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About Us

Stacey McCurnin is a Fundraising Auction Specialist-schooled and professionally trained in the art of auctioning.

Most organizations have talented people within their volunteer core, but they need an organized plan for a successful money making fundraising auction and direct giving moment. Stacey specializes in inspiring giving through competitive bidding that will entertain your attendees and obtain higher bids. Our program is devoted to providing information and solutions for groups in the task of implementing a successful fundraising event.


Our Services

The services of Northern Lights Auctions go well beyond a bid caller.

Our fundraising auction services include (but are not limited to):

  • Pre-event consulting

    • Establishing a fundraising action plan
    • Setting Live Auction and Direct Giving objectives
    • Auction item suggestions and techniques
    • Developing a streamlined event timeline
  • Event day services

    • Logistics and Staff support
    • Professional live auction bid calling
    • Execution of the Fund-A-Need (also known as Direct Giving Moment/Special Appeal)
    • Lead games, raffle giveaways, announcements
  • Post-event consulting

    • Post event debrief
    • Evaluation of strategy/tactics

Auction Items

The items that bring the highest bids aren't necessarily the most expensive, but rather the most unique.

Get creative with selecting your items for auction. Often the items that bring the highest bids aren’t necessarily the most expensive, but rather the most unique.


  • Romantic weekend getaways
  • Timeshare donation
  • Vacation home donation
  • Hotel & resort experiences
  • European vacation
  • Rare travel experiences (exotic destination, hotel, resort, etc.)
  • Cruises

Food and Drink ITEM EXAMPLES

  • A gourmet meal prepared in your home by a local chef
  • Wine or beer giveaway
  • Wine experience (personalized bottles and engraved magnums, create your own blend, etc.)
  • Culinary arts (gourmet, gastronomy, dining experiences)
  • Gift baskets
  • Wine or spirits tasting
  • Catered experiences (BBQ’s, tailgates, reunions, picnics, weddings, promotions, showers, etc.)
  • Cooking class for a group


  • Tours of wineries, breweries, museums, factories, etc.
  • Tour a military installation, base, ship, etc.
  • Tour and lunch at a police or fire station
  • Behind the scene tour of sporting venue
  • Personal tour of museum, zoo, etc.


  • Concert tickets
  • Tickets to a show and dinner
  • Theme park experience
  • Ladies or gents night out
  • Theme night events (murder, mystery, etc.)

Services, etc. ITEM EXAMPLES

Note: Ensure that the provider performing the work is fully licensed and insured.

  • Gift certificates (stores, restaurants, services, etc.)
  • Landscape packages
  • Youth group labor (i.e. Boy or Girl Scout, school, etc.)
  • Limousine service (tour, transportation, pub crawl, etc.)


  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Breakfast, lunch or dinner with a local government official, celebrity, author, etc.
  • TV show tickets (Ellen, Letterman, Leno, etc.)
  • Fashion shows
  • Golf course experiences
  • Experiential events (mountaineering, kayaking, bungee jumping, mountain bike, animal safari, surfing, skydiving, horseback riding, etc.)
  • Heavy equipment training academy
  • Lake or River experience (boat, barge, etc.)
  • Airplane, helicopter, or boat tour
  • Guided hunting & fishing experiences
  • Tank driving experience
  • Race day (horse, sailboat, car, dog track, etc.)
  • Yacht or sailboat experience
  • Flight Lesson
  • Automobile training experience (race car, police course, 4 x4, dune buggy, etc.)
  • Cigar party
  • Private concert

Health & Relaxation ITEM EXAMPLES

  • Personally pampered (massage, manicure, pedicure, facial, etc.) experiences
  • Spa experiences

Big Ticket Items ITEM EXAMPLES

  • Car
  • Truck
  • Motorcycle
  • Boat

Art and Crafts ITEM EXAMPLES

  • Works of art (paintings, bronzes, glass, etc.)
  • Children’s crafts projects
  • Craft gift baskets

Frequently Asked Questions

Hiring an auctioneer can be an intimidating process. We’d like to cut through the confusion and make the process as easy and fun as possible.


Why Hire an Auctioneer?

