Holding a charity auction can be a daunting task if you or your organization has never traveled down that road. There is a lot to get ready before hand to make sure that it is going be a success. From the planning of the location, to the food, to ideas for silent auction the theme & decorations, entertainment and auction items it is enough to make you go crazy. However if you come into it with a good plan there are ways to make sure you are successful from the start of it.
It is a really good idea to make sure that your charity has enough initial capital to cover the initial costs of setting everything up. Because although there might be a charge for the attending donors, for say the meal and entertainment, your charity will have to be putting down the initial investment way before your donors ever open their check book.
Because of this it is really important to determine your budget for the event before you start trying to invite people to attend the event. You have to have the budgets and your financial goals setup prior to the planning stage of getting everyone else involved. Once you have an ideal budget and hopefully a realistic goal in mind for the funds you intend on raising, it is now time to start assigning tasks for your team to do, there is just to much for it to be an open field when setting everything in place. Some people will be better than others at certain tasks, realize this prior assigning the tasks and use those people in the way that will best benefit them for their time involved.
Of course after all is rolling and you have your goals in mind, it would be a good idea to get some items to auction off at the event, right? Wouldn’t be much of a charity auction without it. The goal of finding the items for donation or consignment are the same, they have to be items that you think your donors would want to purchase or be apart of. These things will be items that are priced low all the way up to the items that are hundreds of dollars. You will need to cover the spectrum. People will spend the money for your items if they see the value and know at the same time it is going to a cause they believe in.
Of course it would be a good idea to get an auctioneer, if you are having an auction. Unless of course you choose to go the route of having a silent auction. Remember if you are going to get an auctioneer you are going to have to work their costs into your budget. An auctioneer can do a great job of really showing the value of the items that are out on display at your event. Making the perceived value seem a lot higher than the items would have gone for if they were not present.
Make sure that you have also worked in your marketing expense into your budget, because once you have everything else in the works, this is where you start to really get out there and build the hype for your event. The whole effort up till now will be worthless if not a person shows at the event being held. So promote, promote, promote and from there get ready for the night of the event, where you and your team will long for sleep by the time it is all said and done.
Good luck as silent or live auctions can be a lot of fun and profitable, but they can also be really stressful when making sure all of the pieces fit well.