Youth Auction, Part 2

Youth Auction, Part 1

SIGNING UP

Once the word is spreading about your upcoming Auction event, you can sit back and watch your sign-up sheet fill with lots of different donated items.  It’s good to continue planting seeds among your church members – especially your youth – to think creatively about things they can donate.  Here are some of the items that tend to bring in the large donations:

  • Home-cooked meals for 6+ people
  • Babysitting (especially overnight)
  • Yard Work / Snow Removal
  • Made-to-Order t-shirt quilts
  • Cookie / Cake / Pie of the Month
  • Round of Golf at local private courses
  • Tickets to sporting events (unused by season-ticket holders)
There are LOTS of other ideas for things that can be used.  It really depends on (A) what is popular in your local context, (B) the spiritual gifts of the congregation members, and (C) how generous people are willing to be.  Typically, I “require” youth to donate two items – one tangible and one non-tangible.  I will also seek out specific people for some out-of-the-ordinary donations that might draw people to the event.  For example, we have a gentleman who likes to fly 2-person airplanes.  He donated a 2 hour plane flight for one person.  Over 10 people showed up just to bid on that one item.  This, of course, jacked up the bidding AND increased the numbers of people who came ready to part with a large amount of money…so they ended up bidding on other items instead.
ONGOING PROMOTION
You’ll want to keep getting a list of the donated items in front of your congregation members.  Let them know that there will be quality items worth bidding on…and, at the same time, keep encouraging people to think creatively about items they can donate.  (Typically, events that bring people together will generate larger donations than tangible items.)  Post donations lists on bulletin boards, newsletters, worship bulletins, and websites.  You will want to not only have a large group of people gather, but you’ll want a diverse cross-section of your worshipping community to attend.
LIVE AUCTION vs. SILENT AUCTION
The day before the Auction, you’ll want to divide up the list among Live Auction and Silent Auction items.  At our church, anything that is a tangible item is placed on the Silent Auction, and everything else is on the Live Auction.  We set up tables around the perimeter of the fellowship hall to display the Silent Auction Items.  Each item has a bidding sheet that includes a brief description of the item, name of the donor, and a minimum starting bid.  Beneath these items, you will want to provide 10-12 blanks for people to write their name and the amount of their bid.
For the Live Auction items, you will want to create a classy-looking certificate that includes a brief description of the item, name of donor, and two blanks — one for the name of the winning bidder, and one for the amount of the winning bid.  It’s also imperative that you find a real auctioneer that can call the Live Auction.  Finding someone from within the congregation is ideal…but if nobody fits the bill, you can call a local auction company.  Sometimes their employees will donate their time for a church Auction.
At this point, you should be able to get through the final days leading up to the big event.
Check back later for Part 3 – How to Pull Off the Auction.
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