A Silent Auction Fundraiser: The Quieter Way to Big Profits

A Silent Auction Fundraiser: The Quieter Way to Big Profits

A silent auction intensifies the mystery and intrigue surrounding an item for auction.

Items are exhibited for attendees to assess, place bids on and purchase. But in contrast to most auctions in Australia, silent auction rules require participants to place their bid on a bid sheet silently and anonymously utilising a bidding number.

Holding a silent auction takes a lot of work, time and energy. You need to find and catalogue items required in the auction. Moreover, you need to market the event and generate interest from attendees, search for sponsors and coordinate the process of bidding.

Finding new prospects for your organisation can also be challenging. Once you find and engage new prospects, you must nurture them and get them to participate in your organisation as a volunteer, serving in a committee or giving a gift. The goal is to form a genuine connection between your non-profit and the person, sponsor or company.

Auction item bidders are terrific new prospects for your organisation. First-time attendees would be encouraged to take a step towards supporting your cause by placing bids on items.

Although it is a small step because they are receiving something of value in return and bidding simply because they desire a particular item, it is still a step in the right direction that could get them involved further in your non-profit.

There are several advantages to a silent auction compared to a regular auction for raising money. One advantage is that the event can be an online silent auction, which can expose your items to a massive number of potential buyers worldwide.

What Sells Well at Silent Auctions?

Items that sell well at silent auctions are creative, unique and highly desirable. Here are some of them:

Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

At Helping Hand Group, some of the best silent auction items under this category are a luxury weekend in Singapore, a three-day Tesla Roadster experience, a foodies adventure in the Hunter Valley, a South African safari, a hot air balloon flight with breakfast and wine tasting, and a 60-minute flight simulation experience. 

The secret to making these expensive auction items successful is to create a demand for them by promoting them ahead of time on your website and social media channels. Your attendees will arrive eager and pumped to bid on these big-ticket items.

Creative Artworks

How about a framed print of Pablo Picasso’s Les Pigeons, Paul Cezanne’s Arbres et Maisons watercolour print and Pro Hart’s signed pieces? One-of-a-kind artworks are highly desirable. Although it is challenging to get artwork donations from well-known artists, it is possible to get items on consignment from fundraising auction organisers like us.  

Music Memorabilia

Who wouldn’t want a signed and framed microphone of Elton John or Taylor Swift? Or the worldwide phenomenon and teen idol Justin Bieber’s signed acoustic guitar framed on a custom matboard? 

Music memorabilia signed by artists are terrific silent auction items if properly promoted. These items could sell for several hundreds of dollars per piece. They are an easy way to raise massive amounts of money because they are unique silent auction items that can excite diehard music fans. However, avoid using too many of them because you might not get enough bids on each one to drive up the prices.

You can get music memorabilia items from consignment companies who will provide the description, authenticity certificates and even ship them to your event. 

Sports Memorabilia

A signed tennis ball box from Novak Djokovic or a signed and box-framed Golden State Warriors jersey from Stephen Curry will surely be a hit! 

To get sports memorabilia for your silent auction event, you can request a donation from your local pro sports team or order high-end items from auction consignment companies.

In many cases, local teams will donate a signed item per non-profit per year. You can be creative and bundle a signed jersey with donated game tickets. For best results, create a demand for your most expensive items by publicising them well ahead of your event.

Are Silent Auctions Profitable?

Silent auctions present terrific opportunities for your non-profit event.

Most organisations find that they can raise as much as $20,000 at the actual event besides gaining dozens of new long-term supporters and donors. Although silent auctions require a lot of time and effort, these events can be a great addition to your development efforts.

Do Raffles or Silent Auctions Make More Money?

At Helping Hand Group, we can run raffles through our electronic silent auction platform. It’s a web-based platform that contains the event information, auction item list and sponsor information. It is also where guests can register and bid.

Nevertheless, to compare raffles and silent auctions, the following are points to consider about these two.

Performance of Previous Silent Auctions

Consider how well your previous auctions performed regarding the number of attendees and profits raised. Were you able to raise more than the market value of your auction items? Did your bid sheets have bid increments from the minimum bid?

Community Support

Your community’s size and the number of supporters is another crucial factor. The more people who are willing to donate money to your event, the more funds you will raise.

While you need more reach for raffles, having fewer people in silent auctions increases their motivation to participate in the bidding process.

Raffle Ticket Sales

For a raffle to succeed, you need to sell tons of raffle tickets. In many cases, this means having many people or volunteers sell the tickets.

Another option is to sell the raffle tickets in high-traffic areas. It would be best if you are where the people are to sell tickets and utilise attention-grabbing signs and sales pitches.


Helping Hand Group Auction Services: Lending You a Helping Hand

Silent auction events are a lot of fun. You can expect that many of your supporters will be coming to the event with their friends and colleagues. These attendees could get so wrapped up in the evening and start bidding on items during the course of the event.

Do you need help with your silent auctions?

We, at Helping Hand Group, can assist you. We are experts in live and silent auctions for fundraisers. We can lend a helping hand and boost your fundraising goals without any upfront payment. Contact us today for more details.