From Traditional To Online Charity Auctions
This Is A Great Way To Bring In The Cash
Fundraising auctions are another great way to raise money for your cause. They can take many different forms and can be easily fitted in to other fundraising events.
The idea of auctioning goods or services for charity has also been boosted recently by the massive increase in online charity auctions.
Listed below are the main types of fundraising auction and details of how they might be made to work for your organisation. But first you have to decide what it is you have to auction. Traditionally this has been goods (usually second-hand) donated by supporters.
The growth in online charity auctions however has seen an increase in new products being sold in this way. Some companies will also donate new products to a fundraising auction as part of their marketing strategy or simply to show support for a particular cause or community.
There is only one way to bring in goods for your fundraising auction
And that is to ask!
Ask everyone you know and approach any companies you think might wish to support you or use your auction as a promotion.
As well as goods it is also possible to auction services and skills.
In a traditional auction the price of the goods starts low and rises as rival bidders increase the amount they are willing to pay for something. Eventually a highest bid price is reached above which no-one is willing to pay more. The person who made the final highest bid now has to pay the sum that sum.
Successful auctions need a charismatic auctioneer who can encourage high bids. At charity auctions where people often know each other friendly rivalry can also help push the price a bit higher.
Fundraising auctions of second-hand goods are common at fetes and fairs. Whilst auctions of new products, services or company offerings often form part of the entertainment at fundraising charity dinners etc.
It is also possible to use an auction to add a quick bit of excitement to another event. For instance using an auction to sell off the cakes from a baking competition or the vegetables from an allotment show.
This is a variation on the traditional idea. The auctioneer suggests a high price to start. They then drop the price lower and lower until someone 'bites". The first person to bid wins the auction and buys the goods at that price. Dutch Auctions can turn into a game of chicken. Bidders want the lowest price possible but delaying to long can risk losing out to a rival.
Here bidders submit sealed bids for goods. The highest bid at an allotted time wins.
A common charity variation on this is to use a silent bid list. A list is attached to the item and those interested write their name and bid on the list. Should someone else then be interested they would then add their name and increase the bid. Popular items will attract many bids and people will return to a list several times to ensure their bid is still the highest and increase it if necessary.
Again fierce, but friendly rivalries can develop as people try to out-do their friends. Silent lists are great at fairs and fetes as bids can be made over several hours and the winning bids announced at the end.
They also work well as school fundraising auctions children enjoy the competitive nature of the idea- being keen to see their own bid or that of their parents triumph!
This is a common workplace charity fundraiser. Rather than goods people donate time, skills or special treats to attract bids.
Common promises offered are;
he list really is endless. Everyone can do something. If you have a business such as hairdressing, massage, reflexology offering an auction freebie can also be a great way to market your services to a wide audience and gain new customers.
The internet and particularly E-bay provides a golden opportunity for fundraising groups to make money with online charity auctions.
E-bay is of course one big auction house. At its simplest supporters of a cause can sell goods and donate the money they earn.
E-Bay does however offer various services to charities whereby sellers can flag up their products as being sold for charity (E-bay ensures that the money is paid directly to the good cause concerned).
There are also an increasing number of charity auction websites and companies who, for a fee or percentage, will host your auction or include your goods in a larger online offering.
Another interesting variation is people running online businesses which include an E-Bay store can agree to pay a percentage of any goods sold to the charity of their choice (again E-Bay ensures that this happens).
Interestingly many E-Bay store holders are actually seeing an increase in traffic and sales if they work with charities in this way. Shoppers preferring to deal with sellers who are putting something back particularly when comparing identical offers from 2 sellers. This can provide a steady stream of revenue to your charity.
To register you charity simply visit E-Bay and sign up. Then make sure all your friends and supporters know about the scheme. This innovative new fundraising tool is not just for larger charities and like nearly everything else to do with the internet is only going to get bigger and better.
The other way to run an online charity auction is through the website or intranet of your own organisation or company. Goods or services are simply listed and anyone viewing the site may make a bid up until a final point when highest bid wins. This idea is really popular and works well with Auctions of Promises in the workplace. If you work for a large organisation having this type of auction on the company intranet or internal bulletin can really bring in the cash.
Dont forget any of these ideas can be changed and altered to suit your group or situation.
Fundraising Auctions are great fun and can bring in good returns. Why not give it a try?