Are you thinking of a fundraising auction for your next fundraiser? A fundraising auction is great because you can raise a large amount of money without too much start up cost. A fundraising auction does generally require some time and careful planning but the benefits can exceed the hassles if you delegate various tasks appropriately.
There are a few different types of fundraising auctions that you can do.
Service Fundraising Auction
With a service fundraising auction, members of your group sign up to do various services. Some ideas include: window washing, car washing, baking goods, sewing – anything that people would pay money for that the group member is proficient in is good. It’s especially good if you have group members who are experts in their field such as tax preparers, mechanics, financial planners or other services that people generally pay larger sums for. Your fundraising auction will raise more money the more services of high value that you are able to auction off. Set minimum bid limits for the various services. Make sure that you send thank you notes to anyone who is donating their time or services to your fundraising auction.
Product Fundraising Auction
Another fundraising auction idea is a product auction. It is great to get businesses to donate things of value such as gift certificates for their restaurants or dry cleaning or salon services or jewelry made by a local artisan. If you have a local bike store, if you can get a bike or equipment donated, that is excellent. Be creative – the more people you contact for your fundraising auction, the more response you’ll get and the more money you will make. You can also enlist local artists or cake bakers to create something special for your fundraising auction. With this type of auction, the items will be taken home the night they are auctioned off which is nice for both the attendees and those involved in executing the fundraising auction.
Silent Fundraising Auction vs. Live Fundraising Auction
Decide whether you want to host a live fundraising auction or silent fundraising auction. Many people feel that a live auction generates more profit. The excitement, the friendly rivalries and competition inspire people to be more generous. Also, the impulse buy mentality comes into effect with the live fundraising auction. However, there are advantages to a silent auction as well. No auctioneer is required, it is more private generally and also can go on for an extended period of time if you have it running online for example so that you can build interest over time.
Other tips for planning your fundraising auction.
Make sure to give yourself enough time to plan and execute your fundraising auction successfully. About 90-120 days is generally a good guideline for adequate time for the fundraising auction.
Delegate responsibilities. Assign people different tasks and follow up with them. Some people can be involved in securing the auction items, others can coordinate the logistics of the actual fundraising auction event. Others can be in charge of publicizing the fundraising auction. Publicity is very important and all venues of generating publicity should be considered including but not limited to newspapers, flyers, press releases, tv coverage if you can get it, word of mouth, e-vites, etc.
Express gratitude – it’s so important after a fundraising auction to thank everyone involved with a thank you note. Let everyone know that they were a part of your success. It’s also great to send your supporters home with a little reminder of how much your appreciate their support – something small like a home baked cookie with a message thanking them for supporting your fundraising auction is a cheap and memorable way to express your group’s gratitude.
Make it fun. Whichever type of fundraising auction you do, make sure it is a positive experience for everyone. Make sure there you have ample seating, food and beverages. Make sure the tone is upbeat and that it doesn’t feel pressured but instead is uniting people to help your group. If a fundraising auction isn’t for you, check out our many other fundraising ideas.
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