Ideas for Silent Auction or Raffle Prize Hampers

Ideas for Silent Auction or Raffle Prize Hampers

Today’s tip, about themed gift hampers as auction/ raffle prizes, was prompted by a reader questions about challenges with a silent auction:

We’re having trouble with prizes for our silent auction. For years a dad at our school always managed to get big-ticket items sourced because he was well connected. Things like celebrity chef dinner parties, signed rugby jerseys, training sessions with sports stars. This year he isn’t at the school anymore and we haven’t got anything great – it’s really stressing the mum in charge of the silent auction stall! Do we buy stuff to auction off?

My advice to this reader was to first get in touch with Mr-Connected-Former-School-Dad and ask if he was happy to pass on some of his contacts. One would hope that he still harbours feelings of goodwill towards the school and might be happy to hand over a phone number or two.

My other advice is this: If you can’t get your hands on Big Ticket items, instead put together raffle gift hampers along various themes.

The types are limited only by your imagination. Here are some ideas:

  • Camping

  • Gardening

  • Chocolate

  • Kitchen/ Baking

  • Women’s Pamper

  • Men’s Pamper

  • Colours eg Red, Yellow etc

  • Barbecue

  • Toddler

  • Baby

  • Craft

  • Travel

  • Mega Voucher Pack

  • Beach Holiday

  • Girls/Boys Sports Packs

  • Salted Caramel… OK, maybe I’m projecting here 😉

This works well if you assign one theme per class or year level. Ask each student or family to bring in a donation – suggest something between $5 and $20. One or two families might donate the basket and wrap instead of a gift.

The beauty of these themed baskets is that there will be something for everyone – they will have broad appeal and generate a good deal of interest.

This can also be run as a Cent Auction, where a sheet of tickets is purchased by each entrant and placed in tubs in front of the prizes according to which you would most like.

What if raffle gift hampers aren’t an option?

You’ll most likely have some items that have been donated from businesses in the community or families, left over from previous events during the year (eg Mother’s Day Stall, Christmas Raffles).  Keep a spreadsheet of everything you currently have and receive and you’ll easily be able to pull them together into a themed hamper – don’t forget if you get stuck -there is always the good old ‘pot luck’ or mystery hamper (cover it in attractive wrapping paper).

Remember if you have had parents approaching you saying that they can’t help out with organising but would like to ‘help with something’ they might be keen to donate some wine, a couple of movie tickets etc to help make your hampers more substantial and because you’ll know exactly what has been donated – you’ll know the kind of items to suggest.

Happy Fundraising!

xMandy Weidmann

aka the Fundraising Whisperer

Originally published February 3, 2016

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