Successful school fundraisers are more than just door-to-door candy bar sales or a car wash at the local town center.  Live and silent auctions provide a unique platform for raising funds for schools, extracurricular activities and athletics.  Effectively executed school auctions can help you secure the funds your cause needs in one night instead of an entire school year of sales-related fundraisers.

Successful school auctions do require careful planning.  If you’ve decided that a live or silent auction is the right fundraiser for your school, here are some tips from Charity Fundraising .

1.) Volunteers are key.  Before you begin, it’s key to have a large group of committed volunteers.  When hosting a school auction 10-15 volunteers should make an effective event committee.  Though much of the work should be a team effort, you may consider nominating and voting on an event chairperson or event director that will serve as the decision maker when a unanimous decision cannot be agreed on. Often times the school principal, coach or teacher will be willing to take on this role.  Clearly delegate roles and responsibilities to every volunteer before the event so that expectations are set and met.

2.) Unlike sales-driven fundraisers, auctions are entertaining and a great way to bring students, families, staff and your community together in support of a common cause.  Auctions can be gala dinner events or informal gatherings for the whole family.  Be sure to theme your school auction to fit your cause, your guests and your budget.

3.) If you are hosting a live auction, don’t skimp on the expense to hire an experienced auctioneer.  It will not only be a source of entertainment for your guests, but he/she will assist in running your auction efficiently and correctly.  To find an auctioneer visit The National Auctioneers Association to find an auctioneer near you.

4.) When you are closing your auction, be sure to group items and close them out in groups. By spacing out the closing times, you will give your guests an opportunity to assess their financial commitments.  This will allow them to place further bids on other items throughout the evening. This strategy also attempts to prevent guests from leaving without an auction item.

5.) Be sure to accept a variety of credit cards at your auction and test your system so that undesirable delays do not occur.

6.) Don’t be afraid to invest time reaching out to the community and corporate sponsors.  You may receive funds to underwrite the event or auction items to showcase.  Be sure to invest the time in appropriately thanking your corporate sponsors and reporting the success of your event back to them.

Visit Charity Fundraising's School Fundraising Ideas for more great ideas and auction items for your upcoming school auction projects or contact Charity Fundraising today for immediate fundraising assistance.