Silent Auction Fundraiser: What You Need to Know for a Successful Event

Sometimes in an auction, bidders do not want to be known or recognised. And this is where a silent auction is helpful. This is another type of fundraising idea where bidders bid ‘silently’ or ‘anonymously’.

In a silent auction, truly in its sense, nobody speaks, because there is no host or auctioneer to encourage you to bid.

So, what is a silent auction? How is it being implemented?

How Does a Silent Auction Work?

Silent auctions work by having items for bid on display for attendees to view. Bidders are assigned numbers they can indicate on a bidding sheet once they like an item.

The winners of the bid can collect their items through a designated counter from which the payment process takes place. Sometimes, the areas for paying and collection are different to keep the proceedings orderly.

Silent auctions can be held in a live venue but can also be conducted online using a mobile app to facilitate the bidding and the buying. When the bidding ends, the highest bidder wins the item, or sometimes called the prize. Whilst this is a form of fundraising, it is only obvious that the net proceeds will be handed to the recipients of the cause.

What Sells Best at Silent Auctions?

Here are a few examples of items that click at silent auctions.

  • Memorabilias

Memorabilias can be in the form of music or sports memorabilia. Given that famous personalities invade the sports, music, arts, theatres and more, they serve as icons or pop idols by their selected fans. Any item that is associated with them, signed by them, fans love to collect these pieces for their own. As such, the price for these items soar up and are good items to sell at silent auctions.

  • Unique Travel Package

Travel enthusiasts love to go places, especially if they can ‘afford’ it. Think of donors who can offer wonderful places or trips that are up for grabs. Snatch the opportunity that whilst people love to travel and collect those Instagrammablle photos of their experience, these silent auctions items will surely be a hit.

Travel enthusiasts also love travel packages and bundles to which they will think they would gain a lot when they buy the tickets for those splendid experiences. You can find many of these deals and packages through consignment companies like us at Helping Hand  Group. We offer very desirable trips with prices where you could easily net $1,000 or more on each trip without paying any upfront costs. 

  • Creative Artwork

A piece of original artwork is a priceless possession. When you encourage donors to put this kind of item, it will surely be a hit. People admire creative people, and those who do would love to have these kinds of works for them if they aren’t the ones with the talent.

At most times for creative artworks, artists sell pieces of their craft less the upfront because these have not been officially released.

  • High-ticket Items

High-ticket items like jewellery or signature bags are a pure hit among bidders. You can attract bidders who love to collect signature bags, items that are hard to procure and jewellery that they can add to their investment. These auction items, if you could find donors for them, will make your silent auction as successful as you expect it to be.

How Do You Plan a Successful Silent Auction?

When you want to conduct your silent auctions, follow all of these guidelines to make sure everything goes smoothly for your event.

  • Promotion

Unless you announce that there is going to be an event happening, there will be no one to attend the auction. Use powerful platforms like social media or email to let people know that you will be holding an event. Do it way ahead of time and make sure that you have your items ready for them to get excited.

  • Venue Selection

When it comes to selecting a venue for your silent auction, traffic flow is important. People should be able to move about freely without feeling cramped or cornered, and there must also be enough space for display tables, as well as serving stations if food will be served at your event.

  • Item Selection

Selecting items for auction means knowing your attendees and guests too. Are they married couples? Are they men who are fans of baseball, tennis or any popular sports? How about adventurers? 

  • Item Display

Consider using stands, platforms or stages to elevate your silent auction products. You can get ideas from other charity event organisers to have an inspiration. You may never know, your display of items could be more brilliant and pleasing than them. Make sure that the flow of traffic and the path to display are not hampered by any obstruction.

  • Item Description

The item descriptions should include a brief but informative overview of the product. This includes what it is and why they think this particular piece has value for your buyers.

  • Registration

Registration is important both for live and online silent auctions. This will allow a seamless process, especially about payment information and checkouts using mobile apps. This is an integral part of silent auction procedures that should be adhered to at all times.

  • Bid Sheets

Bidding sheets are where all of the biddings happen. When someone wants to bid, they just write down their number and amount on the sheet.

  • Volunteers

Volunteers are key to the success of your silent auction. You must have a group that is composed of volunteers to assist you in your program. They will be in charge of seeking out donations, logistics, procurements, auction monitors, hosts, payment, item check out and many more.

Helping Hand Group Auction Services: Lending You a Helping Hand

Are you ready to host your silent auction event?

Since 1997, the Helping Hand Group has offered auction services. We can help your organisation with your fundraising goals through silent auctions. We can provide auction item support with a long list of options or help you plan your event altogether through our expertise in fundraising ideas.

Let us handle every aspect of your silent auction event. If you are keen to know further how it works, call us at any of our offices now.