Although adorable to imagine, a Dutch auction does not include wooden shoes and tulips, however, I would never discourage you from using a Dutch theme for your next auction. It sounds cute and think of the cheese you could serve!
So what is a Dutch Auction? A Dutch auction turns what you think about fundraisers completely upside down. In a traditional bidding process, you start with the lowest price and then increase the price until one final bidder is successful. In a Dutch auction, you start high and go low.
So how does this work in practice? Let’s say your organization is hosting a fundraiser where a lot of sports enthusiasts will be in attendance and you have a Super Bowl game ball signed by 2016 Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning up for auction. This is a very rare item that is nearly impossible to acquire. In a Dutch auction, you start the bidding at the highest possible price that you can auction it, say $10,000. The next bid would be $9000, the one after that $8000 and so on. First person to raise their paddle is your winning bidder. If two people put their paddles up at the same time, the bidding begins go up until one donor drops out (traditional auction style).
Dutch Auctions are certainly a trend for 2017 because they are fairly rare in the Charity Fundraising Auction circuit and they create a lot of excitement in the room. While your donors support your organization, it’s important to remember that they support other organizations as well. And, many of these fundraisers have the same script and programming. By hosting a Dutch auction and being creative with your programming, you’ll be able to create a memorable event for your donors that will keep them engaged, excited, and more willing to give to your organization.
For more Charity Fundraising Auction ideas and helpful tips on planning your next charity fundraiser, follow Generosity Auctions on Facebook or Instagram @GenerosityAuctions. Abra Annes is the leading Charity Auctioneer based in California. Abra is the owner and founder of Generosity Auctions, the premier choice for Non-Profit Organizations looking to maximize their event fundraising.