Sunday, February 08, 2009

Charity Auction: An Effective Fundraising Tool

Charity auction are widely used as a tool to effectively raise funds for a cause. A charity auction works the same as other types of auctions. The main difference is that this auction is a non-profit event and the proceeds of all the items that are sold goes to a common cause.

There are two types of auctions used on a fundraising event: Silent Auction And Regular Auction.

Silent auctions are conducted by setting up a table or a display where all the auction goods will be shown for people to bid on. A minimum bid may or may not be set. A piece of paper is located near the items where participants can write the amount of their bid together with their name. At the end of the auction, the bid is calculated and the person who casts the highest bid wins the item. This is often a better choice for fundraising organizers as it does not detract people from the entertainment.

Bids can be kept privately throughout the auction or can be displayed through a bidding sheet. In a 'private silent auction', all the previous bids are not revealed in public. The good thing about 'private silent auction' is that, it keeps the bidders clueless on other bids. In theory, if a person does not know how much the bids of others are, the tendency is to give the highest amount he or she is willing spend on a particular item. And since it is for a cause, money will definitely come easy.

On a 'displayed-bid silent auction' a sheet of paper reveals all the previous bids made by other people. This allows bidders to watch a particular item or items they like and place higher bids, to write down the amount higher than the previous bid, or to write down the highest bid before the auction closes. This method is currently being used by almost all internet auction sites including eBay.

A regular auction on the other hand requires an auctioneer who will call the price from people who raise their hands or numbers to bid. A regular auction takes advantage of impulse buying as bidders only have a few seconds to outbid each other. If the auctioneer is good and the competition is present, items can be sold higher that their original value.

When executed properly, both silent auction and regular auction effectively yield a good result.

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