Peter LaMastroA grassroots guide to running an effective fund-raiser for your favorite worthy cause
How to Organize a Silent Auction
How It Works: Bids, written on a sheet of paper next to each item, are accepted for donated goods and services over a set length of time.
What It's Best For: Raising money for causes that need ongoing support, like arts or literacy programs.
Pros: A silent auction can be run on its own or in tandem with other events, and it can be designed to fit virtually any financial goal and any audience demographic, says Dick Friel, who works as an auctioneer with his wife, Sharon Friel, in Seattle.
Cons: For most items, the top bid may be far below retail cost, so you'll need to gather items whose total value is much more than the amount you hope to raise.
Making the Most of It
- Compile a list of desired items and of local businesses to approach for donations. Besides the usual tickets and gift certificates, Sharon Friel recommends seeking out unique