Guidelines for a silent auction:
Depending on the size of your event you may want to have a Chairperson and then have committees under a Committee Head who can work with the event Chairperson. The following is a possible list of Committees and their responsibilities:
Goals and Finance: Create a budget. Include all forecasted expenses and income. Keep records of all actual expenses and income and compare to your budget at the end of your event.
Secretarial/Administration: Decide on event times and cost per person and schedule meetings with committees to keep everyone on track until event. Decide how you will advertise event.
Design: Create theme and design invitation.
Sponsorships: Create a list of businesses or people (friends, family) who have a company that may sponsor this event. Send out a letter and follow up.
Donations: Send out a donation request letter to business’ for your silent auction 3 months prior to event date. Keep track on a monthly, then weekly basis of value of your gifts received. (This is great history to have if you repeat your event the following year,)
Auction: Determine how to display your auction items (booths, tables, etc). Work closely with Donations Committee to determine how many gifts per area. As you receive gifts, number them with a tag and keep track of which booth or table they will be placed at. Use bid slips for guests to use for bidding at the event and then use bid slips to place on winning items and for check out.
Get volunteers to help the night of the event. Create a volunteer schedule for registration, auction areas, raffles, runners to close auction areas and check out.
Mail your invitations 1 month prior to event. Keep track on a weekly basis of RSVPs and daily the week of your event. (Again, this is very nice to have if you repeat your event)
Decorating: After theme is created determine decorations. Do you need to rent tables, chairs and linens?
Entertainment: Band, DJ, Raffles (keep track of each raffle’s money separately from auctions so you can determine if raffles were successful.
Food and Refreshment: Caterer, Alcohol, Water, Coffee, Dessert
Check out: Very important. You need a smooth check out. Create a system that after an auction station closes you have a location to put the items. Bid slips can be placed in an alphabetized order by winners name. Winners can go to this area, request items, bid slips go to a runner who gets the item(s), and winner moves to check out to pay. Do you need to rent charge machines or get an app for your phone or tablet?
Clean up: Create list of responsibilities for those who are cleaning up after the event. For example, do any rentals items need to be returned? Trash thrown out? List what to do with any remaining auction items that were not picked up or were not bid on.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for sample letters, bid slips, or invitations.