Archive for the 'Live Auctions' Category

34 Basket Auction Ideas

A couple of years ago, I wrote an e-book called the School Carnival Money Making Guide. It’s 186 pages long and gives all sort of practical advice on how to earn more money for your school at your school carnival.

Here is an excerpt from the book about how to run a basket auction. If you enjoy it, check out the entire book at

Basket Auction

Another great way to make a significant sum of money at your carnival is to add in the element of a basket auction. This strategy of bundling together a group of related items into a beautifully wrapped package has become very popular at silent auctions. So, it’s easy to transfer the idea over to your carnival without too much difficulty.

Here are some very important things to consider when deciding to add a basket auction to your carnival:

You must let the people who will be attending the carnival know, well ahead of time, that you will be having a basket auction in addition to your carnival, since bidding on these items can easily stretch beyond what most people would plan on spending at the carnival alone. You want to make sure that people bring their check books or credit cards to access larger amounts than they might have in their purses or wallets.

You can do this by prominently proclaiming this on the fliers and other printed notifications that go home about the carnival. You could even go as far as to name your event “The ____________ School Carnival & Basket Auction”. It’s kind of hard to miss it then!

Since you will have to solicit the items that you place in the baskets, you will need to put a team together to do this. This is an involved process that requires the right amount of confidence, congeniality, tact, gumption, creativity, and drive from the people in charge. If the average basket has six items in it, and you decide you want to auction off 20 baskets, that’s 120 items your team will have to procure. That can take significant time and effort, but the reward could be well worth it.

Do not forget to properly record each item that is donated, as well as send a thank-you/recognition letter to the donor.

Click here to enroll in Jim Berigan’s FREE year-long school fundraising e-Course!

If your school has a separate auction at a different time of year, I don’t think it would hurt to have a small basket auction add-on to your carnival. However, you want to be careful not to over-burden your business supporters by going to them too many times per year. You may decide to use certain businesses for the carnival basket auction and different businesses for your regular silent/live auction event and not cross the two lists.

Overall, a basket auction will add to the excitement of the event and raise some extra dollars. If your school doesn’t have an auction though, this is a chance to really dip into that “auction” revenue pool.

You will have to make a decision as to whether the baskets will be sold in a silent auction, a live auction, or a combination of both. Since there will be so much else going on however, I’d recommend going with a silent auction format.

Other things to consider with a basket auction:

• To generate excitement for your Basket Auction, take attractive photos of the baskets once they are put together and put them on your school’s website and/or Facebook page. This is the best way for parent to find out what will be available.

• As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, the basket auction will benefit greatly from the use of an emcee. He/she can also serve as the auctioneer and really stir up the interest and the bidding in the baskets.

• You should have a goal in mind for what each basket will sell for. If you see that prices are not going in that direction, use the emcee to fire up the bidders.

Here are some suggestions for basket themes and contents.

1. New York Times Best-seller Basket

A selection of two or three top selling books from the NYT bestseller list, gift certificate to book store, reading lamp…

2. Arts & Crafts Basket
Paint, markers, crayons, scissors, easel, construction paper, craft kits… continue reading

Auctions Can Raise Funds for Your School

Does your school hold an auction to raise funds? If not you might one to consider it. Many private schools, and even some public schools, hold dinner/auction nights to raise funds. It’s a fun way for parents to support the school, socialize and even go home with some great prizes.

Schools can have a live auction, silent auction, online auction or any combination of all of them. When there is more than one type of auction going on you are more able to reach out to everyone’s interest and price levels.

Have some really high priced, premium items in the live auction. Big vacation packages, a motorcycle or gourmet dinner party are all good ideas for a live auction. Ticket packages for professional sports teams are also great auction items. Even if it’s not a super high priced item, if it will bring in lots of excitement and bids, put it in a live auction.

A silent auction can provide a way to offer many different auction items. The auction items can be valued anywhere from $20 to $500 or even more. With so many auction items, there can be something for everyone. From sports, to kids, gourmet foods, gift baskets, and many other interests can be included in the silent auctions.

Online auctions can happen during the same dinner/auction night or be held over a 1-3 week period. Online auctions are very popular and many parents are already buying items online on eBay. So why not have an online auction for the school?

Auctions can be a fun, great way to raise funds. Consider all of the different auction formats available and how they can fit into your school’s fundraising plans.