When your committee begins executing a fundraising project plan in preparation for your upcoming live or silent auction, one of the most critical steps is accumulating donations of fundraising items from around your community. Michael Gordon, Fundraising Specialist at Charity Fundraising recommends blending donated items from around the community with high-end items like VIP experiences or autographed merchandise in an effort to allow all of your guests to have an opportunity to bid on an attainable item.  Gordon comments, “If your event only showcases high-end items it’s possible that a percentage of your guests will not be able to bid due to their budget.  Likewise, if your organization only has gift baskets and gym memberships available, you may not meet your financial goals because winning bids will be low.”

When you partner with Charity Fundraising, securing your high-end autographed items and vacation experiences is easy.  We have an inventory of over 500 items available to your non-profit organization on a zero-risk consignment basis. We’re proud to work on the honor system and request no cash, credit cards or deposits up front. We work exclusively with the non-profit community, so we have perfected the fine art of helping deliver blockbuster charity auctions to all our partners.

So you have your high-end items and now it’s time to secure the lower end fundraising items from around your community.  Here are some tips to gain the very best items in an efficient manner from commercial vendors from around your community.

1.)  Let the vendor know up front what’s in it for them and for their business.  Sure it feels great for the business owner to help a charity in need, but it sweetens the deal if you show the merchant a marketing related benefit. For example, if a vendor contributes a $100 restaurant gift card as a fundraising item at your event, tell them that you will include their business name, logo and contact information in your bidding book or event agenda.

2.) You can never ask to early. Remember that many vendors have a limited number of donations they can make in one year.  Even if your charity auction is scheduled for November, it’s ok to begin asking in January or February for auction items.  If you wait until the month before your event, it’s possible that other charities and groups have already collected the available donations.

3.) Remember to contact any vendor that has donated over the last few years.  If they have donated in the past, they are familiar with your cause and are likely to donate again.  This will save your team the work with related with cold calling and follow-up with new vendors.

4.) Always remember to thank your donors and report on the success of your event and their items.  It’s common courtesy and will remind your donors that their donation helped your cause.

If you would like assistance from the team at Charity Fundraising when planning your next live or silent auction, we’d love to help.  Contact us today at (201) 840-8777 to discuss fundraising ideas for your non-profit group.  Charity Fundraising serves over 2,000 non-profits worldwide by providing fundraising ideas and items to help them exceed all of their fundraising goals.