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Posted by Amanda
Holding a charity auction for many different types of charities or fundraisers can be a world of fun for the guests as well as the workers. PTA members can plan an auction to raise money for their school; health organizations can have a charity auction to help pay for new equipment, and feral cat advocates can have an auction to help raise awareness of the peril of these cats. No matter the organization, charity auctions or fundraising auctions can be a way in which to earn the money needed.
The first thing you should do is find a location for the auction that will hold the invited guests. One great idea is a catering hall. Many catering halls offer a wide array of services that can help you organize the affair. One such major service offered is often a stage and podium for the auctioneer.
In some cases, you may wish to have the items out of sight while others may wish for them to be displayed on tables around the room. A catering hall can also provide the tables and linens needed.
Once you have the location chosen, the second thing to do is to talk with retailers, artists, crafters, and even manufacturers to donate various objects for your cause. When you approach the various individuals for donation, consider those that will be attending the affair. The items should be items of interest if you want anyone to bid. The audience must be interested in the items you plan to have at the auction.
For school fundraisers, many times restaurants will donate a meal for two; hair salons will donate haircuts, and so on and so forth. Just remember to cater to your audience if you want your auction to be a success.
Choose a date for auction. The best time to have any charity auction or fundraiser is when no other holidays or large events are occurring. Try to ensure that no other events will be happening in town at the same time such as an art exhibit, a festival, or other affairs.
Hire an auctioneer. You cannot have an auction without a professional auctioneer. You may even find one that will donate his/her time for your cause. You never know unless you ask.
Advertise, advertise, and advertise. For your charity auction or fundraiser to be a success you must have bidders. Leave fliers around town and place an ad in the local newspaper. If it is a school fundraiser send notices home with the children.
Talk with the catering hall if you wish to serve appetizers or drinks during the auction. This might be an added bonus for those attending as well as a more relaxed atmosphere.
As you receive donations, ask the donor the cost so you can choose an opening bid. Remember, though, you do not want to set the bid so high that no one will bid.
Have enough helpers to aid you in keeping track of items sold, to whom, and the price. You will want to ensure that you send thank you cards to all individuals and companies that donated time, services, and items for your auction as well as to those that purchased items.
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