MORE DOLLARS! A professional auctioneer that specializes in charity/fundraising auctions will definitely bring in more dollars. When hiring an auctioneer, think of them more as an investment not an expense.

What should the auctioneer be involved with?

Depending on the organization and their wants and needs, the auction company should be able to assist in nearly all aspects of your event.

When should an organization start the planning process?

Six months to a year prior to the event is ideal, but successful events can be planned on shorter notice.

What kind of items make the best auction items?

Refer to Auction Items for some fantastic ideas.

In what order should we arrange the life auction items?

We can help and will assist you in ordering your items. It's usually best to work on a bell curve with the more expensive and/or most popular items in the middle to third quarter. Kick off the live auction with something fun to build excitement and momentum.

What is FUND-A-NEED?

The Fund-A-Need (Direct Giving Moment, Special Appeal, Raise the Paddle, etc.) is where the Auctioneer asks for pure donations to fund a specific cause of your choice. Typically a guest speaker will explain the specific need and the Auctioneer then asks for specific-denominations tailored for your event and appropriate for your guests.

The Fund-A-Need segment is often where the Auctioneer can add value to your event. How the specific cause is explained is critical to the success of your Fund-A-Need.


Auctioneer Bio

Stacey has a strong skill set for managing resources, project planning, project estimation and timelines, budgeting, staff training, coaching and motivating.

Stacey McCurnin, owner of Northern Lights Auctions started her life in the auction industry following her auctioneer father to the livestock sale barns and estate auctions in Iowa. After graduating from Upper Iowa University, Stacey led a successful career in software testing. She gained a strong skill set for managing resources, budgets and timelines and training, coaching and motivating staff.

Although Stacey loved her job she had the desire to help people on a more direct basis. She found being an auctioneer was a great way to combine experiences gained from her and her father’s careers. Rather than auctioning cattle like her father, she wanted to work with people to help them find a way to raise money for their nonprofit organizations. She saw it as a way to give back to the community while helping her clients toward a successful event and fueling her passion to help others.

Stacey is a graduate of Continental Auctioneers School and certified in Charity/Fundraising Auctions.

Northern Lights Auctions is a full-service auction company specializing in Charity/Fundraising events.



  • “During the past 2 years I have done 3 major fundraisers with Stacey McCurnin as our auctioneer. Stacey has been wonderful to work with. She engages the audience, keeps the mood in the room upbeat and fun and gets the dollars we need from our auction items. I am looking forward to a continued relationship with Stacey as an important part of my fundraising work!”

    Sheila Carrington
    Edina A Better Chance
  • “Our organization hosted its first fundraising gala last November. Stacey brought a high-energy mix of compassion and enthusiasm to our live auction and fund-a-need appeal. She instantly become an important part of our gala team and delighted our guests.”

    Jenny Eldredge
    Adoption Option Council of Minnesota
  • “Stacey was very easy to work with throughout the process of planning the live auction for our gala. I felt like I had a whole team of auction experts on our side. She gave great advice about what type of packages to seek out and closer to the event, what order they should be presented. At the gala, Stacey spent time speaking with our guests and promoting the live auction before dinner. Once she was on stage, it was obvious that she had gotten to know our audience well in the short amount of time.”

    Kristin Skaar
    ALS Association Minnesota Chapter
  • “Stacey did an outstanding job for our fundraiser. She was very engaging and energetic with the guests and definitely helped increase the bidding during our live auction. We would love to have her back as our auctioneer again!”

    Charlotte Bies
    Rutherford Elementary
  • “Thanks so much to you Stacey for your assistance with our Gloria Dei Live Auction last night! Our live auction results far exceeded my expectations for the evening. Stacey, you were just wonderful; lively, professional, personable and extremely skilled at what you do.”

    Julie Printz
    Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul
  • “We wanted to send out a great big thanks to Northern Lights Auctions for making our auction night such a success. Stacey, not only did you play a big part in helping us reach our auction goals, your warm personality and expertise made for an incredible evening for all who attended the benefit. We were very fortunate to work with you this year and look forward to working with you again in the future.”

    Dave Reigstad
    Dave Reigstad Auction Services - Raise the Roof Benefit

Contact Us

For more information, call 612-961-9203
Call or email now for a free no obligation event consultation!

Contact Us