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need help organizing silent auction

22 years 9 months ago #85450 by JHB
We had a lot of people who worked really hard. As a Board, we haven't done this before (although it has been held previously.) However, we lost a lot of institutional knowledge from last year and there was NO documentation. So we definitely learned a lot!

We had planned to retain tickets in each area separately and count them later to get a good feel for where the money was earned, and as a double check against total proceeds. Unfortunately, we underestimated the number of tickets needed and had to "recycle" them into new sales at the ticket stations (except for Bingo, which had to be kept separate legally.) So we can't tell exactly what was earned for the concessions which was split into 4 areas.

Here's the breakdown (give or take a bit)based on $5084 in revenue.

Bingo (6 games, $1 per card) - $539
Drawings (4, as described) - $498
Silent Auction - $2430
Pizza ($1 per slice)- $790
T-Shirt ($3 closeout sale)- $183
Other - $644

The other is represented by sodas (50 cents), popcorn (50 cents), Pop Ice (2 for 50 cents), and unused tickets. Since we didn't have the tickets to compare against, it's basically the Total Proceeds minus the other areas. Next time, we may inventory the cups, bags, etc. as a backup for verifying sales (although we hope to be more on target with tickets).

Most of the items were donated. We had to buy the pizza (at a discount) and some other supplies. Expenses will probably be about $800.

We also had a sock hop in the gym (no fee), Bookfair in the Library, a contest for the top 3 classes in attendance, a "Wall of Stars" featuring companies that have helped the school this year, and a sheriff booth with Ident-a-kid and other child safety information.

One other thing, we got the Principal to declare a "homework free" day since the event is held on a school night.

Note, on the class contest, we pushed that in advance. We had lists from each class posted and the students AND the teacher had to sign by their name. The 5th graders are going to compile the results. (Percentage attending.) The top 3 get a snow cone party. It also helped us know how many participated. Probably not everyone remembered, but we had 295 students sign in.

Oh, AND we were competing with the final episode of "Survivor". We jokingly talked about setting up the big TV in the music room and selling admission there. Probably would have made even more money.

People could come and spend nothing and still have a good time. Concessions were very affordably priced. Or,they could do bingo, silent auction, etc. The range of affordability was very important to us.

Good luck to those of you in the planning stage!

[This message has been edited by JHB (edited 05-07-2001).]
22 years 9 months ago #85449 by MightyJo
Replied by MightyJo on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
Congratulations on a successful event! WOW! I'm impressed that it looks like you made over $4000. on your entire event! Was most of the profit from your auction & raffle?

22 years 9 months ago #85448 by JHB
CindyF, also along this line, we had drawings (raffles) for the first time and it worked out really well. We had it as a tentative idea if we had enough prizes but didn't firm it up in time to do any pre-sales. (You could probably make a lot more money with pre-sales.) So it was only that night. We had 4 items. Three were prizes that otherwise would have been used at silent auction: a VCR, 2 tickets to Sea World, and 4 movie tickets with a restaurant gift certificate. The tickets were $1 per ticket (or 6 for $5), which you filled out and placed in any of the 3 jars. (We used a business card template in the word processing program, printed them on bright pink cardstock and cut them up.) The 4th was a special "for kids only" raffle for 50 cent tickets printed on bright yellow. The prize was "lunch with principal". The whole thing was super easy to set up, and they all went over really well. Between the 4, we made about $500.

To give you some perspective, our school is a K-5 elementary with about 640 students. Ours is a diverse school with a segment of the district reprented by nice, two-career type subdivision, and a larger part less comfortable. (42% of the students are "economically disadvantaged). Our event is basically for 2 hours on a school night. It's a family fun event first and a fundraiser second, so not everything is geared to "make a profit", not everything has a fee. We got a bit of late start this year, so didn't have pre-sales or much advertising other than a few flyer reminders to "hold the date". (We had done something similar last year, so a lot of the parents knew what to expect.) I was hoping for $3000 or so. We made $5000, with about $800 in expenses (mostly the pizza). E-mail me if you want details beyond this. I'll be glad to share info.

[This message has been edited by JHB (edited 05-06-2001).]
22 years 9 months ago #85447 by JHB

Can you tell us exactly what you mean about "pre-printed bid amount"? I can see how this might be effective at a more sophisticated charity event. I'm not sure it would work with our audience. We had a diverse set of auction items with values ranging fromm $10 to $345 this year. We also have an (economically) diverse set of parents. To some, spending $10 would be a big deal, others wouldn't blink at $100. This being the case, bid amounts increase by $1, $5, $17, $25, and and any other amount you can imagine. It's very difficult to predict. We had $200 computer classes incremented by $1 or $2, ending at $20 and $30. We had a board games basket jumping by large increments and selling for $150. Our parents seem to have a lot fun in the actual process - topping each other, even by tiny amounts. I worry that pre-sent amounts would limit the participation. It might not make any difference in the bottom line, or revenue generated, but it might decrease the overall fun. What increments would you suggest? How have you seen it work?
22 years 9 months ago #85446 by Norman
Replied by Norman on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
The problems with changing bid amounts on "higher up" lines is another example of why a silent auction bid sheet made up with "pre-printed" bid amounts already filled in, with the bidder simply writing in their bidder number works better.

22 years 9 months ago #85445 by JHB
It's pretty simple, really. We listed them in the program, and the $1 increment and closing times were also stated on the bid sheets.

Silent Auction
·Record bids on bid sheet in front of each item
·Bids must be in $1 increments
·All bids must be made by an adult
·Must be present at auction closing to win
·Auction item closes at 7:30 or 8:00, as marked on bid sheet

We'll be adding:
* Each bid must be written on a new line (or something to that effect)
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