Tips for organizing the best charity auction

Charity auctions can be a fantastic way to secure funding for your organization, raise awareness about your cause, and bring you face to face with your best and most engaged donors!

To mention a charity auction is a great way to create some very necessary relationships between your organization and local business. Helping to create an atmosphere that is charged with excitement and familiarity.

charity auction

Notoriety is incredibly important when it comes to creating a buzz worthy of your cause. Ensuring that your event is lucrative means spending some money, but how do you make sure that your purchases go the distance in creating the best event possible? We’re so glad you asked.

1. Use an event organizer or event management service

Event organizers and management teams, like for example notable company Superstars, can help ease the tension headaches that planning charity auctions can definitely bring on. They can also help you save money through networking and package deals. Event management companies are ideal if you plan on hosting a large event as they can work with a number of different retailers and suppliers to not only create a beautiful ambiance, but also help you scare unique and highly sought-after auction items!

2. Be smart when choosing auction items

When you go to choose items to be auctioned off, make sure that you have your supporters clearly in mind. While attendees are sure to have a variety of interests, ensure that your items cater to a vast array of hobbies, affinities, and budgets. It’s also wise to cater closely to the community that you operate within. Talk to local businesses and see if they can donate items or packages that would be difficult to come by otherwise. This generates buzz for their business while making your auction items exclusive and unique.

3. Make sure marketing is on point

Advertise your auction items early and attractively. Make sure that you collaborate with any donators and have them endorse and promote the event. Create an online auction catalog that can give potential attendees a sneak peak at all of the amazing items you’ll have up for bid. Bring in some excitement by leaving off a few items of interest, adding in items slowly over a prolonged period of time. This is sure to increase participation and entice attendees to keep an eye on your event. Blogs and regular announcements about your event can help spread the word, but these types of advertising tools can take a little while to bear fruit, so start early!

4. Make your auction an attractive event

Knowing your attendees’ general likes and dislikes well is the perfect way to shape an event around those who will be coming. Depending on your donors, black tie dinner events may be more attractive than more casual event structures like fundraising thermometers and raffles. Or vice-versa. Identify with your community to let them know just how important they are. Create a competitive atmosphere by making sure your auction presents a seller’s market. The ideal ratio of items to attendees is roughly 1 item to be auctioned per two attendees. Make sure that your bidding structure is continent and consistent, so events go smoothly for everyone.

5. Keep impeccable records

Make sure that records are strictly kept from start to finish. Plan a detailed timeline of what needs to be accomplished when. Keep detailed records of all charity auction items, prices, and donors. Even packages and bundles should be fully itemized. Minimum bids, donor information, and minimum raise amount should all be written down and recorded early. Registration and RSVP should always be entered into a diary or Excel spreadsheet. Make sure not to lag in any of the record keeping steps, before and after your event as any extended correspondence or waiting period can lead to unhappy attendees and bad reviews.

6. Snag experienced volunteers

Choose your volunteers wisely and treat them well! You’ll need individual teams of volunteers with clear job descriptions. From recruiting items and initial marketing, to auctioneers, servers, a clever emcee, auction spotters and monitors, valley and coat check crews… No charity auction can be handled solo. Choosing volunteers with experience is a sure-fire way to start and keep, your event running smoothly. It’s also helpful to choose volunteers who can closely identify with your cause. Making them expert liaisons for your attendees and your foundation. Make sure to have several meetings with volunteer crews and walk them through the event prior to opening night. This helps to get everyone on the same page, and can give you an idea where you may need more support or clearer direction.