Charity auctions are a great way to raise funds, raise awareness, and have a lot of fun. In this article, we examine three methods of hosting a successful charity auction.
Method 1 – The DIY Auction
The DIY (do it yourself) charity auction is the preferred method for smaller organizations and groups on a budget.
A DIY auction takes a lot of time and effort to organize, but can be very rewarding. It’s a good idea to have a strong base of volunteers to help out. The tasks you’ll need to address include:
– Finding a location for the event
– Getting items donated for auction
– Promoting your auction and/or sending invitations
– Printing and selling tickets
– Event decorations
– Arranging seating for everyone
– Snacks and refreshments, if you plan to serve them (Quick tip: Selling snacks is a great way to raise extra funds!)
Benefits of the DIY Charity Auction
– Lower cost
– Personal or community feel
Downsides of the DIY Charity Auction
– Lots of time and effort required
Method 2 – The Professional Auction
A second option is to hire a professional auction company. Obviously, there is a cost involved. If this is something you are considering, shop around for prices and compare what you find to your fundraising goal. Can you reasonably raise enough money to make a profit and justify the cost of hiring a professional auction company?
A good company will walk you through the planning process, provide tips, and also provide a professional auctioneer to really get the crowd going!
A company like Sayre & Jones Auctioneers, for example, will help you plan and promote your auction, effectively price your items, and run the auction itself. Check out a few of their reference letters from past clients.
Benefits of the Professional Charity Auction
– If you’ve never run an auction before, or have attempted one with little success, the professional guidance can help make it a huge success.
Downsides of the Professional Charity Auction
– You pay for the service, so you need to have money to start with, and raise enough to cover the cost while still raising the funds you need.
Method 3 – The Cyber Auction
Online auction sites are becoming more and more popular. Most likely, you are familiar with the online auction site, eBay. Online charity auctions work the same way, with the proceeds from sales going back to your cause. There are several online auction sites, including:
• BiddingForGood (the most popular online auction fundraising company, due to their special expertise and great support) • AuctionAnything.com
• Mission Fish (which powers the eBay charity program, eBay Giving Works)
Organizing an online charity auction doesn’t require much computer or internet knowledge, but you do still have to collect items to auction off, take photos, price the items and put them up on your auction site.
Good promotion is key when working online. Get the word out at regular meetings, via email, by telephone, through fundraiser flyers, letters and newsletters, and any other way you can think of.
Benefits of the Cyber Auction
– It’s often free, or very low cost
– You can usually run an online auction for as long as you like
Downsides of the Cyber Auction
– You don’t get that personal, face-to-face connection that you get at actual events.
– You don’t have an auctioneer to encourage bidding.