Thinking About A Charitable Auction?


Have you been thinking about a Charitable Auction for your organization? Many schools, churches and civic organizations conduct thousands of charitable auctions each year as more and more buyers are attending them than ever before.

With new technology being introduced as to what seems to be a weekly or monthly bases, these auctions are growing more sophisticated each year. The sad part is that some organizations are using TV, media, sports or Hollywood personal, in an attempt to draw buyers rather than professional, knowledgeable, auctioneers. These “well known” people know nothing about marketing and technology to draw more donated items and bidders to raise more money.

Charitable auctions, sometime called benefit or fundraiser auctions,  are opportunities for buyers to get a variety of items and help a good cause at the same time. Items for sale could include travel trips, vintage wine and cheese baskets, electronics such as computers, iPads, dinner for six, flat screen TV’s, golf equipment, fine china, sports memorabilia, vacations, and much, much more.

Silent auctions are typically part of charitable auctions. These are normally held one hour before the live auction starts. The live auction usually includes a dinner whereas the attendees dress formally or semi-formally, but in most cases, coat and ties are required for the men and dresses for the ladies.

The attendees walk around tables where items for sale are displayed. In front of each item a bid sheet and pen where buyers can compete with each other on paper by placing their bids for the items they are bidding on. The silent auction will close at a specified time. When that time has elapsed, the silent auction is closed and the last person who placed the highest bidder purchases the item. You can change your bid as often as you want to before the silent auction closes.

The items that are being sold in the silent auction are usually lesser-priced items than those sold during the live auction. Most items sold in charity auctions are sold absolute, meaning no minimum price. Most of the items have been donated to the charity with the understanding they will get whatever amount possible for the item.

In some cases, a minimum price is set for the item being sold. A six thousand dollar vacation to Europe does not want to be sold for three hundred dollars. The donor would have been better off by just giving six thousand dollars to the charity. If there is a reserve on the item being sold, the auctioneer will announce it.

Still thinking about a charitable auction? Many of these auctions are planned at least a year in advance if not more. There is much planning that goes on behind the scene before the auction night. It takes a team effort. There are many committees involved in planning a charitable auction, such as: Chairman; Underwriter; Sponsorship; Public Relations; Catalog, Invitations, Decorations; Acquisition; Check In/Out; Clean Up and others.

If you are considering a charitable auction for your organization, give us a call to see if we can help you make your auction a successful one.

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