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. School auction fundraisers bring together hose who donate time, talent and in-kind donation items to the auction, volunteers, parents, students and school administrators. Whether live, silent or even online, school auctions provide a nice incentive for parents and community members to support your school.
Gathering Auction Items
One of the first steps of hosting a charity auction is to gather auction items that will attract bidders. Reach out to local community businesses, celebrities and any and all networks to receive donated items, talent or treasures to auction off. Examples of items include hotel or vacation packages, autographed CDs, movie passes, sports-team or Hollywood star memorabilia, antiques, dinner donations from local restaurants or services from local community members such as free piano lessons, knitting or other crafts lessons, handyman for a day, baked goods baskets and more.
If you cannot acquire enough in-kind donations, consider purchasing items on consignment. Many schools and organizations don’t do this, as they think they will earn the most money by auctioning off only donated items. Wrong! If you purchase unique items on consignment or at a good sale price, you can raise more money than by auctioning off only donated items. We offer one of a kind vacation packages at special non-profit rates. These packages can help your school raise thousands of dollars at your next school auction fundraiser.
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 school fundraisers. You don’t have to choose only one option either, you can combine auction fundraising types for your event.
A live auction is another option. Live auctions require really great auction items, or they will fall flat. They are also the most labor intensive and you may need to hire an auctioneer. You will need additional staff to assist with assigning bid cards to participants, creating the auction booklet, and process payments after the event. In a live auction, you will want to gather your attendees in an atrium-like setting to showcase auction items and take bids. A live auction is often best utilized in combination with another event, such as a charity gala or fundraising golf outing where people are already in a festive mood.
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.
See the full article on how to run a silent auction.
Online charity auctions take place online prior to an 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 donor’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 web page making it much easier for people to access.
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.