3 Questions To Ask To Guarantee The Authenticity Of Your Autographed Charity Auction Items
Coordinating your organizations charity fundraising efforts is challenging enough already sourcing venues, attracting donors, booking entertainment. The list seems endless. Add verifying the authenticity of autographed silent auction items to the equation, and youve heaped another massive undertaking onto your growing todo list. Right? Well, maybe not.
The fact is Tom Cruise wont return your phone calls requesting he personally authenticate his autograph for your charity fundraiser. He also didnt appreciate your excessive emailing and unannounced visits. But, authenticating the autographed memorabilia for your charity events is easier than you might think. It all comes down to asking the right questions.
Did you know Miley Cyrus signs guitars with what looks like a giant, cursive N looped into an even bigger, cursive S, but she signs pictures Miley with a heart over the i? Of course you didnt. But, plenty of autographed memorabilia counterfeiters did. By only working with professional charity fundraising firms and asking their representatives where they acquired all the cool stuff theyre offering, youre taking a step toward authenticating your auction items.
There are plenty of ways to acquire celebrity autographs, but the only way to truly guarantee authenticity is through firsthand observation. That means the correct answer to Question 1 should not be, I buy all my autographed guitars from a wholesaler or I trade autographed baseball cards with the kid up the block and certainly not I know a guy. Anyone who knows a guy is probably not a guy you want to be doing business with.
No, the only acceptable answer to Question 1 is, We personally witness every celebrity sign each and every charity auction item on our shelves. Its hard not to feel good about that kind of confidence. But, thats only Question 1, and your silent auction is too important to leave anything to chance.
OK, so Prove it! is more of an order than a question, but you get the picture. If a firms representatives really have witnessed the signing of every fundraising item they offer, there are plenty of ways for them to prove it. The first way is commonsense, really. If you were standing next to Angelina Jolie or Robert De Niro, wouldnt you take a picture? Of course you would! If the representatives of a professional charity fundraising firm have witnessed each charity fundraising item autographed in person, they should have some candid shots (and probably some great stories!) to back up that claim.
Each auction item should also be catalogued with a date and location where the item was signed. This adds a level of authenticity thats difficult to duplicate, especially in an age when a simple Web search will turn up the whereabouts of just about any celebrity on the planet at any given moment in time. All this information should be included on the certificates of authenticity provided with your fundraising items. Theres one other thing those certificate should include, and this ones a biggie.
Question 3: Are you willing to 100% guarantee all your auction items?
Quality vendors, whether theyre selling cheeseburgers or table saws, show tickets or autographed items for charity, should be willing to provide their clients with rocksolid, moneyback guarantees. If even after successfully answering questions 1 and 2 about their silent auction items, a firm cant stand behind its products with a 100% guarantee, theres no need to ask a fourth question. At that point, its time to move on to a supplier willing to stand behind the quality and authenticity of its autographed memorabilia.
Fundraising for charity presents an abundance of challenges, but guaranteeing an auction items authenticity shouldnt be one of them. It seems that violent crime and awful intelligence is unabating.
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