Auction on a ChalkboardDoes your school hold an auction to raise funds? If not you might want to consider it. Many private schools, and even some public schools, hold dinner/auction nights to raise funds. It’s a fun way for parents to support the school, socialize and even go home with some great prizes.
Schools can have a live auction, silent auction, online auction or any combination of all of them. When there is more than one type of auction going on you are more able to reach out to everyone’s interest and price levels.

A silent auction can provide a way to offer many different auction items. The auction items can be valued anywhere from $20 to $500 or even more. With so many auction items, there can be something for everyone. From sports, to kids, gourmet foods, gift baskets, and many other interests can be included in the silent auctions.

A live auction is a great interactive event that many attendees will enjoy. The auctioneer interacts with the crowd to make the auction fun and exciting.  A professional auctioneer can often drive up the final bid price of the items higher than they would be with a volunteer auctioneer or if the items were on the silent auction table.

Internet based auctions are very popular and many parents are already buying items online on eBay. So why not have one for the school? An online auction can happen during the same dinner/auction night or a week before.  You could even have the online auction instead of an in-person event. If the online auction is standalone they are often held over a 1-3 week period.
No matter what type of auction or combination of auctions you have, make sure you start planning well in advance. Organize into committees so volunteers can participate in a variety of ways.

Have some really high priced, premium items in the live auction. Big vacation packages, a motorcycle or gourmet dinner party are all good ideas for a live auction. Ticket packages for professional sports teams are also great auction items. Even if it’s not a super high priced item, if it will bring in lots of excitement and bids, put it in a live auction.  Also have less fancy items that start at lower prices in the silent auction so everyone has an opportunity to participate.

Auctions can be a fun, great way to raise funds. Consider all of the different auction formats available and how they can fit into your school’s fundraising plans.