Procuring the perfect range of silent auction items is the best way to ensure event success. Your items and packages are the main attraction (and revenue generator), after all!
To set you on the path to auction success, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to auction item procurement. It has all the tips and tricks you need to procure the perfect items, build awesome packages, and raise more revenue.
Read through the guide to learn about the entire process or use the list below to jump down to a particular step.
Steps for Procuring Auction Items:
If this isn’t your first charity auction event, it’s important to take a look back before taking a look forward. Prior to planning this year’s event, review your past silent auction item performance.
Keep an eye out for:
By looking at past performance, you can get a clue as to what kinds of items were most popular with your audience and what items you should go after this year.
Don’t forget to keep things interesting for your donors. Try bringing back the items that were wildly successful and then add new items that fit your donors’ interests and hot trends.
As you create your auction item wish list, consider these two main factors:
Once you’ve reviewed your data, create a list of auction item ideas. Having a “wish list” to draw from will help your procurement team focus their search!
Because securing auction items is such an important part of your success, you’ll need to put together a procurement team.
The procurement team can be made up of staff, volunteers, or both. When creating your team, look for individuals who are:
This committee will have the sole responsibility to solicit desirable, unique items that cost little to nothing and will drive ticket sales and bids. Choose the right individuals set your auction up for success!
Now that you have a plan and a team, it’s time to get out there and start soliciting your auction items!
Procuring auction items is about who you know. Your team should start by asking coworkers, friends, family members, and other personal and professional connections to donate items. Then, turn to local businesses and retailers.
Now this is where the rubber really hits the road: your auction request letters! The letters are often the first introduction to individuals and businesses that you’re having an event, need silent auction items, and want to offer them recognition and visibility as a part of their support. So, make those letters count!
When writing a compelling donation request letter, be sure to:
A powerful donation request letter will be the perfect asset to your procurement committee. After all, the less money you have to spend on bringing in great items, the greater the return on investment will be for your auction. And that equals more money to power your mission!
As items start coming in, it’s important to keep track of your donations. Every time you procure an auction item, be sure to make a record of it in a centralized place, such as your auction or fundraising software.
Staying on top of tracking your items will help you know what items you have, what you still need, and how much value you’ve procured towards your goals. Additionally, if you plan on hosting an auction again in the future, it will be easier to look back and gain insights from your past events.
Consider adding this information to your item records:
Once you’ve procured your auction items, you’ll want to print out a master list.
The master list will be your physical record of all auction item data compiled in one place. If you’ve been tracking your donations in your auction software platform, you already have one! Throughout the planning process and auction, this list will help your nonprofit stay organized and keep track of all of your items.
With all data in one place, marketing, setting up, and auctioning off your items will be so much easier for you and your team.
Powerful missions need powerful fundraising software! The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. The intuitive platform increases bidding and helps you raise more. Take a look at this versatile all-in-one fundraising software that meets the expectations of today’s donors, supporting any event – in-person, virtual, or hybrid.