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Silent Auction Guide & Toolkit
Learn how to create a successful silent auction fundraiser. Silent auction strategies, timelines, auction items and how to organize and display them, how to close an auction and take payments, and other add on fundraisers to boost the bottom line.

Secrets of the Charity Auction Experts
Learn from the experts! Discover the best selling auction items. How to get auction items donated. How to boost attendance. How to get more bids and higher selling prices. How to coordinating volunteers, staff and auction consultants.

How to Choose Your Fundraising Auction Site

by Maureen and John Winter


Before making the final decision on your fundraising auction site, consider carefully what the needs of the actual auction are for that evening. Often the choice is made on the sole basis of price, availability and ambiance and little or no consideration is given to the layout needs of the auction. Among the areas that should be taken into consideration are:

  • Registration

    There should be sufficient space for many guests to stand without creating a chaotic situation. This will be the first impression your guests will have of the event and it is essential that the area is large enough, attractive and highly functional.

  • Silent Auction

    The area must be large enough for the display of all the auctions items. Sufficient room must be available for bars, food tables and auction areas and the guests should be able to circulate comfortably throughout the room. Lighting is one of the most critical considerations for the successful operation. View the site in the evening when the auction will actually occur and plan to supplement the lighting if necessary.

  • Live Auction

    The transition from the Silent Auction area to the dining room or Live Auction area must be very smooth to ensure that all your guests can easily move from one to the other without slowing down the program. Check the quality of the sound system for without a good sound system the Live Auction could be a disaster. If audio-visual aids are to be used, confirm the ability to create a display that everyone can see.

  • Collation

    Adequate room and privacy are essential to the prompt and accurate collating of the Silent Auction items. If possible, a private room is preferred otherwise try and find an area that can be secured from the guests until the distribution is ready. The Silent Auction room is an ideal location if it is separated from the dining room.

  • Computer

    It is essential that an adequate, private and fully equipped space be devoted to the operation. Electricity and light must be adequate. If privacy can be obtained, accuracy and speed of operation are vastly improved. The location should be outside of major traffic areas like restrooms and exits.

  • Checkout

    If you have adequate space located outside of the main exit area, vast improvements will occur in the speedy and efficient checkout of the winning bidders. Avoid areas that are direct exits to the event where non-bidders may gather or places like a coatroom or restroom.



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About the Author: Written by Maureen & John Winter of Target Funding Group who manage more than 30 charity fundraising auctions a year for organization large and small, have authored two books on charity auctions and designed a very user friendly software to accomplish all the tasks for a successful charity fundraising auction.

For more information, or to subscribe to their free monthly email newsletter, please visit their site at: http://www.charityauctionhelp.com



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