Finding Auction Item Donations

Published on 4 Aug 2023 by Auctria

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.

Auctria's Donation Solicitation Form

With Auctria's Solicit Items feature, you can easily receive donation information online and enable donors to contribute items for your organization’s fundraising event. Once you have your event website up and running use a Pre Built Section that donors can use to submit donation details to you. As an admin you will then receive a notification and have the ability to accept, reject or edit. This streamlines the communications between the Donor and the auction team. The donor can even share images, this makes it both fast and easy to fill the auction catalog.

  1. To get started, simply add an Add Donation Items page to your event website using our special “Solicit Items” form. This user-friendly, multi-part form allows donors to enter information about the items or services they wish to offer for the fundraising event.

  2. Direct donors to your Add Donation Items page! Donors can enter the item information, contact information and image and at their convenience 24/7.

  3. You receive an email that an online item donation was made and you do the final review! On the Auction Dashboard Items section you can Review Solicited Items and manage the donated items with ease.

Online Donation Requests

Many sports teams, manufacturers, retailers, restaurants use online donation forms to manage to the incoming donation requests. Follow the Auctria Pinterest boards for over 600 links to donation request pages and auction fundraising tips.

Links to over 200 national and local restaurants and general merchandise and services. Donation request pages are all pinned here.

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Sports-Donation Board links for sports donations
Links to donation pages for NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA College sports and more. Sports donation request pages are all pinned here.

Auctria mega auction sports donation seal 200.jpg

Keepsakes are priceless and can yield BIG donations when created with love and promoted with passion. Links are here for keepsakes, collectibles and priceless items.

Auctria keepsakes donation seal 200.jpg

Donation request links for golf equipment, resorts and experts. Golf donation request pages are pinned here.

auctria golf donation seal 200.png

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.

Procurement Letters

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 Sports & Pop Culture Items
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.

Attract more bidders and higher bids with really cool auction items.

Consigning Travel Packages
Ask your board. When procuring items for a fundraising auction, you have very limited time. Make the most of it by pursuing valuable, exclusive auction packages that not only add to your bottom line at the event, but help identify potential major donors in the future. One way to know what interests this type of spender: Ask your board. Board members are high net worth, enthusiastic and well connected supporters of your cause. Take them out to lunch or coffee and find out, What are their interests? What experiences or destinations are on their bucket list? In other words, what would make them, and others like them, raise their bid cards?

“WOW-worthy” travel packages may be the answer you are looking for.

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.


Here is list for inspiration:

FAMILY Products & Services

  • gymnastics programs
  • ballet studios
  • martial arts programs
  • surfing
  • local camps
  • health & fitness centers
  • music lessons
  • children’s salons
  • trampoline & jumping locales
  • arcades
  • inflatable and party locales
  • performing arts classes & camps
  • tutoring
  • children’s museum


  • weight loss centers
  • teeth whitening
  • orthodontics
  • home services: cleaning, pool
  • pediatric services
  • vehicle detailing
  • wellness center
  • attorney consultation
  • spa
  • gym membership: crossfit, pilates, barre, martial arts, boxing
  • glamour services: nail salon, lash salon, waxing salon tanning salon


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
  • boating
  • camping
  • movie theater
  • cultural center
  • mini-golf
  • bowling
  • sailing
  • zoo
  • 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.

  • grooming
  • pet-sitter
  • 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.