Interesting Fundraising Ideas: Auctions for Your Cause

Businesses, schools, and community organizations require a great deal of capital to run smoothly. There are times when funds raised through traditional means are not enough to cover normal costs or a new project. When this happens, fundraising campaigns are often necessary.

Organizing a fundraiser is something that usually sounds easier than it is. Planning an entire campaign, getting the community to participate, and receiving enough donations to meet a goal are hard. Coming up with unique fundraising ideas is even harder! Most organizations do not want to stick to the same old fundraising tactics year-in and year-out. Many want to surprise their community with something fun, exciting, and most importantly different. The problem is that it can be difficult to come up with fundraising ideas that are both unique and realistic. When an organization is having a hard time choosing a fundraising idea, an auction should be considered.

Auctions are a fun way to raise a great deal of money in a relatively short period of time. While auctions have increased in popularity over the years, most communities have never participated in one to help raise money during a fundraiser. These auctions give individuals an opportunity to get items that they want, while simultaneously letting them donate money to help an important cause.

The items auctioned should be things that will interest the community as a whole. If the community is well known for art appreciation then artwork should be auctioned. In situations where the community members are sports enthusiasts, auction off meetings with a certain sports celebrity, sports-related collectables, or even tickets to a sporting event.

Getting items to auction does not have to require any money spent by the organization running the event. Many community members, local businesses, and local celebrities will often be happy to donate items for use in a charity auction. Prior to announcing a fundraising auction, contact local businesses that are known for their participation in community events and request sponsorship. Organizations are often stunned at the level of support these methods result in.

Once items and funds have been secured, the organization must then find a location to hold the auction. Contact local businesses that will allow their property to be used for an auction free of charge. The location chosen should be well lit, spacious, and have—or be willing to provide—security. When a location has been secured, find someone to act as auctioneer and begin advertising the date, time, and location of the auction along with key items that will be available.

An added bonus, that is not required, is organizing a dinner. It requires those who attend to purchase a ticket and the ticket funds go to the organization. In many situations this will be your only expense, but in most cases the expense is recouped in ticket sales. Local caterers will usually be able to arrange to serve the dinner on-site and will often work for a discounted fee if it is a charity event.