For the past few months an issue has been building for auctioneers in the State of Minnesota. According to standing law all auctioneers conducting benefit auctions were considered professional fundraisers. Along with caring a $20,000 bond the State of Minnesota also required any professional fundraiser to provide ALL financial reporting including expenses and proceeds to the state in documented form.
Through the efforts of the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association and their lobbyist, a clear difference between professional fundraiser and benefit auctioneer was defined. This definition allows for auctioneers to conduct benefit sales without registering as a professional fundraiser as long as the auctioneer in question does not handle they do not handle the proceeds. This clarification has been passed by both the Minnesota State House and Senate as well as signed by the Governor.
“This is a great clarification for all auctioneers whether they conduct one or two benefits in a year to auctioneers who solely conduct benefit auctions,” said MSAA President Joey Fahey. “It’s always a goal for the MSAA to not only educate its members but to take a proactive stance and represent this profession with the State Legislature.”
Benefit auctions have become a booming industry growing in gross annual sales 21.1% since 2003 to $16.2 billion dollars each year nationally.