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School Fundraising Ideas

Auctions can be great school fundraisers. Not only have auctions proven to be a tremendous fundraising potential, they are also a great community builder involving people from your school in a meaningful way (including: those who donate time, talent and items to auction, volunteers, parents, students and school administrators) Whether live, silent or even online, auctions provide a nice incentive for parents and community members to support your school.

The first step for hosting a charity auction is to reach out to the local community, celebrities and any and all networks to receive donate items, talent or treasures to auction off. Examples of items include autographed CDs, movies, pictures from famous people, sports-team memorabilia, antiques, dinner donations from local restaurants or time or talent from local community members such as free piano lessons, knitting or other crafts lessons, handyman for a day, baked goods, etc.

How are the items auctioned?

There are three ways to auction items: via an online charity auction, live auction or silent auction. All three types of auctions can be very successful fundraisers. You don't have to choose only one option either, you can combine auction fundraising types for your event.

Online Auction

Our favorite type of auction is an online charity auction where the auction takes place online prior to the actual event. Event announcements invite attendees to visit a web page to view and bid on auction items. This type of auction allows for more detailed information about the organization hosting the event and the purpose of the fundraiser. It also allows for more information about each item including: product images, starting bids, detailed product descriptions, item values, reserve amounts, bid increments, links to the donator's web page, optional "Buy Now" pricing and more. In addition, it gives people who are unable to attend the actual event a chance to bid on items. If conducting an online auction, we highly recommend sending an email invitation with a link to the webpage (making it much easier for people to access)

Live Auction

A live auction is another option, however it is probably the most labor intensive as it includes hiring additional staff to assist with assigning bid cards to participants, hiring an auctioneer, gathering event attendees together in an atrium-like setting to showcase auction items and take bids, and setting up a system for processing payments. A live auction is often best utilized in combination with another event, such as a parent open-house, pep-rally, or sporting event (like a golf outing) where people are already in a festive mood.

Silent Auction

A silent auction is similar to a live auction, however there is no need for an auctioneer. Items are simply displayed on tables with a sign-up sheet for event attendees to bid on throughout the event. The minimum bid and raise amounts should be noted. Bids are closed at a set time with an announcement being made that the bidding is ending to encourage one last round of bidding. Once closed, the winning (last) bidder is notified and can collect and pay for their items.

How do I manage all the details?

Auctions have a lot of moving parts - so choosing an auction management system for charity auctions is your best bet for hosting a successful event. Download a free trial of our recommended Auction software!

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