Hayley Walters gets the Thumbs Up from Seattle Charity Auctioneers

Hayley Walters – 5 Star Performer

Each month Charity Auction World recognizes an outstanding fundraising professional. We call that person a 5 Star Performer – meaning they executed a charity auction with near perfection.

When I met Hayley Walters, this month’s Charity Auction World 5 Star Performer, I felt her kind demeanor before she said hello. Then I discovered her carefully cultivated listening skills. I felt as if she was absorbing my every word and that what I said mattered to her, which explains why she executed one of the most successful auctions I’ve ever been involved with. As the event unfolded, minute by minute, I watched her direct the process with respect and the understanding of each volunteer and vendor’s responsibilities and roles.  She listens to everyone with the same intent and attention. So I wasn’t surprised when I learned she has a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies from the University of North Carolina and a J. D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Hayley was a very good student.

Hayley is the Development Associate at the Meridian School. She chose Charity Auction World and our performance team (Myself as auctioneer, Mike Brown as Master of Ceremonies and Kevin Van Hollebeke as Catalog Reader) to execute the vision for “OCEANIA Navigating our Nest 40 Years” this past Saturday night. Her attention to detail, organization and attitude was spot on. She supplied excellent notes for the live auction items, notes for the timeline and introductions and met with us before the auction on-time and prepared. The auction gala had more moving parts than most events and included a skit prepared and acted out by the teachers to honor out-going Headmaster Jack Shea. Skits are a high risk addition to any event but this skit and these performers started on time and finished 2 minutes early and the audience loved every minute and so did we.

Hayley Walters – Charity Auction World Honor Roll – March 2017

The auction ended about 13 minutes early and a number of decisions influenced the timing. One factor was that the items were promoted to the families before event night. The guests were prepared to bid and challenge one another. As an auctioneer, I notice when items have advance promotion as soon the catalog reader begins reading the item description. Bidders start raising their bid cards before the reader finishes the description and so anxious they often yelled out the opening bid. Advance promotion also helps questions surface before the auction and can increase the amount a guest is willing to bid once they have the answer. It’s always much easier to sell items that are easy to understand without caveats, limitations and restrictions. But even with those encumbrances a trip for instance, on a date certain, can sell at or over value.  We sold 44 items in 1 hour and 23 minutes – just under 2 minutes per item. The Fund-a-need lasted 20 minutes and the Dessert Dash took 14 minutes. The presentations throughout the night took a total of about 30 minutes. It’s not my place to share the totals but I was an eye witness to a conscientiously planned event with a huge pay off. The guests were rewarded further with an after party at the venue.

The best leader is one that understands that every person involved with planning an event has skin in the game. We all want to feel proud and happy for our individual efforts and our collective output. That includes the vendors, volunteers, staff, donors, sponsors and guests. Speaking for all of us at Charity Auction World, Hayley Walters is that kind of leader.

Hayley Walters – Charity Auction World Honor Roll – March 2017