How to Run a Successful Silent Auction for Charity
A silent auction is a great way to buy some really great items at an affordable price. At the AFGI, we have 40 years of auction experience and we’ve hosted many silent auctions in Toronto and throughout the York region.
During a silent auction, attendees enter the auction and have an opportunity to view all of the items being sold during the event. Beside each item is a sheet of paper, attendees can write their bid on the paper. This creates an opportunity for an exciting auction with people having the ability to be in complete control of the bidding process and can see the other bids at a glance. With so many items being sold at one time, a silent auction is a great way to spend an evening.
At the end of the event, the person with the highest bid will win the item. The end time of the auction is usually set before the auction begins, this allows people the ability to properly plan and budget. The auction is silent, meaning that the auctioneer does not sell the items to the bidders.
Many charities find that silent auctions are an excellent way to generate funds for their group. Most Toronto charity silent auctions have a fixed starting amount for each item. This ensures that the items will be sold for a reasonable price. It’s also not unusual to have predetermined bid increments, or a guaranteed bid amount (which is essentially the same as a ‘buy now’ option). Non-profits throughout the York region utilize silent auctions as a stand-alone event to attract both fundraising money and attention for their respective causes.
Working with a professional auction house will help groups plan and run a profitable silent auction. We’ve been helping charities in the Toronto and York region raise much-needed funds by organizing and hosting successful silent auctions.
The most successful silent auctions either have a lot of items up for grabs, or they have a lot of people show up. Ideally, your silent auction will have a few high-end items that will get some attention and attract a large number of competitive bids. Be sure to ask supporters to donate a wide range of items. You’ll find that many individuals and businesses within your community will be willing to donate an item for your auction. Your silent auction can be an excellent platform for a local business to promote their products. Be sure to clearly explain the goals of your auction and who will benefit from the funds you raise during the event.
The more people you can have volunteering the better. Having volunteers working with a professional auctioneer is the best combination. Volunteers can help with set up, monitor and close tables, make sure all rules are being followed and collect money from the attendees.
It’s important to begin setting up a few hours before the auction. This will allow you and your volunteers the ability to avoid any costly mistakes. Take advantage of this time and create a master list of all the items up for auction and their value. Make sure there are enough bid sheets, clipboards and pens to keep the auction running smoothly. We also recommend taping the bid sheet to the table with some clear tape, there’s a lot of foot traffic during a silent auction and you don’t want to have your sheets lost or misplaced when people are trying to place their bids.
During the auction, you’ll want to have people available to answer any questions, but it’s also important to give bidders their space. Be sure to give proper warnings as closing time approaches, this will allow for a smoother auction will promote some last minute action.
At the AFGI, we specialize in hosting and planning silent auctions in the Toronto and York regions. We’ve had the honour of helping some great groups host successful silent auctions. Our experienced team of auctioneers will work with you and your organization to plan a profitable auction. Our family of Toronto auctioneers are proud members of the National Auctioneers Association members and graduates of the world-renowned World Wide College of Auctioneering.
Feel free to call us with any questions regarding your upcoming silent auction event.