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What should you keep in mind for silent auctions: The essential Do’s & Don’ts

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The positive impact of an eminent silent auction on a nonprofit organization is beyond doubt. Silent auctions provide a tremendous revenue boom to your fundraising as well as act as an excellent appealing activity to your visitors. It’s advantageous in each scenario!

Running a silent auction successfully requires a lot of effort, and several times, when people behind these are new, they end up spending more than what they’re receiving. 

Every nonprofit organization needs to make its rule book for all its attendees and supporters for the event to run fluently and mark its success. 

Here are the Do’s & Don’ts you need to know for your silent auction to take place successfully.

Do’s & Don’ts of a Silent Auction

  • Ground rules

The Do’s:

As you choose the right venue for the silent auction, ensure that you paste a sheet at the front door mentioning the rules before the event begins. Also, in case someone misses out on reading them, ensure you hand those instantly as one enters. 

The Don’ts:

Don’t just forget to mention the details to the people arriving, it might cause a ruckus without a certain protocol to be followed. Also, never keep the important ‘Thank you’ note aside since it’s important to thank everyone who made a decision to be a part of it. 

  • Items For The Auction

The Do’s:

Try getting the items from businesses that have been supporting you for quite a while now, it’s important to reward them. Clubbing items of different ranges would also be a great idea, also restaurant coupons and wine tastings are highly sold. 

If you’re wishing to include experiencing items, then try Hot-air balloon rides, cruise outings, vacations, and family day passes are always good to include. 

The Don’ts:

Always remember you do not need excessive items, the number of bidders and the number of items should always go hand in hand. Also, never forget to keep the expensive ones ahead, do not leave them behind the low-priced ones. 

Every silent auction needs a fair share of bidders to arrive, therefore never keep the need of doing heavy publicity behind. Also, how do you make the visitors aware of the items present? Heavy announcements at the venue are important, so don’t forget the sound systems. 

Another important thing, do not encourage exchanges or refunds. What’s sold is sold, and the money will go to the proceeds of the cause!

  • Bidding Sheets Rules

The Do’s:

Firstly, make sure the limited edition items have a ‘Buy Now’ label present under their names on the list so that people are eager to buy them. In order to generate a good value, it is not possible to have a fair share of funds with a dollar or two’s increment. Ensure there is a 10% increment at the market value. 

Every bidding sheet should have a minimum price/beginning of the bid listed, and the amount should be at least 40% of the market value. 

The Don’ts:

No clipboards below the sheets will only make the entire process havoc to handle, hence a lesson, never keep these boards aside, ensure these are below all sheets. 

Also, how terrible would it be if an item is sold but the bid’s still going on? Keep announcing that the particular item is sold, whilst also ensuring you don’t forget to put ‘SOLD’ stickers. 

  • What to remember for online Silent Auctions

The do’s:

Putting up a digital bidding sheet would be a fantastic idea so that bids can be placed. These sheets are easier to fill out in case if something’s sold, it doesn’t take too long to inform every bidder. Also, try keeping it comfortable for phone and iPad users, since a majority of people arrive from there.

Pre-bidding should also be allowed, that way the process will begin before the starting of the auction, and items will sell quicker. 

The don’ts:

Your social media plays a huge role in the promotion of online auctions, therefore don’t forget to share the links everywhere on those platforms. Catalogs featuring product images are very important, never put low-quality images online since that will ruin the sales. 

In case you’re having the auction both online and offline, don’t forget to inform the offline visitors they can also bid via their phones, tabs, or laptops. Without a proper instruction manual, it will become tougher to bid, so don’t underestimate the need for a video instruction manual. 

Concluding: Good silent auctions require efforts

As you now know what it takes to execute a silent auction successfully, it’s your turn to create a specific set of rules, keeping the do’s and don’ts in mind. 

But as much as these rules matter, so matters kindness. Ensure thank you notes are delivered from time to time, appreciate their efforts and let them know how much their contribution matters.

A good silent auction will take some of your time and planning/execution techniques, but in the end, the outcomes make it all worth it!

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