Kathy’s Best S-I-L-E-N-T Auction Tips

How do you spell Silent Auction Success? Maximize your fundraising and share my new Kathy Kingston S–I–L–E–N–T™ Auction Method with your Auction Committee and volunteers. Avoid common mistakes and make the most profit with your silent auctions by applying my six key strategies: S (Spread them out), I (Interval closings), L (Light it up), E (Elevate your items), N (aNnnouncements), and T (Take time for design).

S: Spread them out
Make it easy for your guests to bid on your silent auction items.  Guests can not bid on items that are jammed together. Create enough space for two people to bid on items right next to each other so that they can bid competitively. (Always put our 2 pens per item too.) Make your aisles the width of 4 people. Easy to remember – use my “2 x 4 Silent Auction Spread Out” rule.

I:  Interval closings
Close silent auction sections in timed intervals is called interval closings or staggered closings.  When you close your sections in intervals, you create more than one opportunity for competitive bidding and greatly increase your fundraising potential. Create a crescendo of bidding as each silent auction section closes 5 to 10 minutes apart! Strategically planned competitive bidding means higher bids and higher fundraising proceeds for your organization’s cause.

L:  Light it up
If your guests cannot see, they are unable to bid.  Lack of lighting is a commonly overlooked mistake in silent auctions.  The majority of venues do not have enough lighting for silent auctions.  You will need to plan to bring extra lights to place strategically in your silent auction sections. Try it, and you too will see!

E:  Elevate your items
Make sure your guests can see your silent auction items from a distance. You have to elevate all of the items for your silent auction to be successful.  Try two-tiered tables. If they are not available, start saving boxes, a lot of boxes.  All you have to do is cover the boxes, turn them upside down, decorate and voila..and place your silent auction item with your point of sale sign. When you elevate your items, you significantly elevate your fundraising potential.

N: aNnouncements (okay, a little poetic license)
Clear and well-timed announcements are needed in a silent auction to close silent auction sections, promote auction items that need attention.  Engage your auctioneer to create a bidding frenzy, call attention to closing times and promote your silent auction items. Keep up your momentum and stay on schedule and maximize bidding.

T:  Take the Time for Design
In retail, businesses use strategic design concepts to promote sales. (Hint: your silent auction is a “one-day retail opportunity.”) Similarly, strategically designed spaces for silent auctions must promote bidding and fundraising.  In a grocery store, why is the milk at the way far corner?  So you can impulsively purchase other merchandise. So use the same set up in your silent auction! Place the bar as far away as possible from the entrance and food, silent auction items, and your add mission based signage throughout the silent auction.  Do not put the food in the middle of the room, nor the bar right when you walk in, and all of the silent auction items around the edge of the room.  Why not? Because this design only emphasizes food and drinks. Claim the best “real estate” in your venue for your silent auction items.

There is nothing more important to your organization than fulfilling its mission. Benefit auction fundraising can help you raise funds to position your mission in the community, support your cause, and impact your community.   Silent auctions have great potential for raising funds for your organization’s cause.  Use the proven silent auction strategies and techniques in this article to ensure achieve record-breaking fundraising!  How do you spell success? Kathy’s S–I–L–E–N–T™ Auction Methods.

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