3 Creative Auction Themes

Do you need to put on a fundraiser for your organization? Inspiring people to donate to a worthy cause can sometimes require a novel, creative approach which is challenging on a tight budget. Raffle tickets are a popular option, but how do you get prizes that create enough buzz to sell those tickets?


  1. Not your grandfather’s golf


Having a fun theme that encourages people to interact, compete, and enjoy themselves is a surefire way to loosen up their wallets. If you work with a local golf course that will give you a discount for using the field at night, setting up the main green for night golf using light-up products from companies like Premier Glow can turn your event into an unforgettable night. You can also set up putting greens in your indoor space as well using targets that react and flash and even make noise, a creating a satisfying target for golfers young and old.


  1. Suitcase party


If your organization can put together some weekend getaway packages, hosting a “suitcase party” is a great way to give people the imminent sense of excitement that will spur them to buy tickets. Give participants a vague sense of what kind of clothes or gear to pack, and then have them show up to your event ready to leave town that very night, in the hopes of winning a weekend getaway. You can create a sense of urgency and excitement by decorating your venue like an airport, especially if you are able to market your getaway offerings well with fun travel videos played on a big screen.


  1. Home Improvement


If some of your volunteers have time, tools, and trade skills, you can raffle off practical prizes while serving up a night of fun and games with an auction based on the 1990’s show Home Improvement. Keep the mood light with over-the-fence trivia with Mr. Wilson, DIY skee-ball or human foosball with PVC pipes, or a fence post ring toss competition while you raffle off prizes.


After ensuring your volunteers are licensed, certified, bonded, and approved to work on behalf of their employer, raffling off a two-hour house cleaning, a one-hour plumbing service or HVAC call, 50 linear feet of fence repair/staining, and much more would be a great help to homeowners who might be waffling about whether to spend their hard-earned cash on home improvements versus your charity. Picking up furniture or decor for mere dollars at yard sales and refinishing them into room sets is another practical prize that can give your participants something they need while they contribute to something you need as well.


Prizes that rock


No matter how great your theme is, coming up with ideas for prizes is almost as hard as coming up with a budget for things that you are unable to get donated. One way to obtain a large quantity of retail merchandise for rock-bottom prices is to sign up for a Walmart liquidation auction, where you can obtain anywhere from a pallet to even a truckload of merchandise. Walmart takes overstock, discontinued, and returned merchandise and places it in lots to be sold off to the highest bidder, often for a fraction of the retail cost. If you run a large event, or if you are trying to grow your event into a larger venue, this could be a great way to increase the volume of prizes for your auction.


No matter what theme you pick, make sure to infuse your event with laughter, healthy competition and lots of encouragement to keep your raffle tickets flying off the shelves.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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