Given our busy lives (careers, family, diverse interests and exercise), it’s not always easy to get volunteers for events that won’t be as successful without their support.

So what can you do? Motivate them with delicious homemade cookies?

You don’t need to go that far.

The good news is that people will volunteer. In 2011, for example, 64.3 million Americans volunteered for organizations, according to comprehensive data in a Corporation for National and Community Service report, “Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2012.”

In fact, the study found that fundraising is the most popular way that people volunteer (26.2%).

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind for your next event:

1. Try volunteer swapping.

Basically, you can recruit volunteers who agree to cover your fundraising event if you volunteer at one of theirs.

You will do well if you can find volunteers who have organized their own auctions and have a sense of what’s expected (and they can bring that experience to your event).

2. Contact auctioneers.

Depending on the nature of your event, an auctioneer may offer his or her services for free.

3. Reach out to scout troops.

Youth involved in scouts often need to put in hours with community projects. Your event may be a perfect fit for their interests and needs.

You may also each out to other service-oriented organizations (many schools have groups like the National Honor Society or Exchange Club).

4. Don’t overlook any of the common options.

Use social media, contact organization members, friends, neighbors, past volunteers and others that you know (including any e-mail addresses you have maintained over time).

If you need specific skills, be sure to make that clear when making an appeal for volunteers.

5. Ask professional entertainers to volunteer.

You may be able to enhance your event with professional entertainers, including magicians, mimes, and jugglers who would be willing to offer their services if they like what you’re accomplishing through your organization and the event.

For more assistance in planning your upcoming benefit auction, contact Charity Fundraising today.  Since 2006, Charity Fundraising has served over 5,000 non-profits worldwide by providing benefit auction ideas to help them exceed all fundraising goals.