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How to Create Silent Auction Bid Sheets [& Free Template]

How to Create Silent Auction Bid Sheets [& Free Template]

Silent auctions are a popular way to raise funds for schools and charitable organizations. For nonprofits not using a mobile bidding platform, silent auction bid sheets facilitate the bidding process. They are a one-sheet auction form that helps organize auction offerings and track proceeds for silent auctions.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating effective silent auction bid sheets. Keep in mind that if you use an auction platform for online and mobile bidding, you won’t need to create these bid sheets, and you can likely raise more funds. We’ll also cover how the DoJiggy auction software can help your organization do just that.

What Is a Silent Auction Bid Sheet?

Silent auction bid sheets inform bidders about auction items and allow constituents to place bids for them. They should include all the information a consumer wants to know to make a purchasing decision, helping bidders buy confidently.

Many organizations bypass these forms and offer online bidding for silent auctions instead of paper bid sheets.

Silent Auction Bid Sheets: Design and Layout

One key component of a successful in-person silent auction is the bid sheet, which allows attendees to place bids on items of interest.  When designing your bid sheets, use a clean and professional design. Include the event name, logo, and auction date prominently at the top of each bid sheet.

Next, create columns for the following information:

  • Auction item number – Give each item a unique identification number.
  • Item description – Provide a brief but detailed description of each item for auction. Include key features, value, and any restrictions or expiration dates.
  • Starting bid—Clearly state the starting bid for each item. This should be a reasonable amount that encourages bidding and covers any costs associated with the item if it has been purchased or is on consignment.
  • Bid increment – This is the minimum amount by which bids must increase. For example, if a current bid is $100 and the bid increment is $10, the next bid must be $110 or more.
  • Buy It Now Price – Buy now pricing allows supporters to purchase an item for a set price rather than compete for it through the bidding process. This strategy can be successfully used for popular items, especially if your organization has more than one of these items to auction.
  • Bidder name and bid amount – You’ll need to leave space for bidders to write their names and bid amounts.
Optimize Your Auction Display and Bidding Instructions

Silent Auction Bid Sheet Templates

Download and customize a free silent auction bid sheet template for your next silent auction.

NOTE: After opening the document, click File->Download to make a copy, then edit as necessary.

Optimize Your Auction Display and Bidding Instructions

Your silent auction table or display area is critical to maximize your fundraising ability. Be sure the auction is located in a well-lit area and auction items are on display.

Here are some tips for optimizing your silent auction display:

  • Place your bid sheets prominently next to each auction item. Some organizations use a clipboard to ensure sheets are visible and attendees can easily place a bid.
  • Provide pens or pencils for bidders to use when filling out the sheets.
  • Include clear instructions on placing a bid, either on the bid sheet or on the auction table. For example, Write your name and bid amount in the next available line. Bids must increase by at least [the bid increment].
  • Assign volunteers to monitor the bid sheets and update them regularly as new bids are placed.
  • Specify the auction’s closing time and remind bidders to check back to see if they have been outbid.

Read more tips on How To Make The Most Money at a Silent Auction.

Taking Your Silent Auction Online with DoJiggy

Silent auction bid sheets can help manage your bidding, but your group should look to mobile bidding if you want to revolutionize your next auction and raise more than ever before. An online charity auction website with mobile bidding will make it easy for your supporters to bid, and you’ll see auction revenues soar.

DoJiggy Auction Websites

Benefits of Online Auctions

Still not convinced? Online auctions offer a range of benefits compared to traditional in-person auctions. Some key benefits for schools and organizations include:

  • Accessibility: Online auctions can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing a larger number of people to participate. This increases the potential bidder pool and can result in higher bids.
  • Convenience for Bidders: Bidders can participate in online auctions from their homes, eliminating the need to travel to the auction location. This convenience can lead to increased participation and higher overall bids.
  • Extended Bidding Time: Online auctions can run for longer periods than traditional auctions, giving bidders more time to research items and place bids. This can result in higher final prices for items.
  • Increased Transparency: Online auctions often provide more detailed information about items, including photos, descriptions, and fair market value. This transparency can build trust among bidders and sellers, leading to more successful auctions.
  • Ease of Execution: Online auctions are typically easier to manage and have lower overhead costs than traditional auctions, as they do not require a physical auctioneer or venue. Even if your organization is hosting a live event in conjunction with your silent auction, an online auction makes the auction close seamless.
  • Bidding Strategies: Our platform offers two bidding options. Proxy bidding allows bidders to submit their maximum bid for an item and have the auction system automatically bid on their behalf up to the maximum amount if they are outbid. This could result in higher bids for your organization.

Overall, online auctions offer a range of benefits that can make them more attractive than traditional in-person auctions.

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Final Thoughts on Silent Auction Bid Sheets

Silent auction bid sheets are vital to any in-person auction without mobile bidding technology. While using silent auction bid sheets can be effective, they rely on in-person fundraising. If your organization wants to expand the reach of your next silent auction and elevate your donor experience, try DoJiggy’s auction software.


Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

See other posts from Lisa Bennett

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