Everything you need to know about Silent Auctions
It’s becoming increasingly popular for non-profit organizations to launch silent auctions for raising funds. While silent auctions are an amazing way of generating revenue, planning and executing one can be a daunting task.
There are so many things you need to take care of and so, proper planning and coordination is crucial.
First Off, What Are Silent Auctions?
Silent auctions are auctions which don’t involve an auctioneer selling items. You may either plan your entire fundraising event or a ceremony around it or you may use it as a supplemental form of fundraising and entertainment.
A typical silent auction involves the display of auction items for participants to inspect. With each item is placed a bid sheet that usually has the name of the item, its description, value, a minimum bid amount, and columns for participants to list their names and bids.
After a close inspection of the auction items, the participants simply have to write down their names and their bids on the sheet. You can also add a minimum increase amount for the bids so that the next bid is a certain amount more than the previous one.
Silent auctions also have a predetermined end point for the conclusion of the bidding activity. After it’s over, you can collect the bid sheets from the participants and the participant with the highest bid takes the auction item home.
What You Need to Get Started
Here’s a list of items that you need to organize a silent auction for your fundraising event.
1. Auction Items
An auction is what it is due to the items offered. To begin with, you must first source valuable items that the participants will find desirable and get excited by. This will ensure that you raise the maximum possible fund amount from your auction.
2. Item Display
Proper display of the auction items can make them look more interesting and irresistible. Whether you go for stages, platforms, easels, or cases, make sure that your items stand out and look accentuated. In addition to this, the location of the auction and lighting also matter a lot.
3. Bid Sheets
Bid sheets are another crucial aspect of a silent auction. Make sure that every sheet has enough details of the displayed items and spaces for participants to note down their names and bids. Moreover, it’s essential that you secure or fasten the bid sheets near the respective auction items to ensure that there are no ups and downs.
Typically, the grander your fundraising event, the more volunteers you’ll need. You’ll require well-trained volunteers to help with the whole setup of the auction, item display, inventory management, and checkout. In addition to this, they may act as auction monitors to keep an eye on the items and bid sheets, making sure that the participants follow all the rules.
Efficient volunteers will therefore help you ensure that the event runs smoothly and the participants enjoy their time.
5. A Checkout Area
When you’re planning a silent auction, you should be ready to handle cash, checks, and credit cards. It’s better to have a separate checkout area to make the transactions secure and private.
6 Smart Tips for Silent Auctions
Oftentimes when non-profit organizations don’t really know their ways around silent auctions, the activity may prove to be a total time suck out without raising the desired amount of funds.
The following tips and tricks will help you ensure that your silent auction is a success.
1. Align It with Your Mission
The silent auction that you organize should strictly be related to your mission. You shouldn’t forget that the participants are attending your fundraising event because they’re interested in supporting your cause. Hence, always focus on smartly explaining your cause to inspire the audience.
2. Pick the Auction Items Wisely
While choosing the auction items, you need to see them from the audience’s eyes. If you choose items that offer great value and a unique experience to the participants, there’s no reason why your silent auction won’t be a success.
By choosing the right auction items, you can make the silent auction a winning program for the bidders, the donors, and your organization.
3. Write Attractive Descriptions
You must write an engaging full-page description for each auction item, revealing information about the item, its retail value, and unique features while also mentioning any limitations or cons it may have.
Make sure that you use a large font size and present all information in bullet points to make it more readable and comprehensible.
4. Highlight the Featured Items
When displaying your auction items, you should consider spotlighting the most valuable items. The best items should be placed in clearly visible, high-traffic locations. You may even go a step further and arrange for spotlighting to show off the valuable prizes. Using an appealing tablecloth or a beautiful backdrop is another way of highlighting featured items.
5. Offer Bundle Items
Oftentimes, similar items when bundled together bring in more revenue than when auctioned separately.
When you’re creating bundles, try to be as creative as possible. Group similar items together and come up with an interesting tagline that catches the audience’s attention.
6. Don’t Forget about Periodic Announcements
When the bidding is nearing its endpoint, make regular last calls to give a countdown of the remaining time. And when there’re only ten minutes to go, make sure you issue a final call to alert the participants about the conclusion of the bidding process.
Following these aforementioned tips will ensure that your silent auction goes well, resulting in your desired outcomes. A successful silent auction in a successful fundraising event will be worth repeating every year.
Fundraising Auctions is a unique platform that specializes in helping non-profit organizations raise funds for all kinds of causes through their organized auction services. We can take care of all the steps needed for you so you have a great event and auction. It should be your go-to place if you’re looking to make your fundraising events special and equally beneficial.