5 School Auction Letter Tips for Procuring Auction Items

A school auction is only as successful as your auction items are exciting. Without intriguing auction items, your event will face low bids and low donor engagement, which can affect future fundraising and supporter stewardship.

To procure the best and most appealing auction items for your school auction audience, you’ll need to craft stellar school auction letters. After you’ve determined which individuals to ask for school auction item donations, it’s time to get to writing.

Luckily for you, we’ve come up with 5 incredible tips to help you write the perfect school auction letter to procure the best items:

  1. Address your school auction letter.
  2. Include an emotional appeal.
  3. Be direct in your school auction letter.
  4. Provide access to your auction item wishlist.
  5. Thank your donors in your auction letter.

If you’re ready to auction off the best auction items at your event, let’s dive into these tips!


1.  Address Your School Auction Letter.

You’ll always want to make sure you address any content you send to your supporters and community, but a procurement letter is especially important.

Use your CRM to identify your donors’ preferred names and prefixes. Recognizing and using details even as small as these will make a difference for your supporters.

By using their nicknames, the correct spelling of their names, and other technicalities that might seem minute, you’re portraying how much effort you put into to knowing each donor and making them comfortable.

Think about it: if you receive a procurement letter and your name is spelled wrong, you won’t be very likely to contribute to that organization. You’ll probably be a bit offended they couldn’t get your name right and might even be opposed to giving to them in the future.

Using a donor’s married last name when they just got married last month will show just how much interest you have in your supporters’ lives. It helps to portray that your relationship with donors goes beyond the monetary donations, so make your address personal!

The bottom line: Show them how much you value each individual’s support by correctly addressing their letters.


2. Include an Emotional Appeal.

Your letter provides you with the perfect opportunity to tell your story! Capitalize on this method of communication and use it to inform your supporters about your school.

Tell donors which department is in need of their support and how supporting this project will strengthen and further your school’s students.

You can even reference the previous fundraisers your donors supported, previous goals your constituents connected with, and how all of your relationships lead to positive changes for your students’ educations.

Remember that you should keep your procurement letter to just one page so craft compelling but concise copy. Your donors don’t need every small detail, so just make sure you get the point across and get them interested in supporting your cause.

Bonus! Stellar PTA Auction Strategies for Generating Revenue Check out our for extra tips on hosting your next event.

The bottom line: Remember to include some emotion within your school auction letter. Address how your donors’ support will directly and positively improve your students’ education.


3. Be Direct in Your School Auction Letter.

Now that you’ve provided some emotional background, you can make your auction item ask. You don’t want to wait too long before asking, but instead be direct and get right to the point. You won’t want to waste your supporters’ time by beating around the bush.

Your appeal is the most important part of this letter, as you know, so you’ll need to word it carefully.

Make sure your ask is sincere. Donors should know why you’re asking for auction items and it shouldn’t feel like you’re begging.

Tell donors what problems you’re trying to solve or what department you’re trying to build up. Remember it’s all about bettering the education of your students so emphasize how their support will directly help your community’s youth grow and learn.

Making your auction item appeal specific, direct, and genuine informs your supporters that you’ll use their money for good causes. Plus, by being honest about your fundraiser and intentions, your supporters may feel more connected to your ask.

The bottom line: Make your ask direct and sincere so you establish a sense of trust with your supporters. They’re more likely to contribute an auction item if they feel your heart and morals are in the right place!


4. Provide Access to Your Auction Item Wishlist.

When your supporters do want to contribute an item for you to auction off, they might be lost at what would be a good addition to your event.

While planning your event, your school should set aside some time to determine the most popular and appealing school auction donation packages in order to encourage competitive (and high) bids.

Think about your audience and ask yourself some questions about which auction packages would be best for your event:

  • What price range is most comfortable for the majority of your attendees?
  • What are the most common interests among your guests?
  • Which school auction donations are practical enough for your audience?

Once you have a list of ideal auction items, you can easily provide suggestions in your procurement letter. This way, your donors won’t need to stress about donating an auction item.

You might even think about giving your supporters other resourceful and promotional materials with their school auction letter. These flyers or brochures might include more in-depth information about your school and your mission as well as a calendar for upcoming events.

If they’re not interested in participating in this auction, perhaps they’d be open to donating something to your auction in April.

Online auction software is also an easy way to keep track of all of the items you’ve received. Check out this auction item catalog:

Benton Academy used OneCause's software to set up a beautiful website advertising their school auction event.

The bottom line: The idea behind your letter is to make giving to your school as easy as possible for your supporters. Giving them suggestions of preferred auction items is a great way to help simplify the process on their end.


5. Thank Your Donors in Your Auction Letter.

Recognizing your donors will help you in the long run. If donors feel recognized and valued, they’re more likely to contribute again.

Your school should first say thank you within your letter because these donors have shown your missions and projects support in the past and are likely to give again. As you know, your supporters make following out your school’s mission possible!

Your school should send a thank-you letter again when you receive any auction item, no matter how big or how small!

Depending on your donors, you can say thanks through plenty of different communication channels, like the following:

  • Phone
  • Direct mail
  • Email
  • Social media
  • And more!

Your expression of gratitude will prove to your supporters that you value and appreciate their support.

The bottom line: Thanking your donors begins an excellent donor stewardship strategy and makes sure your donors are recognized for their hard work.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have our top 5 school auction letter tips for procuring auction items, there’s nothing holding your school auction back from success. Write your procurement letters and get ready to auction off exciting item packages at your upcoming event!

If you’re interested in learning more about school auctions, check out these additional resources:

  • School Auctions: A Step-by-Step Guide. If you need to brush up on the basics of hosting a school auction, check out this handy resource for helpful pointers and tips.
  • School Auction Software Guide. Picking out school auction software can be tricky. Check out our guide to learn which features you should be looking for!
  • PTA Auction Strategies. Are you hosting a PTA auction? Check out our stellar strategies for success to help you generate more revenue and connect with supporters.