Nonprofits score with help from Lincolnshire sports memorabilia business
Dave Wille (left) and Ron Futterman, owners of Auction Merchandise Source, use their collection of sports memorabilia to help nonprofits raise money. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media
Auction Merchandise Source
Location: 175 Olde Half Day Road, Suite 330, Lincolnshire
Phone: (847) 913-0177
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:20AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — With hundreds of authentic pieces of Chicago sports memorabilia, Dave Wille and Ron Futterman could amass huge profits — but they choose not to.
That’s because their business, Auction Merchandise Source in Lincolnshire, works primarily with nonprofit organizations, providing items such as an autographed Derrick Rose gym shoe or autographed Mike Ditka memorabilia like a set of helmets, cigars and bottles of wine. Those items are sold to the nonprofits for a low consignment cost; whatever the organization rakes in from an auction is theirs to keep.
“The main purpose of being here is to provide fund-raising consulting and items for charity events,” Wille said. “So we work with a lot of schools, churches, synagogues and nonprofits with their raffles and auctions.”
Wille said the organizations will come to them and describe their fund-raiser. Wille and Futterman then sit down with them and decide which items would rake in the most amount of money, depending on their audience.
“We want to help them customize the right items for their event,” Wille said.
Wille added that their items are available to any nonprofit group, no matter how large or small.
“Some are very new, others are national groups who have been around for quite a while,” Wille said. “Some groups will say they only want one or two items and ask if we will still work with them. The answer is always yes.”
Futterman said he and his partner also donate to every charity they work with.
“We will always make a donation to any organization we work with, whether they get something from us or not,” Futterman said. “If we’re connecting with them, we’ll make a donation.”
“We’re in business to make money for charities,” Wille said.
“It’s not about what we make at the end of the year,” Futterman said. “If people ask us how did we do last year, we say great. In 2012, we almost helped raise about a million dollars.”
Most of the items in AMS are Bears items, but Futterman and Wille said their inventory changes with the sports seasons. The pair said they schedule several celebrity signings every year, all of which are open to the public.