I’ve been to a lot of fundraising events, and sometimes the silent auction looks like it was an afterthought. I totally get it. Planning the food, location, entertainment and cost of a gala is all consuming. Most of the effort in creating a silent auction is focused on securing desirable items. Once that is done, it can be tempting to think that the items will sell themselves. But people shop with their eyes, and how products are shown can create interest and excitement, which will bump up the bids.
As a board member for Erasing the Distance, I was responsible for planning 2 silent auctions. Because our gala ticket price was only $75, we really needed the extra income from the silent auction to help us cover expenses. We had a very small budget for setting up the silent auction, so I had to get creative. Below are some tips for showcasing your silent auction items in a way that will draw the attention (and wallets!) of your event attendees.