Your Charity Auction Guide: What They Are and How They Work

In New York, U2’s Frontman Bono made nearly $30 million at a charity auction. While across the pond in London, an NSPCC art auction raised just under $2 million.

If you’re looking to raise money for a specific cause than a charity auction could be just the thing! But if you don’t know how they work the chances of success are slim. 

So you need to know what you’re doing if your charity auction is going to succeed. Or if you want to make the most while attending a charity auction!

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how a charity auction works and tips on how to become the ultimate auctioneer! 

Planning a Charity Auction 

The devil is in the detail when it comes to planning a charity auction and boy is there a lot to plan! 

Picking the right time, date and location are key to laying a good foundation for your auction. People become particularly generous around the holidays. So think about holding your auction in the fall or winter. 

The time of year might also dictate the types of lots you have on offer. Or you might choose themed lots. Whether you have precious china or a garand for sale make sure your items are top quality. 

Local businesses might want to donate lots as this offers them positive promotion.

You’ll also need a great host. Their attitude dictates the tone of the evening. So you want someone who’s going to entertain and encourage the crowd to spend their money! 

Choosing a local name is often a good idea. Or if you’re going to push the boat out, contact a celebrity’s management team. If they’re promoting a good cause they might want to join in too! 

Promoting Your Auction

It might sound obvious but if you don’t promote your auction people won’t turn up. And if there’s no one there to spend money, you won’t make any money. 

Remember to promote your charity auctions well in advance. People might be keen to come but if they only find out about it last minute then they might have to miss it! 

Keep your audience in mind when promoting. If it’s for a local charity, local advertisements will help.

But if you’re doing something on a larger scale think about using online advertising too. Some websites might give reduced rates for charity advertisements. And promoting your auction on online forums is totally free! 

Live Auctions 

A live auction is the most traditional kind of auction. 

The host presents each item and bidders bid in real-time. These lots are often high-priced items. A live auction encourages competition among the charity bids. 

Some people might bid remotely although this is less common in a charity auction. But a high-profile auction might use remote bidding. 

How Does a Silent Auction Work? 

As you might imagine, a silent auction works in quite a different way to a live auction. But this doesn’t mean they have to be any less exciting. 

Each of the lots is on display for the evening. Guests have the opportunity to bid on it on sheets of paper. This means you don’t need an auctioneer to host and people don’t know each other’s bids. 

The guests have to plan ahead to try and outbid one another. So they might build in bigger margins to make sure they get the items they want. 

What Are Online Charitable Auctions?

Online charitable auctions work like live auctions, just online! 

They are a good option if you’re struggling to find a venue. And generally, they require less logistical planning. All you need to organize are the lots and some promotion. 

And there are loads of great charity auction host sites. If you’re planning an auction or looking to bid, check them out for possible treasures! 

The Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for amazing bargains while giving back – a charity auction is the place for you! Or if you want to raise money, then get planning one.

And for more handy lifestyle tips, check out our blog today!