Tips from Charity Fundraising.

Gift Baskets are always a welcome addition to any silent auction.  Creativity and a little planning can transform an average charity auction into a fresh and remarkable event that your guests will chatter about well into the future.

Before we share with you some creative themes and ideas for silent auction gift baskets, Fundraising Professional at Charity Fundraising, Michael Gordon comments, “Properly coordinated and packaged gift baskets are a great supplement to high end charity auction items at any live or silent auction.  Gift baskets provide an excellent way for low-end bidders to participate in the event without feeling overwhelmed by larger items like autographed items and VIP experiences.  Keep in mind however, that hosting an auction showcasing only gift baskets may not provide your non-profit with the financial success of an auction showcasing a blend of high-end and low-end items.  Gift baskets work well at small, casual charity fundraisers hosted by schools, churches and civic groups.”

Here are some silent auction ideas for creating gift baskets for an upcoming event.  Event planners can share these themes with donors that are willing to create the gift baskets themselves or you may opt to gather themed items on a donation basis and assemble your own baskets.

The Spa Basket – relaxation products, bath gels, lotions, spa gift cards, massage supplies, herbal teas and lavender sachets, soft music cd’s, fluffy slippers and bathrobe.

The Date Night Basket – restaurant gift cards, movie gift cards, popcorn and movie candy.

The Family Game Night Basket – a selection of board games, popcorn and other treats, deck of cards and fancy soda pop.

Memory Making Basket – disposable camera, scrapbook, scrapbooking supplies like scissors, glue, stickers, ribbons and embellishments.

Patriotic Gift Basket – history themed coffee table book, map or globe, flags, cd of patriotic music, firecrackers, red, white and blue picnic themed tableware and American themed cookbook.

International Basket – a selection of items from different cultures, cookbooks, non-perishable food items, culture specific tableware like chopsticks, fondue pots, BBQ supplies, tortilla warmers.  This idea can be crafted towards a blend of cultures or you may select one culture to focus on.  Additionally, this basket idea could be tweaked into an Olympic themed basket.

Pet Lover’s Basket – Cat or Dog themed, create a selection of pet toys, pet treats, a pet themed photo frame, a gift card for use at a local pet groomer, or even a certificate for a donation to a pet-friendly charity.

Gift Card Basket – feature a basket with a selection of gift cards from various establishments around your community.  These certificates may include restaurants, gym memberships, retail stores, grocery stores, gas cards and more.

Baby Basket – create a basket with all the items a new parents would need for their baby.  Medicines, diaper rash cream, blankets, bibs, wipes, diapers, lotions and toiletries, soft music cd, books and more.

Off to College Basket – a supply of non-perishable foods, organizers, totes, laundry supplies, small household items and stationary.

BBQ Basket – a selection of barbecue tools, recipe books, spices, rubs, barbeque sauces, skewers, grillers and picnicware.

Weekend Getaway Basket – a gift card to a bed and breakfast or hotel, a gas card, a small bottle of champagne and glasses, snacks for the car and brochures from local tourist destinations.

The options for creating gift baskets for silent auctions are endless.  Just remember to securely package your items so they remain together and presentable during event setup.  Coordinate color schemes and brand your items to send a consistent message.  Baskets filled with mismatched items will only confuse the potential bidder.