One of the challenges of hosting benefit auctions is finding suitable items that your attendees will eagerly want to bid on. It can be difficult at times to find enough donated items to fill your auction roster. Those are the times to get creative and find novel solutions to your problem.
Many people who organize benefit auctions often think in terms of finding material goods for people to bid on. Unfortunately, our current economy has meant that there’s been a lot of belt-tightening for businesses who may have been very generous in the past with their donations. However, many charities and other organizations that rely on fund raising to keep their operations going may have the answer sitting right in front of them. An excellent option to place up for bid is the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the operations, or to participate in some of the organization’s initiatives and activities.
These can be things like shadowing the group’s leader around for the day to see how things actually work and participating in selected meetings or public events. You can also allow the winning bidder to play scientist for the day if that is something the organization has. Another idea is to go on a trip with members of the organization, to assist them with things such as research and documentation. Nonprofit organizations that do missions trips could offer to bring a guest along. With any of these suggestions, it’s also a great idea to have someone from your local media come out and do a write up on the bidder’s activities for the day or whatever time period that they will be involved. Having the journalists take pictures and write a quick article is an excellent carrot for potential bidders.
So the next time you’re scrambling for ideas on how to obtain items for your benefit auction, think outside the box and you might just raise even more money than you would have otherwise.