Finding Auction Donations
Procurement and Donation List Suggestions Donations of many types and sizes are warmly welcomed. Donations can be sold as stand-alone or bundled for a more creative unique item.
It is OK to say no thank you
Accept only donations with a true retail value and can be considered sellable. A 2 for 1, trial coupon or buy-this-get-that are ordinary have little monetary value. Respectfully decline these (or perhaps take them with the notion of using as token of appreciation for volunteers). DON’T clutter the auction with junk.
- Get the procurement basics straight, then start asking for donations
- Sample letter for a school
- Sample letter non-education related
No Risk or Consignment Auction Items
No risk auction items may feel a little intimidating or risky but used wisely can greatly enhance the auction. Using consignment items can help attract more bidders overall when matching the items to audience interests.
Consigning Considerations Many companies offer unique goods for consignments such as sports memorabilia, experiences and events. Consignments can be fun and flashy but do your due diligence and read the fine print. Taking consigned goods means the charity agrees to offer at auction an item usually with a minimum sale price. Collections above the required minimum gets donated back to your function. If merchandise does not sell it goes back to the consignment house. Be sure to budget the starting value and potential profit margin to see if consigning is a true value added effort. In addition, bidders are most likely not aware that an item is consigned, and when they win or purchase that coveted paraphernalia with a large donation, most believe that the charity gets the funds. Be sure to budget time for receiving and potentially shipping back unsold goods.
Finding the right partner and using the items to help market the auction can help reach fundraising goals. The right partner will never pressure, will listen FIRST to your needs then offer suggestions SECOND. Engage with a professional where helping fundraisers is the priority of the business, not an offshoot of a current business trying to find another marketing angle. No risk items should always include a letter of authenticity and matching, tamper-proof holograms are affixed to each letter of authenticity and directly to each item.
In Kind Donations
True, finding auction donations is still the biggest challenge event organizers face, but a strategic approach makes it easier. According to Renee Zau at Donation match here are some tips starting from preparation to lead resources:
- Start As Soon As You Can
- Make It Easy for Others to Help
Leverage, Leverage, Leverage A key to maximizing my success has been prioritizing the "one to many" opportunities, potentially yielding multiple donations with a single touch. Donors of past events, Your Board of Directors, Staff, and Event Committee, HARO (sign up as “Journalist/Reporter” and indicate “Giftbag” as the only category), DonationMatch (sign up as a Nonprofit to list events needing items)
Auctria maximizes and organizes the efforts of the team!
Organize Donor Contact Information
Donor contact information is easy to load and organize with Auctria. The team centralizes all the donor data contact points and donation notes. Track donor information with Auctria to make best use of the procurement team’s time for loading actual donation items and after the auction closes creating donor receipts and thank you correspondences.
Follow our Pinterest Boards for links to many donation pages.
Here is list for inspiration:
FAMILY Products & Services
- gymnastics programs
- ballet studios
- martial arts programs
- local camps
- health & fitness centers
- music lessons
- children’s salons
- trampoline & jumping locales
- inflatable and party locales
- performing arts classes & camps
- children’s museum
- weight loss centers
- teeth whitening
- home services: cleaning, pool
- pediatric services
- vehicle detailing
- wellness center
- attorney consultation
- gym membership: crossfit, pilates, barre, martial arts, boxing
- glamour services: nail salon, lash salon, waxing salon tanning salon
THINGS TO DO
Family friendly activities are quite wide ranging. Seek out a variety to maximize bids. Most theme parks small and large will honor donation requests.
- major theme parks like Disney World/ DisneyLand, Universal Studios
- theatre: ballet, orchestral, musicals plays, children’s,
- museums: art, science, space, children’s
- local theme parks
- water parks
- horticultural and nature center
- movie theater
- cultural center
- symphony & orchestra
Professional and collegiate sports teams have community relation departments that are designed to help local not-for profits. Ask them all! hockey, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, softball. Most will donate autographed and authenticated merchandise or tickets.
- personal sporting experiences: golf outing and/or lesson, tennis, batting cages
- semi-professional sports teams enjoy donating for additional exposure
- local adult and student recreational leagues will donate a free next seasons registration leagues.
- Consider the local league for: hockey, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, softball, t-ball, soccer, archery, equestrian.
People love their pets! Offering pet related services and goods are popular for auctions.
- pet shops for food or services
- veterinary services
Ask for the donation while you are there dining, they will almost ALWAYS give.
- restaurants give the auction catalog an immediate interest factor
- local restaurants are usually very kind and donate to locals that frequent the establishment
- national chains bring brand recognition to the auction
The best time to ask for a donation for a local establishment is at the time you are making a purchase simply bring your procurement letter with you each time you eat out ask the service person to pass along the request- you will be surprised how many will honor it on the spot or ask you to return shortly
When stopping by a restaurant when not dining do so plenty of time prior to the lunch service. The decision makers tend to be in-house at that time. Stay away during peak dining times unless you are dining- then go for it! National restaurant chains sometimes make local, onsite donations while others ask that donations be requested through their websites. Once you establish this information be sure to document in Charity Auction Organizer so you can have the data to make best use of the procurement team’s time going forward.