An auction is a fundraising event used by not for profit organizations and philanthropists to collect voluntary contributions of cash used to support different causes. Traditionally, a fundraising entailed moving door to door or around the streets requesting for donations. Today, however, we use evolved ways like online fundraisers that are more efficient than the old versions. One of these innovations is the Chinese auction.

In this article, we discuss different cultural facts associated with the Chinese Auction. This is now a common method of fundraising. You will see it at not for profit organizations, philanthropists, and charities. With this option, you can raise money for various causes. Read through to expand your knowledge on this type of fundraiser.

Chinese auction

Details and Overview of the Chinese Auction

The Chinese auction, also known as the Penny Sale or the tricky tray, utilizes a combination of auctions and raffles to raise money out of donated goods. So, how does the Chinese Auction Work?

  • In this silent auction, participants purchase sheets of raffle tickets from the event organizer.
  • Afterward, the participants drop their raffle tickets into baskets placed adjacent to a donated item they would want to win.
  • Once the participants have spent all the lottery tickets, the event organizer picks a ticket from each of the baskets and announces the lucky winners.

10 Chinese Auction Facts You Need to Know

1. The More Raffle Tickets One Buys, The Higher the Chances of Winning

In this form of fundraising, participants are given the freedom to buy as much raffle tickets as they want. Those who want to win a given item are encouraged to bid more raffle tickets on the item as a way to increase their winning chances.

To support this, the fundraiser does not limit the number of raffle tickets that a participant can place in a basket.

2. It Is Not Clear If This Type of Auctioning Came From China

Based on its name, most people think that this form of fundraiser originates from China. However, the origin of this fundraiser is not clear.

Some people argue that the name might have originated from chance auction another name given to this type of auction. Therefore, the word Chinese might have appeared to show that this auctioning was secretive or intriguing.

3. The Chinese Auction Is Almost Identical to the Silent Auction

Ideally, the Chinese auction is nearly identical to the silent auction. The difference between the two types of auctions is that the Chinese auction uses raffle tickets. The silent auction does not.

On the other hand, the silent auction utilizes a written bid placed adjacent to the auctioned item. This is chosen instead of lottery tickets.

4. There Are Three Formats of Chinese Auctions

Ideally, there are three types of the Chinese auction. The first format is the standard format whereby people place their tickets in a basket. Then, the event organizer picks one lucky winner from each basket.

In the second format, participants place all their tickets in a central jar. After this, a ticket has the possibility of winning any prize. In the last format, each item is put up for auction, one at a time.

5. The Chinese Auction Has Numerous Titles Used to Avoid Causing Offence

The word Chinese auction may be politically incorrect in some settings. Consequently, there are many titles that you could use to avoid causing offence.

Some of the common titles used to refer to this auction include penny social, basket auction, pick-a-prize, trick tray, or penny sale. The multiple choices let you choose an appropriate title for your fundraising event.

6. Organizations Use Volunteers to Help Out With Their Events

This fundraiser needs to raise as many funds as possible. So, top charity organizations use volunteers to promote the event and to solicit for prizes from donors.

Furthermore, volunteers can help the organizations to sell the raffle tickets. They also round up prizes as well as setting up the venue and running the event.

7. The Round Up Prizes Are Donations

In most cases, the roundup prizes used in auctioning are donations from members of the charity organization. They might also come from supporters and philanthropists, family members, and local business enterprises.

In return, the charity organization can give the donors a chance to advertise their products during the event. On the other hand, the organization can offer to list the donor’s sponsorship on their website as a way to give back.

chinese auction art

8. Refreshments, Snacks, Or Entertainment Are Motivation To Guests

The bidders contribute to the success of the fundraiser. So, the event organizer uses refreshments like soft drinks, snacks, and music to keep the bidders motivated.

The event organizer can include the cost of the snack or beverage in the ticket. Also, the snacks can be in the form of a donation from a local caterer or any other willing donor.

9. The Success of the Event Depends on the Number of Guests & Tickets

Organizations that want to reap maximum benefits from the event should aim to attract as many people as possible as well as selling that many tickets. For this reason, an organization should engage in a serious campaign on social media platforms.

They can use Facebook, the charity’s official website, community boards, magazines, local TV stations, and any other advertising platform.

10. Transparency Is Key When Awarding Prices

Like any other competition, transparency is essential when issuing the prices. For that reason, the organizer might have to shake the tickets in each basket before drawing one ticket randomly. Afterward, the event organizer should announce the winners. Then, the attendees can witness and cheer the winners.

A transparent exercise leaves the participants motivated as well as giving them the psyche to attend your next fundraiser.

Final Thoughts

The Chinese auction is a popular way through which a charity organization can create extra funds from donated goods. In this type of fundraisers, donated goods are auctioned. Participants have a chance to try their luck by placing raffle tickets in a basket. Once they have put the raffle ticket in a basket, the event organizer picks a ticket randomly and announces the winner.

Are you looking forward to holding a fundraiser for your organization? Consider the cultural facts above in your plan to reap maximum benefits. Then, tell us your success story!