide indispensable value to your clients
  • Exponentially raise more funds
  • Add a highly profitable income stream
Limited registration due to the individual coaching of each participant. Register Now

Beyond Bid Calling Workshop

Advance Your Fundraising Stage Performance
Raise More Money!  Catapult Your Career!
December 9 & 10, 2013 TBA Soon

Save the date: Limited Spaces. 
Please contact Kathy


NEW Audio Book: Do I Hear A Million?

Benefit Auctioneering for Record Profits!

Kathy's new audio-book:  It's over 3.5 hours top notch training and strategies for auctioneers who want to take their fundraising auctions to the next level.

Available NOW!


Mentor Programs

Learn how you can rapidly and substantially contribute to your personal and professional growth. Discover more about Kathy's NEW Private Roster Mentor Program

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"Thanks again for all of your work last night, and during the days leading up to the event. Your thoroughness did not go unnoticed and the auction was the most successful we've ever had."

Lael Harris, Communications Manager
Longy School of Music of Bard College

Click here for more testimonials on my site...

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You may absolutely share this newsletter with people you think may enjoy it. When doing so, please forward it in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!

The BIDhi! Newsletter is written by Kathy Kingston, CAI, BAS: If you have any questions or comments, please send them to:

© 2008-2013 Kathleen A. Kingston. All Rights Reserved.

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Kathy's Art: Purple Iris

Purple Iris
Watercolor by Kathy Kingston  © 2013 All rights reserved

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Who We Are

Kingston Auction LogoWe are award-winning auctioneers, providing cutting-edge consulting and innovative training for both non-profits and auctioneers. A national leader in fundraising auctions, Kingston Auction Company has raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations throughout New England and across the country for over 25 years. The company founder and president is Kathy Kingston, CAI, BAS. Come to us to make your next benefit fundraising auction a record-breaker.

Our affiliations include...

NAA Auctioneer National Auctioneers Association promotes professionalism of auctioneers and auctions through education and technology.

CAI AuctioneerCertified Auctioneers Institute is the most prestigious designation awarded in the industry - only three percent of auctioneers nationwide hold the CAI designation.

BAS Benefit Auctioneer SpecialistBenefit Auctioneer Specialist designation provides auctioneers with unique skills and strategies to conduct, plan and market fundraising auctions.

©2013 Kathy Kingston. All Rights Reserved