How to Run a Silent Auction

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How to Run a Silent Auction

A silent auction can help raise funds for many reasons: charities, fundraisers for non-profit groups, etc. Running a successful auction requires ambition, energy, and enthusiasm for your cause. If you follow these steps you will have a successful silent auction. This is how to run a silent auction.

Get Donations

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There are many people that you can get to donate to your cause to help raise funds through a silent auction. Members of the charity or group as well as their friends or family, or people that have donated to the cause in the past that may be willing to do so again.

Price Items Appropriately

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If items are already priced at their market value, you won’t get any “bidding wars” going and get people invested in the items they are bidding on. Items should start out at between 25% to 50% of their market value and the bidding will start from there. You also have to set the minimum bid increment at a reasonable amount but also one that will get the item’s donation value up to a decent value.

Organize the Event

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Have a cutoff date for donations so that you can market them properly. Group the items you are auctioning off by type. Make sure that you have everything as organized as possible so that it’s less work on you and so that it’s as easy as possible for guests to bid on (and win!) the items.

Promote the Silent Auction

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The more people that know about your auction, the more successful it will be. If you have several big-ticket items, you can promote them to the public to raise their auction value. Word of mouth through the donators and friends of the group or charity always help as do various social media channels.

Stay on Top of the Bidding During the Event

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Make sure that people know when they are outbid so they can bid again if they want to. Make announcements that people should check on the bidding on the items they want several times throughout the day or night. Make sure the bids are made in proper increments.

Check Out Process

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Will you only accept cash or checks or will you have a way to accept credit cards as well? Make sure you let people know this ahead of time, especially during the promotion process. Also make sure to let people know if they will be able to write off their donation purchases as tax-deductible, and if so, have the proper paperwork on hand to do this.

Running a silent auction can be a lot of work but it can bring in a lot of money for your organization if done properly. Make sure you have help from others in your organization and make sure that everyone knows their role. The event will be stressful but also fun-filled and you will be able to help out your charity or group with not only the donations but also promotion as more people learn of your cause.

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