Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Charity Auction Items: How Many is Too Many?

These days fundraisers take on many forms and depending on your charity and your goals, the planning of your fundraiser may take several months or merely a few weeks. Fundraisers can be small events like car washes and bake sales or extravagant gala events and silent auctions with large ticket items. No matter how large or small, planning and executing these events can be overwhelming.

One of the most successful fundraisers for many charities is the silent auction. A silent auction is a fundraising technique that is conducted without the help of an auctioneer. Attendees at a silent auction view charity auction items and silently bid by secret ballet. If an item has a particularly high value, a minimum bid may be set. Then the highest bidder will be announced as the winner of the item at a designated time during the event. With the help of Charity Fundraising Packages we can make the planning and execution of your silent auction pleasant and easy.

One of the most difficult decisions while planning your charity’s silent auction is how many auction items to have available to your guests. Before selecting your charity auction items, it is important to review the following criteria during your planning.

  • What type of charity auction are you hosting? 
  • How many guests do you anticipate at the event? 
  • What are the secondary events occurring at the event? 
  • What are your financial goals for the event? 

The type of charity auction can vary depending on your organization and the demographics of your attendees. If you are hosting a school fundraiser, there may be children at the event and it will tend to be casual. Showcasing specialty items and items of lesser value tend to be more effective as you can obtain more bids at a lesser dollar amount. However, if you are hosting a dinner auction or a gala fundraiser, your silent auction should include only a handful of items with two or three high value selections.

When considering the number of guests at your event, remember to think about guests vs. households. Though you may need to order 1,000 meals from catering, there may only be 500 bidding households at your event. Couples tend to bid on items together and this factor greatly decreases the amount of bidders at your event. A good rule of thumb is to showcase one charity auction item per five guests.

Walk through the entire event in your mind prior to the event. If you have an event planning team, it is helpful to rehearse this with others so that details are not overlooked. Think about the other happenings at the event. How long will registration take? Does the event include entertainment? Is there a keynote speaker? Is there a cocktail hour or dinner? If too many charity auction items are showcased, your event may run too long and guests may grow tired or bored.

When you think about the financial goals you have forecasted for your event, estimate the highest bid that each of your charity auction items sell for. This should assist you in selecting the approximate number of charity auction items to showcase

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