Creating a project plan is probably the most important, and first step you should take if you want to run a successful silent auction. Your project plan will make sure that you know everything that needs to be done for the fundraiser and identifies your goals in advance. The project plan should include a few elements including the project objective, A/V requirements, facility preparations, volunteers, logistics, transportation, setup, checkout, thanks yous, solicitation, and communication. For more information on each element, purchase the complete guide by clicking here. Below, I will outline three elements: project objective, facility preps, solicitation.
The purpose of the project objective is to identify the objective and goals of your silent auction within project plans. Your project objective should include how many items you’d like to procure, how much money you need to raise and the average retail value for each item donated in order to reach your goal. When creating a project objective I like to use an excel sheet that includes information like the names of volunteers, the staff or committee member who is the lead on each objective, due dates, and milestone check-ins.
The solicitation portion of your project plan will probably be the longest. It should include a list of businesses to solicit, a tracking sheet, dream silent auction wish list and solicitation letters. You’ll need at least two versions of your solicitation letter. 1) General Ask 2) Specific Ask
The General Ask solicitation letter is sent to your entire mailing list and asks for recipients to donate something to the silent auction. The specific ask solicitation letter is to business and people that you know and or have a personal connection with. For instance, if you have a personal relationship with the owner of your local ice cream shop, specifically ask her to donate an ice cream party as a silent auction item.
One of the most important parts of the solicitation section of your project plan is a shared document that allows all volunteers/committee members to keep track of the auction items you have secured, the ones you didn’t secure, the description of the time, the business that donated, the fair market value of the item, and the date of follow up with the business after the fundraiser.
Define the facility needs for your event. Will you need to rent tables and chairs separately? If so, who is in charge of ensuring this gets done. Will you need easels to display auction item descriptions? What type of audio video equipment will you need? Complete a walkthrough of the event space to determine what the facility will provide and what your organization will need to provide. Ask about microphones, podiums, placement of electric outlets, etc.
If this project plans sounds intimidating - take a deep breath. You are not alone. There are many details that should be included on your project plan and with your committee’s help you won’t miss a single one. If this still sounds intimidating and you’d like to purchase a copy of our project plan for $4.99 click here.
For more Fundraising Charity 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.