Posts Tagged ‘Silent Auction’

What steps do I need to take before having a silent auction?

November 16th, 2012 1 comment

I want to have a silent auction for a fundraiser that I am holding. I think I might have to go to city hall and get some papers saying I can ask businesses for donations. If I do need to I don’t know if I should go to city hall or just write city hall a letter. I’m not sure about what kind of tax reports I’m going to have to make either? PLZ help!!!!

To solicit donation of goods or money from businesses you need to a registered non profit org.  When you register the IRS gives you a tax exempt number. Businesses will request this number before giving you any donations.  What organization if the fundraiser for.  They may already have the necessary paperwork.  Do you intend to hold the silent auction on city property? If yes then you need a permit.  Town officials will also need the paperwork especially if you want the permit fee waived.

What are some good ideas for a "themed" basket to be autctioned off at a silent auction?

November 14th, 2012 8 comments

The audience in attendance at the auction will be women. The ages of the women range from 20-80. I really need some good ideas for themed baskets that will sell. All the money made from the baskets will go to a children’t charity. We will be doing two different baskets, along with a few other things. We have done a "movie theater" basket before and that worked out well, and we might try it again, but we need some new ideas that will really get some attention. Any links to pictures or ideas would be appreciated as well.

Certainly they can be "themed" with regard to age groups, though you may find 80 year old women bidding as high as younger, on Spa passes etc.

Actually I’d avoid FOOD in any form, no offense, but that’s cliche, and common. Certainly NIGHTS OUT, offering not discounts but FREE meals, entertainment, a carriage ride around a city, etc. seems more of a GIFT, in my opinion.

Even along with the idea of a getaway/spa, you could offer more modest situations, such as a day at a center that offers facials, mud baths, eye, hair, cosmetics, a Rose, a glass of wine.

Since this a a Females only auction, you might assume not to offend, most especially the elderly, with baskest of items mundane and so much what they might already experience in a day to day life.

Even as a GUY I might not mind some pampering or special treatment. I have to believe the Ladies would as well.
I want to assume some of the items will be donated, by sponsorship, even if they want to promote their venue, but don’t do Dollars off coupons, or even two for one, unless you promote something as Take a friend along, or share with a friend.

20 year old women might obviously be less inclined to a movie pass, as they might be a club, or show, or a form of entertainment romantic, although I want to assume any age group would enjoy that.

The fact that the chairty is for children, does not at all dictate that items offered for auction need be so distant from that which might elicit passion, romance, getting away from the realities. and those items need not at all be offensive, but need not be simplistic and sterile either.

You could offer classes, in various venues from ART to Karate. Shopping cards for a mall or specific stores that might be a shopping experience enjoyed.

You might offer some means of transportation in passes, or even find an organization (Ive used these) that prepares and delivers various meals, ready to eat. (NOT MEALS ON WHEELS). Offer a monthly floral arrangement or plant, delivered. Offer subscriptions to magazines, NETFLIX, etc.

Assuming this is a Charity event, I’ll hope every bidder will go as high as they can reasonably afford, well offer what the actual cost is to you, over the contents of the basket.

Finally, and certainly a thank you card in each, perhaps a token flower or candy, and in all sense the Presentation does matter.

Steven Wolf
Just my two "sense"

How many people does it take to plan a silent auction fundraiser?

November 10th, 2012 3 comments

I am trying to plan a silent auction fundraiser… but my mom says that I’m not being realistic and that it takes like a mountain of people to pull that off. The fundraiser is for the Make-a-Wish Foundation

I don’t know that it requires a "mountain" of people…but certainly, you’ll want help. Having done this myself in the past, I’d suggest a committee with the following positions:

Advertising: Need someone to get the info (date, time, charity, etc.) into the places where people will see it. You’ll want to have this in your school newspaper, PTA newsletter, local newspaper, and chamber of commerce calendar (and get it published as many times as you can in each publication).

