Wednesday, January 9, 2008

20 ideas to improve PAC auction success

Ideas to improve the success of a PAC auction:

1. Get money donations and buy saleable items;
2. Give plaques with “jewel-toned” stones (level of giving) to auction item donors;
3. Ask major donors to make their contribution night of auction;
4. Make bidding paddles with paper plates and wood craft sticks (write bidder numbers);
5. Consider white elephant auction (intentional unwanted items);
6. Have carbon receipt books to immediately give receipt with purchase amount to winner (while retaining copy). Allow to pay throughout evening at check-out desk – have enough processors;
7. Set minimum prices on silent auction items;
8. On all auction items, require bid increments – such as $5 so not getting bids that are fifty cents or $1 higher;
9. Use auctioneer with experience – advantage of one who knows audience is can personalize the guilt ask;
10. Have entry fee for event that enters into a raffle;
11. Exchange weekend packages with PAC fundraiser from other area (such as Maine exchange with Cape Cod);

Items that can be top sellers at auctions:
1. Signed sports memorabilia
2. Gas BBQ grills
3. Stuffed animals
4. Quality wines or liquor
5. Bicycles, kayaks
6. Unique kitchen equipment – cappuccino machine, bread maker, food processor
7. Trips to resort, beach, mountains
8. Inexpensive items with ties to members – cake baked by CEO, dinner prepared and served by association president
9. Value added items – look for ways to make a donation more memorable – ice hockey tickets with ride on zamboni; baseball tickets and able to walk on field; gift certificate to restaurant with meet the chef; flag flown over the Capitol; tickets to art museum with private tour by curator; lunch with local celebrity; tour of state capitol with association lobbyist

Note: Be sure to check state, federal, state PAC laws for disclosures, limitations, requirements (e.g., one-third rule), and/or potential prohibitions (e.g, corporate contributions, non-members).

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