Your school is in need of a certain amount of money for projects and special events. Your focus turns on how to accumulate that specific amount in a particular timeframe. In cases like these, when a school carnival or product sales are not the best means to raise funds, the idea of holding a school auction becomes the main solution to the need.
School auction projects are fun and exciting basket ideas for fundraisers especially if you have done it for many times and you have already mastered the flow of events. For newbie’s however, they can be exhausting and complicated in terms of planning, organizing and executing. These steps are all important to make a school auction profitable and helpful.
Regardless if it is a small or large auction, whether you plan to do it live, silent or online, you must be well aware of the “what’s and how’s” to make it effective and worth your time. You may want to consider these tips to make it a real hit:
- Start planning ahead of time. In fact, the earlier you start, the better you can organize the details and the processes. Most private schools prefer to begin six months in advance. But if you want to take advantage of solicitation to gain more donations, you can plan several months in advance.
- Create a work plan and stay well organized. This is necessary to make the tasks a lot easier and systematized. Follow your project calendar and call for meetings if there are additional works to do.
- Recruit and delegate. The school cannot do it all alone. Gather a strong team of volunteers whom you can trust and delegate each of them a role and a responsibility they need to perform.
- Advertise and gather plenty of donations. Send out solicitations through mail or door-to-door, involve the students by making artworks and ask parents to collect items or secure at least one donation per family. You may advertise big items earlier so people can plan their bidding the earliest possible. Good advertisement is also a key to good promotions to lure as many bidders as you can.
- Make your school auction the focus of your event. Do not complicate it with other school activities such as carnival and game shows on the same day to get your bidders’ full attention.
- Hire a professional auctioneer. Especially on a live auction, a properly trained auctioneer can greatly contribute in making the event fun, lively, and moving up. He knows how to build anticipation, stimulate bidding wars, and when it is time to close bidding. He is one of the tools in making your school auction project a real standout. If possible, you can invite a local celebrity as the master of the ceremonies.
- Offer special recognition to corporate sponsors. Make table signs, ad placement in the auction catalog, online recognition through the school’s website, and/or acknowledgment during the on-going event.