Donations: Someone to go around to folks in the community to get the things to be auctioned. This is a tough job, because it involves begging, and a lot of people have trouble with this. It also takes a lot of follow-up, as a common response to the initial inquiry is, "Let me look into it and get back to you." Your school and/or PTA will probably have lists of local companies who have been generous in the past…this is probably a good place to start. But in theory, every local organization should be contacted. Retail stores are good, as are corporations – many times the corporations will have established social services funds, which means they can give you a cash donation. You’ll want to go to them with a plan of how you’d spend their money…often, it can work for them to subsidize the dinner/lunch/appetizers you’re serving at the event, or even the location fee, if you have one. Additionally, many corporations have the ability to donate things like tickets to a local sporting event or concert.

Treasury: Someone needs to keep track of how much money you’re earning, and how much will have to be paid out.

Forms: Someone needs to prepare the auction forms…It’s pretty simple, but it can take a bit of time. For this, you really only need a space for their name, as well as their bid. It’s also likely that you’ll need "promo sheets" for some items. For example, if you have a pair of concert tickets, you really don’t want to leave them out on the table where they could easily be pocketed. Instead, put together a simple sheet that explains the event (including time and date). If possible, pictures of the artist/item are handy, as is a paragraph telling the bidder why they want the item (gotta use your sales tactics here!!).

Set-up: You may need a couple of people to help set up. It’s good to have these folks see the event location in advance, so they know what to expect once they get there. They’ll need to set out each auction item, along with the auction forms & pencils so that the guests can easily submit their bids.

You & your friends could totally pull this off…Feel free to email me if you need any advice!

Anyone know have any good ideas for silent auction donations for a fundraising event?

September 18th, 2012 5 comments

I am a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and we are having a silent auction and live auction to raise money to start our next house. We are getting the usual donations – gift certificates for restaurants, hair styling salons, etc., but would really like to have something different and exciting. Any ideas?
Another note – our guidelines say that we have to stay within our county when soliciting donations so as not to encroach on other affiliates. Some of your ideas were really good, but they involve contacting groups outside of our area.

Hey there!

I’ve been heavily involved with nonprofit fund raising for years….so here are some ideas I have that could be relatively low in cost for your cause…

1) As far as items go in your area, here are my thoughts:

-try to think of items that your attendants will already WANT before they set foot in your event, instead of items that they could talk themselves into once they get there…bids will definitely be higher for these items
-anything that your group can make is always unique…think pottery, quilts, pillows, painting a martini set, etc…
-head to local businesses that are NOT chains…they’ll be easier to negotiate with and will have less red tape to get through…plus they’ll want the free advertising for being a donor in your auction
-see if a local liquor store will donate a "Beer a Month", grocery stores can donate "3 Months of Groceries", gas stations can give a certain amt of gas, coffee shops can donate coffee items and cups of coffee, local florists can do "Flower of the Month", etc….
-literally comb through your phone book and think of packages that they can give and then propose that, rather than just saying "Could you donate something?" If they can’t donate your proposed package, they’ll suggest a gift certificate.

2) In addition to your silent/live auction, consider running an online auction – this is an AWESOME way to get to the people whose mailing addresses you don’t have (ie you’ve got their EMAILS)…your email base can feel like they’re using their expendable income on great stuff AND its going to their community at the same time!
I’ve included a link of one of the online auction companies that I’ve worked with…cMarket. They also have another website,, that opens your auction up to all their members so that people who you don’t even know can donate to your cause and bid on your items!

5) One last tid bit – consider selling sponsorships for your event…this can help off set some of your cost INCREDIBLY. You’d be surprised how many local businesses want to be a part of your cause-minded event! You can ask for anywhere around $500 per sponsor, and if you put your auction online, you can ask for even more than that because they’ll be getting just that much more exposure through your website and event emails!

Best of luck with all of this! 🙂

Donations needed for silent auction and Family Fun Walk?

July 9th, 2012 4 comments

I have started a non profit to help rural seniors in Oklahoma and we are planning a Family Fun Walk and Silent AUction. Need donations.
I also work a fulltime job working from 8 – 5.

I do lots of charity work and fundraising while also doing two real jobs. It just takes time management. E-mail helps a lot, too.

Maybe instead of a Silent Auction, consider a Chinese (aka Teacup) Auction. That’s where people buy tickets for $1/each (6/$5) and can put their tickets in various canisters and win those prizes.

For those, I do get some donations but also buy some items. For example, I usually buy a new men’s 10-speed bike at Toys R Us for about $70 and that usually gets 300 tickets.