What Is Silent Auction?

A silent auction is usually an event conducted by fundraisers or charity groups to raise money for their cause without an auctioneer’s assistance. The items are bid silently using a sheet. Those with the highest bid get the item.(1)

Items will be displayed to those attending and using the bid sheet; they will place their bid on the sheet using their bidding number. 

Every item displayed has a minimum increase requirement. For example, if the minimum increase is $5, and the item is currently being bid at $70, the next bidder should at least bid at $75. 

Each item has a predetermined price point where the bidding can be concluded. The bid sheet will be collected, and those with the highest bid will get the item. 

Nowadays, you can conduct silent auctions online with the help of bidding applications on your phone. 

Silent auctions are great fundraisers for any organization and easier to handle than the typical auction.

Planning a Silent Auction

To help you get started with a silent auction, here are some of the basics on how to plan a silent auction:

  • Promotion

Once you have a date for your fundraising auction, get the event promotion going. Start giving out the invitations to the public. Include a description of items that will be auctioned to hint at what they will get. This will also attract more people to join. 

  • Items

Since the auction is all about the items, it is important to get items that are desirable and appealing to your participants. The better the items, the more revenue you can generate from the event.

  • Venue

When choosing a venue, make sure to take into consideration the number of people who will be attending the event. Find a place that can comfortably accommodate the event. Enough space where people can mingle and move around.

  • Items Description Sheet & Display

The way each item is displayed can affect how people will bid. Create an appealing display where it can make each item stand out. Include stages, cases, or platforms. Lightings are also an important aspect of making it aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

The item description is needed to give important details about the items. You can also create a booklet or pamphlet about the items and place is around the venue. By doing this, it can be a reminder for the participants to join and put their bid. 

  • Bid Sheets

It is important because this is where the actual bid will happen. In the bid sheet, make sure to include the name of the item, the value, the minimum increase, and space where people can put their bidder number and amount of bid. 

  • Checkout area

Be prepared to deal with cash, checks, credit cards, and other transaction during the auction. Setting a checkout area can ensure safety for both the bidder and the organizing team. 

  • Working Team

When organizing a non-profit silent auction, be sure to get the assistance of volunteers to make the event successful. There is plenty of work involved when creating an auction event. From inventory, promotion, physical set-up, logistics, and checkout system, all of these need people to get things done. If you are going to employ people, make sure to choose those who are knowledgeable about the process to make things easier and smooth flowing.

How to Run a Successful Silent Auction

Not all silent auction ends with success. It takes enough planning and execution to be able to raise the fund you need and give participants a good time to enjoy. To run a successful auction, keep these things in mind:

Be Mission-Oriented

To encourage participation, focus on the mission. You can shed insights on the goal or mission through the items. Give them an idea of how a $50 bid can feed neglected animals or purchase art supplies set for kids who are undergoing treatment for cancer. The donors of the items can also give their thoughts and reason to donate to the cause. 

Create a Unique Experience

Being in an auction event doesn’t equal a just-an-ordinary event. Make a meaningful event by creating a unique experience for the attendees. Making them feel appreciated or giving them a sense of they get more than they give is a way to create a lasting impression. 

A pleasing ambiance where people can bid, browse and mingle with each other will worth every penny. Do not forget about the donors, too. Let them see how their item contributes to the growth of the mission of giving them a dinner treat after the event. 

A silent auction is a wonderful way to raise funds for your organization or advocacy. Proper planning, good teamwork, and commitment to the mission will help make the event a success.