Charity Auction Checklist

Photo Courtesy of Daniel*1977 via Flickr

Charity auctions are great ways to raise money and awareness for your favorite cause, and if you are running one yourself instead of hiring it, there is a lot that you need to do. Make sure that you have a list nearby regarding what you need to have set up and when, and also get reliable people to help you!


Getting Donations

Most charity auctions run on support from from the community, and that means that you likely need to send people out for donations. Make sure that you brief all your volunteers on the particulars of the auction, including the cause, the recognition you can give the people participating and when the event is. Check out this sample letter to get you started.

To Whom It May Concern:

On February 21, 2013, the United Alliance for Heartworm Recogition will be holding a charity auction to benefit our cause, and we would love your help! Last year, our organization raised more than 4,000 dollars for the cause, and we hope to do even better this year.

We are currently collecting merchandise and gift certificates for our auction, and we would apperciate your support! Not only is the donation tax-deductible, you will find that you will also be mentioned in our program as one of our community supporters.

You can send donations to our address at [address here] or you can deliver them personally at [address here].

Thank you so much for your time and your support!


[name here]

Send People Out Early

The sooner you send people out, the more ground you can cover. The key to getting great donations for an auction is always to make sure that you hit all of the local private businesses. Big name stores cannot offer you anything substantial without notice to their home office, but private businesses may surprise you.


Setting Bids

When you are setting bids for your silent auction, remember that there is going to be bidding. If you are auctioning off gift certificates, make sure that you set the price at less than what the gift certificate is worth. Some people are willing to bid over the amount, but that is rare. The key is not to price something out of the market.


Doing a charity auction takes time and effort, but the truth is that it is far easier than you might think. Consider these guidelines, and use them to move your goals forward.