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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Dowers

How to best prepare for a silent auction

Silent auctions are still thriving as a source of revenue for fundraising events in North America. You can find a silent auction at a gala, golf tournaments, fundraising dinners, luncheons and even fashion shows. They can be a beast of an undertaking but when done properly they are wildly successful. When done without the right effort and preparation they can be a major failure with hours of wasted time. You want to consider a variety of factors when planning to embark on the beast that is a silent auction.

  1. How many guests are expected to attend?

  2. What is the demographic of your attendees? Age group, gender, professions etc.

  3. What companies will benefit from this event/charitable cause?

  4. Who are close supporters of the charity and what are their professional connections?

Once you know how many guests you can start to plan just how many items you want in your auction. Then you you need to determine the demographics of your attendees. Men and women have very different purchasing patterns so if you have a room full of women you may want to do separate auction lot closings because women typically enjoy the thrill of getting up a few times to outbid each other. Men like to make quick decisions and move on. So including a BUY NOW options can allow the individual to purchase the item at full value or over value right away. Men love this because it secures the item they want, it means they don’t need to get up out of their seat to check on who outbid them and it allows them to enjoy the general entertainment of the event.

The age and gender of guests will also lead what kind of items you want to secure. Men often love sports tickets and memorabilia. Whereas women love gift cards to restaurants or hotels. Almost everyone loves tech related items but especially millennials. Connect with us at to learn more about how to engage companies through your board members, suppliers and supporters.

Happy fundraising!

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