14 Chinese Auction Basket Ideas for Your Next Fundraiser

Chinese Auctions are becoming more and more popular with nonprofit fundraisers, and for good reason. They can be inexpensive and easy to execute because Chinese Auctions create a fun and competitive atmosphere where donors tend to spend more on tickets in order to increase their chances of winning an auction. And when that happens, your nonprofit can raise a lot of money for the cause.

But, like all fundraisers, the success of a Chinese Auction really hinges on the raffle basket ideas and the quality of the items up for auction.

The first step in figuring out what types of raffle baskets and auction items to procure from donors is to analyze the size and demographic makeup of your attendee list. There are a few things to consider during this stage:

  • The number of items. You want to have enough items up for auction to make people believe they have a chance of winning a raffle basket  something but not too many to discourage competitive bidding.
  • The interests of your audience. If you’re hosting a younger-skewing audience, look for raffle basket ideas that appeal to their unique interests. The same goes for older audiences, all female audiences, and other groups.
  • The variety of items up for auction. A Chinese Auction is exciting in part because attendees can bid on multiple raffle baskets throughout the event. Make sure you’re procuring a wide variety of items so people can bid on different baskets without feeling like they’re repeating.

Because Chinese Auctions are considered unique and kitschy in the world of nonprofit auctions, the items and baskets that are up for grabs can be somewhat out of the box. Many times, sponsors will provide a cash donation to a nonprofit and have them build the actual auction basket themselves.

This guide will walk through the most coveted, innovative, and easy Chinese Auction basket ideas out there.

  1. Best Chinese Auction Basket Ideas
  2. Unique Chinese Auction Basket Ideas
  3. Easy Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

Best Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

1. Best Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

These Chinese Auction raffle baskets are high-end, exclusive experiences and prizes that deliver auction attendees the thrill of excitement upon bidding.

Date Night Basket
Date Night Basket

One of the number one auction basket ideas out there right now is the Date Night Basket for many reasons. It’s easy to pull together, can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want, and is fun to bid on for donors.

Plus, if your team combines multiple donations into a single basket you can really create a top-notch, high-end date night that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Date Night Baskets usually include:

  • A night or two stay in a hotel in the area
  • Gift certificate to a local restaurant (bonus points if it’s one of the nicest restaurants in your area!)
  • Bottle of wine
  • Gourmet snacks, and
  • BONUS: Tickets to an event in town

Everything a couple would need for a romantic date night in your area.

Adventure Travel Basket
Adventure Travel Basket

An Adventure Travel Basket is a big-ticket item that will draw crowds, regardless of the demographics of your event audience. These are multi-day travel packages that include everything from airfare to lodging to all activities.

Because Adventure Travel Baskets are usually the ‘hot ticket’ items at Chinese Auctions, save this drawing for the end as a grand finale to cap off your event.

Your team can work with a sponsor or with a consignment partner to book a travel package for your next Chinese Auction. Get creative with this package – think:

  • Guided bus tour of the bourbon trail
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Hiking trip for four through the Grand Canyon
  • Once-in-a-lifetime African safari – these are all trips that can be planned and auctioned off.

 

Live Sports Basket
Live Sports Basket

Everyone loves live sports, and tickets to the big game are always a hot seller at Chinese Auctions. The trick is finding the right donors and sponsors to approach about donating tickets. If you can procure tickets to an event that historically sells out every year, then you’ll definitely have a winner on your hands.

When figuring out what kinds of tickets to auction off, your team should again start with your audience profile. Popular items include:

  • Superbowl tickets
  • Final Four ticket packages
  • Masters tickets
  • Local sports team passes
  • Sports gear and swag
  • Signed sports memorabilia along with the tickets to sweeten the pot!

These items require a little extra time to procure, so keep that in mind when planning.

Sports tickets

Technology Basket
Technology Basket

Technology Baskets are a good idea, and they can appeal to a wide ranges of attendees. From young to old, everyone loves gadgets and the newest in tech!

Because there is always a new toy or new tech trend on the market there shouldn’t be any shortage of items your team can include. Start researching new or upcoming items a few months before your event to ensure your Tech Basket is as up-to-date as possible.

To make your tech basket a must have include items such as the latest:

  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • High-performance
  • Digital camera
  • Smartwatch
  • E-reader

Another popular tech item on the market now are drones, which make a perfect auction item that many attendees wouldn’t necessarily purchase on their own.

 

Staycation Basket
Staycation Basket

Staycation Baskets are great for Chinese Auctions because they can appeal to families, friends, and couples alike. You can have multiple Staycation Baskets available at your auction depending on your audience and, of course, on your donors.

When pulling together a Staycation Basket, ask around to local vendors to provide the different components of the basket.

Free night vouchers at local hotels (look for ones with fun pools if you’re targeting families), gift vouchers to local restaurants or popular food trucks, and fun things to do around town.

Unique Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

2. Unique Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

Unique Chinese Auction raffle baskets offer outside-of-the-box, exciting experiences or products to auction attendees that they wouldn’t ever think to purchase on their own.

Romantic Dinner Basket
Romantic Dinner Basket

Sometimes, the traditional Date Night Basket needs a little touch of originality, which is where the Romantic Dinner Basket comes into play.

This basket gathers together everything a couple would need for a romantic dinner made at home.  These basket can be fun to pull together!

