(806) 244-4453 Fax

Running A Silent Auction Fundraiser

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Are you looking for the perfect fundraising event for your nonprofit or other organization? Running a silent auction is an effective and fun way to raise funds. You may find yourself with more donations than you can handle once business owners realize a fundraiser will be good marketing for their organizations as well.

Organizing a silent auction may seem daunting, but can easily be done by following certain steps. First, you will need to collect donations for the silent auction and then make preparations. You should consider bidding, food, and entertainment arrangements for the silent auction. It is also important to understand what to do after the silent auction has been completed.

Collecting donations for a silent auction fundraiser

When you’re planning a silent auction, you must first collect items to auction off. The best way to collect items for fundraisers is to ask for donations. Donations can be in the form of products, gift cards, or services from local businesses, artists, and vendors. Call or visit places to procure donations for items or cards that can be auctioned off.

You’ll need to determine the retail value of each donation as well, and ask if you can get the item immediately or pick up the item at a later date. You can also get a gift card or certificate for services so you have something tangible to show bidders at the auction.

Preparing for a silent auction fundraiser

A silent auction requires several months of planning on your part. It is helpful to put together a committee of capable, organized people to help with the fundraiser details. First, you need to locate a venue for your silent auction and make sure you have a permit if you need one. Divide up responsibilities between committee members to ensure everything gets done well before the date of the auction. Some of these responsibilities include collecting donations, advertising, and soliciting volunteers to help set up the venue and prepare it for the fundraiser. Members can also put together bid sheets and cards for the evening of the auction.

Consider bidding arrangements for a silent auction fundraiser

When it comes to bidding, you need to figure out what type of payments you’ll be accepting. Will you take cash only or will you accept checks, credit, or debit? Make it clear to bidders what forms of payment you’ll be accepting for items. Bidding is completely anonymous and bids will be placed using bid sheets. You could also have a live auctioneer showing the items and still keep bidding silent, which could make the auction a little more exciting.

Bid sheets should allow for incremental bidding, and there should be a minimum bid for all items. Be prepared for the fact that some items may not receive bids or reach the minimum bid. Perhaps you can use those donations in another way to raise money or take them to another auction for your organization.

Getting food and entertainment for a silent auction fundraiser

It’s optional to provide food and entertainment for guests, but it can definitely add enjoyment to your fundraiser. Hire a local DJ or band to entertain guests, and sell tickets to the auction to help raise money and pay for food. Talk to local restaurants and caterers to see who could donate food or service for the auction.

Remind potential donors that donations are a tax write off. Tax deductions not only include food but entertainment, serveware, decorations, and anything else you require to hold the auction. Any donated items are always tax deductible for donors, which may be an incentive for people to donate.

What to do after a silent auction fundraiser

Once you’ve completed the silent auction and hopefully raised a large amount of funds, it’s time to thank everyone who participated. You can send out thank you cards to all of the donors for their donations, which may provide incentive for them to donate to future auctions.

For more information

Would you like more information about auctions? Contact the experts at High Plains Auctioneers by calling (806) 244-6776 to find out more about our services. You can also Contact Us by email with your questions and view our upcoming auctions.