Flag

Q: What are the best items for a silent auction?

November 5, 2008 | By Kim D. | 21 answers | Expired: 2101 days ago

What are the best items for a silent auction?

We hold an art auction with a silent auction as our BIG fundraiser for our shelter. What are the best items for a silent auction? Any insight on running a silent auction to make it run smoothly?

Readers' Answers (21)
Anonymous
Flag
Anonymous

Nov 05, 2008

Some make the mistake of having mostly if not all items be gift certificates, free grooming, manicures, etc. There needs to be a good variety of things. Sporting goods, live plants, artwork, newspaper subscription, and if you have some lead time ... query magazine publishers asking for one-year subscriptions.

Thumbs Up: 7 | Thumbs up!

Michele W.
Flag

Nov 05, 2008

Themed gift baskets work very well. Some examples that we have done include a dog baket with items for dogs but also people items such as shirts with dogs on them, you could even include a gift certificate for a local dog groomer if you could get one donated. Another basket that has worked well is what we titled "An Evening In" including microwave popcorn, soda, beer and certificates for free movie rentals. Our local Whole Foods donated a basket with some food items and a gift certificate for free groceries. You may want to check with them if there is one in your area. Corporate organizations like that usually need about six weeks notice though to donate. Often restaurants and local spas/salons will also donate stuff. When you are soliciting donations, it seems to work best to ask in person and present a letter signed by the director that explains what your are doing in detail. Sports tickets and memorabelia always seem to go well. Maybe even nicely framed photographs of some of the animals. If you get people to donate lots of little things just package them together with like items to make a bigger themed basket. In my experience it helps to have a clever name on the bid sheet along with the description of the items and their value. If the items are donated, you can start the bidding a little below the actual value of the items and if they are desireable enough the winning bid will end up being much more than the actual value. The way you present your items also has an impact on how inticing they are to bid on.

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Marleydog
Flag

Nov 13, 2008

Wine is always good, especially if it comes from a local winery (donated!). Gift certificates for product and/or services are nice. Any type of symbiotic relationship you can develop will be of benefit to you in years to come. Remember, it never hurts to ask. Even a small donation can be combined with some other "orphans" to create an exciting themed basket.

A silent auction can be a great money maker. You need to know your audience. The timing of your event also has lots to do with what people are looking for... (day, evening, indoors, outside, etc.). Are families coming? Is it semi-formal?

In the end, please DO NOT forget to send out Thank You notes to all donors!

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement