In my last post I walked you through how to engage support to find auction items and how you create a list of ideas to build an auction. Now I’m going to address the art of the basket. Not everyone wants to bid on just a gift card – so why not create an experience for them in the form of a basket. This is also a great way to ask people to donate by having project specific baskets. Some tips I have are:

  • Baskets sell well. They are typically filled with fun items to explore for the winner. Will bidders love every item, every basket every time? No, but baskets are fun to open when you get home or even in the car on the drive home. I know I get excited to see what is included!
  • So what should you put in a basket? Some of the most successful baskets are based on things that you or others enjoy. You can even bundle things that you might use as individual auction items. Some examples: Gift certificates, Products, Services, Entertainment like concerts, sporting events, comedy shows, Experiences, Salons and Spas, Boutiques, Bowling, Movies, Restaurants. You can use a similar mindset as the travel example above. What is your favorite thing to do? Where do you do it? What items do you need to do this activity? What accessories would make you look so cute while doing this activity? The answers to those questions could create a great themed basket. Pair things together that would create a great experience whether they need to go out somewhere or can do it at home with a group of friends or on their own. The possibilities are endless! Have fun with it, you are curating a fun experience for someone else, and the dollars raised from this basket will be supporting an organization that means something to you!
  • To put baskets together, you can use a specific business to put one together for you or bundle like items from a bunch of businesses. Don’t just think about the cute shop down the street (but definitely think about them!) but look at businesses of all shapes and sizes. Corporate offices may sometimes have products they can’t sell that they could donate for baskets. Sometimes the franchise may be better positioned to donate to the local community than their corporate partners. In this case each person in your group of volunteers could go to their local franchise store to get a donation that can be bundled.
  • Ask volunteers or supporters to donate a basket!

Events and galas are about experiences. If you have a couple good baskets to display and give people an opportunity to bid, all of this will help add to the experience of the evening.