Be sure to include:

  • A nice bottle of wine
  • Recipe card collection of easy-to-cook dinner ideas
  • Grocery gift certificate
  • Farmers market credits
  • Local gourmet food items

Include a candle or two and a voucher for flower delivery to round out the romance!

Romantic Dinner

Professional Lessons Basket
Professional Lessons Basket

Professional Lessons Baskets combine some of the most traditional parts of auctions (sports, competitions, etc.) and add another layer of excitement. Unique ideas for these types of baskets include:

  • Golf professional
  • Basketball coach
  • Singing or music instructor
  • Art lessons
  • Specialized technology classes
  • Professional trainer who would offer a few hours of his or her time

If you’re working on a school auction, a fun idea is to auction off time with your school’s athletes and aim the prize at a younger group to bring the message home.

Golf Lessons

Summertime Adventure Basket
Summertime Adventure Basket

If your audience is gearing up for warmer months, why not make it easier with a Summertime Adventure Basket?

You can include everything your audience (a family or individual, depending on donor demographics) would need to have fun in the sun. The key is to include fun items that boost bidding, including:

  • A new cooler
  • An outdoor grill
  • Charcoal and grill utensils
  • A sunscreen package
  • Bug spray and citronella candles
  • Cold beverages
  • A S’mores set

Cooler

Outdoor Movie Basket
Outdoor Movie Basket

This is a truly unique basket idea that combines technology, adventure, and a fun activity for all ages.

Everyone loves the idea of watching a movie in the backyard, but the logistics often make it hard to know where to get started.

Your Outdoor Movie Basket should include:

  • Projector
  • Screen or sheet
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Fun movie snacks
  • Beverages, and,
  • Movies

Outdoor Movie

Easy Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

3. Easy Chinese Auction Basket Ideas

These Chinese Auction raffle baskets are straightforward, easy to pull together, and the perfect solution to filling an open space in case a basket falls through last minute.

Stock the Bar Basket
Stock the Bar Basket

Most Chinese Auctions now include a basket or two focused on drinks, and many highlight one specialty cocktail.

There is the traditional Wine and Cheese basket and the fun Margaritaville basket with everything you need for a fun tequila fiesta. One way to take this basket to the next level, however, is with a Stock the Bar Basket.

The best part about the Stock the Bar Basket is that it should be relatively easy for your team to gather together.

If you have all of your volunteers or a group of donors donate one or two bottles, your basket will come together in no time. You can look for high-end bottles of bourbon and scotch or keep it widespread by adding in one bottle of every type of liquor possible.

Stock the bar liquor bottles

Subscription Basket
Subscription Basket

Subscription Baskets are a great last-minute Chinese Auction item because they can literally be procured with a few clicks of a button.

Once your team sees how many items are up for auction, they can fill the extra space with subscriptions to some of the most coveted services out there, including

  • Meal service kits like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh
  • The Book of the Month Club
  • Wine clubs
  • Amazon Prime subscriptions
  • A streaming service like Netflix or Hulu

Again, subscriptions are a quick and easy way to fill the space and give Chinese Auction donors a chance to bid on items they both want and would actually use.

Blue apron subscription box

At-Home Spa Kit Basket
At-Home Spa Kit Basket

Spa Day Baskets are considered an easy Chinese Auction item because they’re easy to throw together and are always a hit with any audience.

Nobody ever really feels like having a spa day until they have all the items to make it possible, which is where the At-Home Spa Kit Basket can help.

Your basket should include everything a person needs to relax and indulge themselves at home:

  • Bath bombs and salts
  • Face masks
  • Scented candles
  • Scrubs and brushes
  • Moisturizer and polish

You can take your basket to the next level by including a gift certificate to a local day spa in there as well.

At home spa kit

Membership Basket
Membership Basket

This is a quick and easy Chinese Auction basket idea because it is easy for a procurement team to secure a membership at a local institution.

Depending on your audience, build a basket (or multiple baskets) with memberships to:

  • Area museums
  • Local clubs or cultural institutions
  • The local zoo
  • Your city’s bike share program

These baskets are a great last-minute idea that can appeal to a wide range of donors. Depending on your audience, you can bundle memberships together or have them all be separate packages with other items.

Zoo membership card

Lottery Ticket Basket
Lottery Ticket Basket

The ultimate Chinese Auction basket might be the Lottery Ticket Basket. It is relatively inexpensive to pull together, can be visual exciting and engaging, and, of course, stands to be a huge windfall for the winner.

Lottery Ticket Baskets are always a huge draw at Chinese Auctions because donors can often justify bidding a few tickets on an item that could win them thousands!

Before your auction, send a volunteer to buy as many lottery tickets as you would like. A best practice is to include a wide variety of tickets from all different levels of games. Then, arrange the tickets in your basket in a visually appealing way.

While this is definitely an easy basket idea, it is also a big-ticket item that is sure to be one of the highlights of your evening!

Lottery tickets

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve read through these 14 creative ideas for your next Chinese Auction, it’s time to talk to your team and brainstorm even more ideas.

Once you decide on which baskets you’ll be offering at your fundraiser, the fun begins! Divide and conquer the outreach to businesses, individuals, and other sponsors who will donate items or contribute dollars towards a basket (or a few!).

Remember: look for ways to automate your Chinese Auction with auction fundraising software and find ways to get rid of paper bids sheets for donor ease and maximum engagement!

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