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Rod grew up on the east coast of England, and received a BA with honors in Business Studies from Sheffield University. He was recruited from Sheffield to play professional rugby in Spain. Under his captaincy F.C. Barcelona won two national championships. Rod met his wife, Kelly, in Barcelona and returned with her to her native California. While completing his masters in linguistics at San Jose State, California, Rod experienced first-hand the dire financial straits of many Californian schools and resolved to dedicate his marketing and production skills to a career in fundraising.

In 1993 Rod founded First Class Fundraising, which from its inception specialized in large, motivational community-building events. From Pebble Beach to The San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park, and from Tehama to Tesla Motors, he has been inspiring and delighting audiences ever since.


Rod has been the Master of Ceremonies for hundreds of foundations and corporations, and, as a professional auctioneer, has raised over $26million for local and international non-profits. From The American Red Cross to Driscoll’s Foods, and from The Chamber of Commerce to KB Homes, Rod represents every one of his cherished clients with integrity and expertise.


Rod continues to be a competitive athlete. He recently completed both the American River 50-mile ultra-marathon and the Los Cabos Ironman. He is also an avid surfer, snowboarder, ballroom dancer and scrabble player.


Rod lives with his wife and their two daughters in Santa Cruz, California, where he is Past-President and current Foundation Chair for the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Club, and an Ambassador for the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce.



“Rod has made such a tremendous difference in our fundraising for our Gala Auction these past three years! His ability to read the crowd, encourage people to participate, and exude a personality that is so captivating has brought multiple comments to his professional expertise in the art of auction fundraising. I shudder at the thought of not having Rod at our Gala!”

— Hal Hensler, Head of Laurel School

“I am a parent at Spring Hill School and attended the auction event this past weekend. I’m sending a note simply to tell you that you were FANTASTIC!!! You brought the evening to life while increasing the funds raised by what I would conservatively estimate to be 200% from what they would have been without your involvement. Amazing work! You clearly love your work and you are extremely good at it. Thank you!”

— Michael Manzo

“Thank you for an incredible auction experience! You are 90% of the reason we were able to raise the amount of money we did! We were thrilled to have your high energy and expertise to enliven our event!”

— Lisa Ramsey, ProEquities

“They loved you!!!! Just thought you’d want to know. They REALLY appreciated your creativity and personality and all the good forethought. Thanks for making us look good  Talk soon!”

— Adrian Cavlan, Sound in Motion Entertainment Group

“Incredible stage presence!”

— Emily Tjuanakis, Central Coast ARC

“Many thanks again for auctioneering so fabulously and being such an integral part of the evening’s success! It was a joy to work with you and we look forward to doing it again next year!”

— Brooke Lipman, Spring Hill

“You bring an amazing level of excitement to everything you do and we all thank you!”

— The Santa Cruz Ballet Theater Board

“What can I say, except that you are the consummate professional, truly the best!” 

— Angela Chesnut, Save our Shores

“Thank you so much for an incredible event! Everyone loved your energy! Until our next auction!”

— Katie Dueck, Valencia Schools

“Your expertise, professionalism, and energy were a wonderful addition to the evening and we are grateful for the commitment you made to maximize our fundraising success”

— Laurie Pope-Browne, Santa Catalina

“We had a fantastically fun and successful evening that our school will be talking about for the next year. You are a huge part of that! You do an amazing job and really help bring out what Orion as a community is all about . Thank you for all you do for our event!”

— Doug Caldwell, Orion School

“Thank you so much for being such a lively and engaging presence at Orchard School’s Auction this past Saturday. I must tell you that without your there the night would have had an entirely different feeling. With your presence as auctioneer we were all entertained, while being led through the night with a sense of fun and grandeur. Well done!”

— Gabrielle Mata, Orchard School

“We nearly doubled our net from last year! Your presence was greatly felt. I enjoyed your humor and professionalism. Thank you for making our auction such a wonderful event!”

— Percy Abraham, SOS

“I want to thank you for all of your efforts at our recent auction at the Tehama Golf Club. It was a huge success and lots of fun, much of it due to you!! We should have sold tickets just to watch! It was all wonderful and we are most grateful to you. Please call me if you ever need a recommendation.”

— Nancy John, Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club

“What pleased us most was that we far exceeded our financial expectations, and everyone had a great time in the process. At the end of the night several of our guests took the time to seek us out to compliment us on our choice of auctioneer.” 

— Genevieve Pullara, Washington Union School Districts

“Your infectious, engaging personality and tremendous enthusiasm made all the difference. Thank you for being you, and for caring so deeply!”

— Devon Dubbs, Children’s Hospice

“We are so grateful to you! Thanks to your enthusiasm we raised an all-time high for our live auction! Your expertise in fundraising was very helpful and we look forward to working with you again! I cannot thank you enough for all you did that night. You took care of every detail, and your professional manner and ability to read our crowd really inspired people to bid a lot. I think my favorite part of the night was when last minute items were added and you handled everything with such ease and grace that they became the highlights. Those Warriors tickets went for about quadruple their face value!!”

— Simone Haas, The Laurel School

“It was a huge relief to know that we could trust the complete production to your capable hands. We loved working with you!”

— Dana Buckler, Pacific Collegiate

“Once again we would like to take this opportunity to express our most sincere and heartfelt gratitude for the amazing job you did for our annual gala. Thank you for helping us raise over $100,000 for our children and school! Our relationship with you over the past four years has not only brought us financial success, but a valuable friendship as well! Till next year.”

— Sophie Patreras, MNDl

Copyright © 2017 Rod Caborn. All rights reserved.
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