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Making The Most Out Of Your Silent Auction

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

A silent auction is a great way to raise money and bring in new donors and clients while creating an enjoyable event for everyone involved. Although these events can be a lot of fun, they are also a lot of work. It is important that the entire silent auction go as planned, especially if you have put a lot of time and effort into the event.

There are many things you can do to make the most out of your silent auction. Keep your silent auction organized and advertise the event. Find new donors, hire the best staff, and build item packages for the auction. It is important to make your silent auction fun, close each bidding section in five minute increments, and keep an eye on the budget for the auction.

Keep your silent auction organized

From recruiting volunteers to gathering donation items, you need to be organized during the entire process of the silent auction. The sooner you get organized, the easier it will be to stay organized. Track your items, create systems for bid sheets and thank you letters, and set firm deadlines. Staying organized is one of the best ways to make the most out of your silent auction.

Advertise your silent auction

Use your organization’s existing network, website, and donor base to advertise the silent auction. Hand out fliers or postcards about the event at other organization events. Create social media and email campaigns to get your core donor base interested in the silent auction. Advertising in business and social circles can help get more donors and bidders excited about your event.

There is nothing wrong with offering traditional auction items such as restaurant gift cards. However, you want to make sure that there are a few unusual packages available to get people talking. For example, offer a night out with a local celebrity or backstage passes for an upcoming concert. Having unique items will help you increase your advertising power and make the most of the event.

Find new donors for your silent auction

Cultivating new donors that will become long term donors is key for growing your organization. Reach out to local businesses who are not currently connected with your organization and ask them to donate items or services. You never know who will be happy to make a generous contribution to your silent auction.

Hire the best staff for your silent auction

If you are new to the world of silent auctions, you may need help organizing and executing the event. Recruit dependable, organized, and resourceful committee members who will help gather and store items, create bid sheets, oversee the event itself, and collect payments. These individuals can help you make the most out of your organization’s silent auction.

Build item packages for your silent auction

Typically, you should have no more than one item for every two people at your event. Having too many items is intimidating and takes away from the competitive spirit of a good silent auction, which reduces your financial yields. If you find yourself with an excess of items, bundle them into themed packages.

Make your silent auction fun

While the primary goal of silent auctions is to raise money for your organization, the event should also be fun for the attendees. Think about providing great food and hiring a band or other quality entertainment. When people have an enjoyable and memorable experience at your event, they are more likely to come back for future auctions.

Close each silent auction bidding section in five minute increments

Sort items or packages into three or four sections based on value. Label each section clearly, using guides like red tablecloths and balloons for a red section. When you are ready to close the silent auction, close down each bidding section in five minute increments. Close the less expensive items first, saving the most impressive packages for the end.

Keep an eye on the budget for your silent auction

It is easy to get carried away when planning a silent auction, which can make gaining a profit difficult. As you arrange a venue, food, and entertainment, watch your total budget. Ultimately, your goal is to make money for your organization, not just pay vendors for an exciting event.

If you would like to hold a silent auction or learn more about auctions, it can be helpful to follow these tips and speak with an expert. Contact High Plains Auctioneers at (806) 244-6776 to learn more about holding and attending auctions. You can also Contact Us by email for more information about our services and view our upcoming auctions to see what we have available.