10 Tips for a Running a Silent and Live Charity Auction
Choosing the right date for your auction is critical. Most donation basket ideas auctions are held in either the spring or the fall. Summer is not a good time to hold a major event since many guests may be vacationing. Winter is also considered a bad time of year as many are preparing or recovering from the holidays. Fall is normally considered the best time of year to hold an auction because many of your guests are beginning to get into the holiday shopping mood and may find that what you have to offer is on their shopping list. Weekend evenings are the most popular time to hold auctions since most auctions last well into the night.
2. Pick the right auctioneer for your live auction
You have two choices, a professional auctioneer or a volunteer. This decision generally comes down to the following considerations. A professional auctioneer will charge for their services. However, they will auction more gifts faster and for more money. A professional auctioneer can auction approximately 75 items in an evening, at 20-25% higher than an amateur auctioneer. If you are running a small auction, you may want to use a volunteer. It might also make sense to use a volunteer if you have someone in your organization that has a great personality and is known by many of your potential guests. Best of all, they are free. However, volunteers can cause the evening to run very late and ruin the opportunity to get guests to return to future auctions.
3. Use the most effective strategy for acquiring gifts for both your silent auction and your live auction
Teams provide the moral support necessary to approach a potential donor. Additionally, using teams helps ensure that the paperwork is completed properly. When setting up teams, pay attention to personal dynamics. Certain team members will be more comfortable asking donors for gifts than others. These individuals should be teamed up with team members who do not necessarily have this talent. Also, this allows teams to share the workload by allowing the more reserved person to take on tasks which are more suited to them (documentation, collection of the gifts, etc.).
4. Obtain tangible gifts for both your silent auction and your live auction whenever possible
Many businesses, especially restaurants, will offer to provide you with gift certificates instead of actual gifts. Focus on local businesses that can donate tangible items. You should not turn away businesses that can only provide gift certificates, but they should not be the focus of your campaign. Tangible gifts create a very exciting auction night environment. Just imagine an auction with no actual gifts, but rather just a bunch of gift certificates lying around on a silent auction table. Secondly, a gift certificate is only going to bring in the amount on the certificate, or unfortunately, sometimes not even that. A tangible gift is much more likely to bring in a value that exceeds its real value.