Creating silent auction forms and bid sheets is an essential part of the planning process for charity auction events. Even if you’ve decided to host an online charity auction, you may still need silent auction forms, especially if you choose to display auction items and close bidding at a fundraising event.
What Silent Auction Forms Do Organizations Use?
Silent auction forms can include silent auction bid sheets, donation request letters, item donation forms, sponsor solicitation forms, and thank you letters. We’ve outlined a brief description explaining the purpose of each of these forms, along with sample document templates for you to download and use for your next charity auction.
Charity Auction Budget
Financial planning and tracking are key ingredients to successful fundraising auction planning. Our charity auction budget is a pre-populated spreadsheet with major charity auction income and expense categories. It includes a profit/loss summary for estimated and actual income and expenses. The budget can be reviewed with your staff, Board of Directors, or auction event consultant, to help your organization with product and service ordering, fundraising, and profitability goals. This free auction budget is customizable to meet your fundraising auction needs. Just download and customize.
Silent Auction Bid Sheets
Silent auction bid sheets are the most critical form for many auction events. They inform bidders about auction items and allow constituents to place a bid for an item they are interested in bidding on or purchasing. Silent auction bid sheets should include all the information a consumer would want to know in order to make a purchasing decision, helping bidders buy with confidence. This information includes Auction Name, Item Title, Item Tracking Number, Item Descriptions (and any restrictions), Bid Amounts and Minimum Raise, and Contact Information for the hosting organization. Today many organizations bypass these forms and offer online and mobile bidding instead of paper bid sheets.
Item Donation Forms
An item donation form is a simple informational page that businesses or other donors return to your organization with the item(s) they choose to donate for your silent auction. These item donation forms are essential because they include all the relevant information that event planners will refer to when creating online item descriptions, auction brochures, and bid sheets. The item donation form should include the following information: Name of Silent Auction, Mailing Address, Contact Information, and Delivery Deadlines. There should be several blank lines for donors to complete, including Donor Name, Business, Item Name, Description of Item, Approximate Value (including the wholesale or retail price for the business donating items), and any other relevant details for the item donated, including celebrity autographs, previous owners, or vintage year (for antiques or wines).
Donation Request Letters
A donation request letter is what event planners will send to organizations or individuals for whom you are requesting donated items for your charity auction. The letter you send can be kept on file in order for donors to claim donations at the end of the year with their taxes. This letter should explain the purpose of your fundraising event, how the items will be auctioned off, and how their specific donations would appeal to your audience. Be sure to explain how the funds generated from the auction will be used as this typically generates more interest from potential donors. And don’t forget to show appreciation by thanking possible donors for their consideration. (Refer to our sponsor thank you letter as this can be re-purposed for Donor Thank You’s)
Auction Sponsor Solicitation and Thank You Letters
Reaching out to local businesses by asking them to sponsor your charity auction event is another excellent way to increase revenue. Companies will help by providing financial donations and resources to produce the event and help you expand your reach by promoting the event to their employees, customers, and partners. Be sure to explain the purpose of your fundraising event and how their sponsorship or donation will help your organization achieve its goals. In exchange for their sponsorship, businesses will receive benefits such as exposure to the local community, recognition in promotional materials, signage on-site at the event, and online presence through mention in social networking posts, blog articles, and logos on the fundraising website.
Make sure to follow up with sponsors following the event by including actual metrics such as event attendance, money raised for the cause, traffic to your charity auction website, media coverage, and the like. If sponsors are pleased with the success of the charity auction, they are likely to support your fundraising initiative in future years.
Using Charity Auction Software Drives Success
If you’re looking to host a successful fundraising auction, our auction software has you covered. Our comprehensive platform offers tools to help administrators plan and manage every aspect of a virtual event, from bidder registration to secure payment processing of winning bids. With our software, you can easily list auction items, promote sponsors, and generate QR codes and custom URLS for each auction item. Detailed financial reports will help track your progress and maximize your fundraising potential. So why wait? Start planning your next auction today with our powerful auction software!