Fundraising is always something big for a school, especially when clubs and societies are looking for funding. A fundraising auction is an excellent way to do just that: make money.
Now school auction projects don’t sound like big-money events, but it all depends on how it’s done. If you know what you’re doing, it sure isn’t impossible for you to rake in $10,000 to $20,000 in one fell swoop. Your child’s club will never have problems with funding as long as you know how to raise money with a school auction:
Planning: Making or Breaking the Auction
Treat a school auction like it’s a business and it’ll be like one. How you plan carefully can turn a school auction into a mere one-time yard sale or an annual money-making event of for your school.
Elements of the planning stage include mining your group for resources and items to auction off, matching items to the audience, acquiring software and hardware for the event. And you have to begin planning for all these factors nearly a year in advance for the auction: treat it like a major event, with all the courtesies and formalities that come with it and you’re going to get one.
Finding the Items to Sell
Creativity is the name of the game here. Although you’ve got the option of asking parents to donate items to set up for auction, you may want to think up alternative options that match the resources available to you.
For example: if you’ve got a parent who owns a luxury yacht, why not auction up a romantic boat ride for two? Or if you’ve got a donator who specializes in furniture making, why not have an auction for a top-notch, hand-built dresser made of fine wood?
Check the people around you, and you’ll be surprised at the options you’ll have to offer in school auction projects.
Matching Items to the Audience
It will be impossible to sell a $10,000 item in a crowd that has only a few hundred dollars in their pockets. Thus, it is essential that your school auction committee be able to assess the financial capabilities of the attending participants.
Carefully study the population of participants that will be attending the auction and divide them into categories: low, mid and high. Make sure low-spenders will be guided to the affordable section of the auctions, while those with more clink in their pockets would be guided to the higher-cost section of the auctions. Do this, and you won’t worry about having the wrong audience for the right auction.
The Art of Auctioneering
Any good auction has to have skilled auctioneers manning it. You don’t want an auctioneer who can’t speak to save his life, and you don’t want an auctioneer who doesn’t have a clue about auctions. You’ll need an auctioneer who knows how to rouse the interest of the crowd; to timely kick in humor and wit in order to keep the crowd entertained, and to inject a certain environment of desire and competitiveness within them.
Plan ahead, be creative, do the proper matching and find a good auctioneer to man the helm. Do it properly, and your fundraising auction will rake in the dollars like no tomorrow.
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