It's not just about charity...it's better for you!
With good planning, it's easy to set up an auction and get the most out of your items. Soon enough, you'll have raised a good amount of money in just a few hours!
Silent auctions are auctions held without an auctioneer. People place their bids on sheets of paper instead. They're often used by charities to raise money, but they can be tricky to put together. With good planning, however, it's easy to set up an auction and get the most out of your items. Soon enough, you'll have raised a good amount of money in just a few hours!
A contact list, especially an email list, is handy for this. You will need: volunteers to help set up; volunteers to monitor and close tables at the appointed time and make sure minimum bid and minimum increase requirements were met; a “bank” crew to organize bid sheets (especially of multiple winners) and collect money from winning bids; and a clean up crew.
To make money for your charity, you'll need items or services to sell at the silent auction. Many businesses and even individuals within your community will likely be happy to help, if you tell them what the purpose of the auction is and who will benefit from it.
If you are going to do this again next year, it is nice to have the same people go to the same businesses each year. Include space on your master list to write who donated the item, the value of it, the donor's contact information, who won the item, their phone number, and how much they paid. This way you can make sure they get their items and you know how much money you made.
Use small blank stickers or labels available at general stores and office supply businesses. If you have more than a few items and if any of them are similar, it makes keeping track much easier. Put the same number next to the item on your master list.
You'll need clipboards, paper, and pens at minimum. Also purchase some whiteout tape, extra bid sheets, and an extra roll of tape to tape your bid sheets down, if you aren't using clipboards.
Write the name of the item, a short description of the item, how much it is worth, and who donated it. Include a minimum bid (generally 40% of the retail value) and minimum bid increase increments. (One rule of thumb for minimum increase: £1 for items up to £50, £2 for £50-£100, £5 for items over £100). Make sure there is space for the bidder’s name, phone number, and the amount they bid. If you like, Add a "Buy it Now" price to each bid sheet in case someone wants to leave before the end of the auction.
Try to set up a day before the event. You’ll need extra time not only to set up but to allow for any mistakes. If you can, set up a day or two before the auction so you don't have to stress about it. Consider designating someone who is willing to go to the store to buy forgotten items.
If you have a lot of items you may have to be pretty creative. For example, some things might be better hung on walls or placed on display easels. Don't worry if the bid sheet isn't right next to the item. Just make it close. That's what the numbers are for.
It's easy for bid sheets to get blown or knocked around. The best way to secure them is to clip each bid sheet to a clipboard, with an attached pen. This is an easy and convenient setup. You can also use painter's tape to secure the bid sheets.
You don't have to - you can still use the directory.
But, if you do register, you can choose which charity you want to benefit from your searches. (As well as a few other advantages.)