Besides creating a distinct look and feel for the silent auction, Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp employed some basic strategies to achieve that level of curation. Here are 4 easy steps you can take to have the same effect:
- Look at last year's sales totals: What sold and what didn't? Make sure to include the same items that sold well and take out/do not solicit the items that did not.
- Know your audience: For example, the attendees of the Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp gala bid very competitively on home and garden packages, wine lots and restaurant gift certificates. Solicit donations of what you know people will bid on, and package them together in fun and engaging ways.
- Set clear criteria for the types of items you are soliciting: restaurant gift certificates, unique experiences, travel, celebrity meet and greets, etc., and make sure your procurement committee sticks to it.
- Be creative: Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp has a loyal following of Kiwanis clubs that purchase tables every year. They also have a competition in which each club puts together a basket for the silent auction, and the club that created the top selling basket gets a visit from the Camp's Executive Director at their next meeting. These baskets are consistently among the silent auction's best selling items.
As with all other elements of events, the more you tailor your silent auction to your audience, the more fun they'll have, the more engaged they'll be, and ultimately, the more money you will raise.