Auctions for Charity, Benefits & Fund Raising

There are great benefits in using a live auction for fund raising. The auction is a fun event in which thousands of dollars can be raised and participants go away feeling good about helping others, while receiving something tangible for their donation.

Charity and benefit auctions are a unique combination of event planning, entertainment, and auctioneering skills that only a professional auctioneer can offer. Live Auctions can also be combined with a formal dinner or an informal Bar-B-Que, Fairs and Bazaars, or other type of indoor or outdoor activity that will bring people together.

The auctioneer sells donated items using a fast paced, action packed method. Some of the items that may be sold at auction include: household goods, jewelry, dinners, services, entertainment, vacations, cars, motorcycles, boats, sports & celebrity memorabilia, and many other types of merchandise.



Organization, Facilities, Merchandise & Professional Auctioneer


  • Chairman/Co-Chairmen
  • Location/Facilities
  • Committees & Volunteers
  • Parking
  • Finance
  • Decorations
  • Sponsors
  • Food & Beverages
  • Publicity
  • Cataloging
  • Telephone & In-Person Solicitation
  • Printing
  • Pick-up
  • Cleanup
  • Warehousing
  • Security
  • A successful fundraising auction begins with the chairman and committees. The Chairman should be well-organized, resourceful, and able to keep everyone on track. Committee members should be energetic and goal-oriented and able to help bring in plenty of volunteers.

    Outdoor events are always fun, but you can't control the weather, so it is always good to have a back-up plan available in case of unforeseen circumstances. Indoor facilities should have good lighting, acoustics, large enough to seat the crowd (as it is easier to maintain their attention if they are seated), space for displaying merchandise, restrooms, ample parking facilities. Of course, food and beverages should be available, if a dinner isn't a primary part of the event.

  • Ensure that there will be ample lighting, so that items are easily seen. Bright lighting provides a better mood, by raising endorphin levels, which creates a good feeling in people, so they are likely to be more responsive and willing to bid more. (Yes, there is a bit of psychology behind all of this.)
  • Make a schedule for the events, so that people will know what to expect and try to keep things on schedule.
  • Close the silent auction before the Live Auction begins. Also, any items that may not have received any bids, can be entered into the Live Auction.
  • When laying out the order of your items, use a bell curve approach. Place your highest value items to be brought up about mid-way (or a little earlier) through the live auction. This way, unsuccessful bidders on the high value items can still bid on other items later in the auction.

    Merchandise should be clean and preferably new. The exception to this, would be items such as antiques, highly sought collectibles, sports memorabilia or other very unique items.

    There should not be any minimums or reserves, as you can't make money if you can't sell the item and people will only pay what the highest bidder is willing to bid. If the item has a reserve and it doesn't reach the minimum, it doesn't help you to meet your fund raising goals. In addition, it can also be detrimental to the enthusiasm of the crowd and therefore, is not in the best interest of the organization. Keep in mind, the main goal is to raise money and time is money. Each item that does not sell, is lost money and the time could have been used to sell something else that will help meet your goals.

    When looking for donations, the best places to start are the suppliers and vendors to your organization, as well as your normal clientele and organization members, many of whom may have summer or winter homes, hotel stays and frequent flyer miles that go unused, in addition to other special items that can be put together to develop week-end packages and theme trips.

    Professionals, such as Doctors, Attorneys, Accountants or even TV Celebrities may offer services. However, when talking to such professionals, don't think about what they do for a living, find out what they do for recreation. Do they have a condo on the beach, a boat or do they hunt, fish, play golf or race cars? Don't lock in on the profession, as most good items may come from what they do in their spare time. You may get offers to take the winner for a round of golf at an exclusive country club or a fishing trip in the Gulf with a local TV newsanchor, or even a "second honeymoon" at a secluded beach-front house on a privately owned island.

    See Ideas for Donations for more information.

    The auctioneer sells from 25 to 50 items per hour, using a fast paced, action packed method to create a sense of urgency and competition, which comes from driving the buyers desire to own the item being sold. The Auction Chant can be fascinating, rhythmic, melodic or may exhibit many other styles... however, it must be understandable! A rapid fire auction chant is not what you want for this type of event, but you do want to keep it sounding like an auction.

    Fast paced should not be confused with a high speed auction chant. However, while the auction chant is an illusion of filler words, it's actually the tone and inflection of the voice that gives the perception of urgency. Since a benefit auction is conducted before a group of non-auction-oriented people, they are unskilled at bidding and may even be a bit mystified and even confused if they are unable to understand the auctioneer. It is for this reason that an auctioneer with experience at handling this special kind of event will not only bring in more dollars for your organization... but do it with a professional style that reflects most favorably upon the organization and/or benefactor.

    For your auction to be the success you hope for, these are the three primary elements that must be present, to establish the mood to bring about enthusiastic bidding and provide the spirit to make it a memorable event!

    The key to a successful event is making the live auction special. Hiring a professional auctioneer can help ensure your success by making your event memorable and have your guests go home happy, while reaching your primary goal of raising money for your organization. Give us a call and we'll provide all of this and More!

    Donation Ideas | More Donation Ideas | Requirements

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