Virtual Charity Auction: Briefing Note For Anyone Donating a Product, Service or Experience

 

**Click here to jump straight to the donations form**

We know that the last year has been tough for everyone in the wedding industry and other creative or heavily impacted sectors, but we also know that despite it all, our whole community remains strong, creative and talented – we are a world leading industry for good reason.

To mark the one year anniversary of lockdown, What About Weddings will be hosting an online virtual auction launching with bidding opening on Saturday 13th March, and culminating in an evening of fun and positivity as we announce highest bids and winners on Friday 19th March.

We have organically built a highly engaged and loyal online following of over 45k people across multiple social media channels, and a significant majority of them are now couples. We want to galvanise their support of our sector by involving them more directly, creating excitement around their future wedding date whilst potentially securing themselves something special. In the process, they will be supporting our critical lobbying and research campaign work, and directly donating to good causes through the following charitable organisations:

  • Women’s Aid – we know with women unable to work and get to safe spaces, that domestic abuse has increased during the pandemic. As an industry with 80% female led businesses we want to do our bit to help fund life- saving services for women and children in the UK.
  • Shelter – we know that those working in the wedding and events industry are facing financial difficulties and a housing crisis is now emerging in our sector. In our last survey in December 2020 we found that 50% of wedding professionals have fallen through the cracks of government support, unable to access the grants, loans and furlough payments given to others. Almost a million event professionals have been unable to work at all since March.
  • Mind – we know that 94% of UK wedding industry employees have reported that their mental health has been impacted by the pandemic and restrictions on work. We receive daily reports of severe anxiety, depression, increased substance abuse and suicidal thoughts from our community.

To run a successful virtual auction of products, service and experiences to support the continued work of What About Weddings and the three charities above, we are dependent on your donations.

We Need You!

We are asking ambassadors, supporters, family, friends, businesses, makers and creators to please donate something for our auction – it can be anything, from large to small, and does not need to be specific to the wedding industry.

Below is the key information for involvement:

What?

An online virtual auction of products, services and experiences. Everyone and anyone will be encouraged to donate, bid and take part. Organised by What About Weddings, to raise money for vital wedding industry campaign work with 50% of funds also being split between three chosen charities that continue to support our community – Women’s Aid, Shelter and Mind.

When?

BIDDING OPEN: 10am Saturday 13th March – live bidding with announcements on donations will be launched via the What About Weddings website and across social media channels.

LIVE WINNERS ANNOUNCED: 7pm Friday 19th March – we will spend some time encouraging final bids, before closing and announcing the winners live on Instagram.

PUT THE PARTY IN PARITY: 9pm Friday 19th March – an online virtual wedding disco to connect and have some fun for our whole community. The auction items, suppliers, artists and businesses who make donations will be promoted throughout the week across all What About Weddings and Love My Dress social media channels

Why?

Fundraising – we need to continue to raise funds for our critical and time sensitive lobbying and campaigning work and so that we can continue to engage with the government to make sure that weddings are fully considered in support and policy making moving forward. We have many injustices to keep fighting for, however we have always intended the What About Weddings movement to be community focussed and supportive of all those facing immediate financial and mental health crises. As such, we are committing to donating 50% of all funds raised to be split between three charities who, like us, have a lot of ongoing work to do to support people through this year and beyond.

Fun & positivity – it’s been extremely hard being ignored, belittled and continually put to the back of the queue and we know our community feels exhausted. We want to inject some hope, confidence and promotional support to our industry brands and businesses. This virtual auction will not only give couples a chance to start getting excited about their plans again, it will also give you increased visibility for future bookings and sales, in a really positive way.

Then everyone can come together for a bit of a cheesy wedding disco party on Friday 19th March. It’s a win win!

Support & promotion – this is something that’s really important to us. We all want to be here for the future reopening and recovery of the wedding industry. We want to put fantastic and exceptional businesses and creatives front and centre in a way that will absolutely pique the interest of couples, and potential clients, everywhere.

Engagement & community – over the last year, we have built a large, and incredibly engaged, community and we know that everyone continues to support us with our work as we move forward. This positive project as we approach one year of business closures, is also a thank you and uplifting experience for everyone who has stood with us over the last year, and to hopefully bring more people into the community to remain strong and supported for the future.

How?

The What About Weddings team will manage the auction – from gathering in donations and bids to passing on the information of the winning bidders so the process will be super simple.

To register your donation and to get involved, just complete the form below, making sure you give us all your contact information, the details of the product, service or experience being donated (including an estimated value), at least one high res image, and a few other important pieces of information for us to help promote – including your social media handles and website address.

We will then do the rest and you’ll obviously be invited to join us on Friday 19th March!

The Stats

What About Weddings has a combined social media following of over 45,000. Engagement and reach levels are far higher than average.
Instagram – 31,000 followers
Facebook – 4,000 followers (What About Weddings Page) + 6,500 members (Industry Support Group)
Twitter – 4,300 followers

Love My Dress® has 1 million annual site visitors and and extensive network of social media followers including;
141,000 Instagram followers
552,000 Facebook page likes
6,300 Facebook closed group members
10m+ Pinterest monthly engaged users
57,000+ Twitter followers

Donations Form

  • (Incase we need to ring you quickly)
  • Drop files here or
    Please ensure the image is good quality and JPG format.
  • For example 'Winner must claim prize within a year', 'Prize value is not refundable', 'Wedding photography session must take place before April 2021'.

Terms & Conditions

1. You agree to your donated product being promoted online across the What About Weddings and Love My Dress social media channels.
2. You understand that all monies raised will be split on a 50/50 basis; 50% going to the named 3 charities above, 50% going to the What About Weddings fund to pay, for political professional lobbyists support to our campaign. Those volunteering their time to lead and manage the What About Weddings do not receive payment.
3. Your email address will be added to the What About Weddings mailing list – which you can remove yourself from at any time. The mailing list is used solely to share news and important updates
4. Your email address will not be added to the Love My Dress or any other third party mailing list.