Auction Tips

Auctions are a popular way of fund development for private and independent schools. Auctions provide an opportunity for donors to gather, have a memorable night and support a favorite cause. Overall, auctions can be highly profitable for schools. To ensure your auction goes smoothly, raises needed funds and bridges donor relationships, here are five tips:

Know Your State’s Auction Laws /// What can your school legally auction off? And, what items will land your school in hot water. Puppies, kittens and other furry critters are considered illegal to auction off in some states. If your school auctions off a bottle of wine, your school m Tight need to keep in a separate area. If your auction committee has a question, reach out and ask state officials. What about sales’ tax? Know if your school is liable for state sales tax on the items sold, or if auction buyers are responsible for the sales’ tax.

Allow for Online Bidding /// Your school’s stakeholders may love to come to your auction, but they will be unable to attend this years event. So, make sure some items are available for online bidding.
Provide the Option for a Cash Donation /// Your stakeholders come to auction ready to make a bid on auction items. They might be outbid or decide they are really not interested in an item. Don’t let them walk away without impacting your school. Set up a table that allows to sponsor a student scholarship, support an academic project or fund another item.

Send Thank You Notes /// Send notes to your school’s auctions donors. Thank your product donors within 24 hours of contribution. Thank your ‘buyers’ within 24 hours after the event, too If you send a form letter, make sure you have a handwritten signature and a brief, personal note on the bottom.

Record Donor Data /// Record the name, address and phone number along with the amount of the bid in your school’s fund development records. Many of your bidders will support your school again if you ask them to do so.