75 Ideas For Silent Auction Items

Ideas for silent auction itemsWe’re currently running a series on how to organize a fundraising extravaganza – check out the main page on how to plan an evening fundraiser for more details. Today’s post has a list of ideas for silent auction items for the evening extravaganza, along with how to obtain these items.

How To Get Silent Auction Items

The best way of getting silent auction items is by contacting local businesses and asking them to donate either goods or services for your auction.

Before contacting each company, consider what you think might be appropriate goods or services, especially based on the demographic of people attending your evening fundraiser. That way, if the business asks what you have in mind, you’ll be able to suggest some ideas for silent auction items.

Don’t restrict your inquiries to just small businesses – many national retailers have some kind of commitment to supporting youth groups and charities in local areas where they have a store, so consider contacting companies like Walmart, Target, etc, but be aware that it might take longer to obtain items or gift certificates from them.

When contacting businesses, be sure to mention during the conversation or letter how their donations will benefit them also, as this will make it more likely that they’ll want to support you. You can do this by:

  • Advising that you’ll mention their business name next to any items or services that they donate
  • Having their business name listed as a supporter on flyers handed out to attendees of the silent auction
  • Emphasizing the social benefits of the fundraiser. For example, if you’re raising money for a youth center, this could help reduce crime in the local area – something that benefits their business too

Also consider asking families of people connected to your youth group or other organization whether they have any items they could donate. This doesn’t mean you just want their unwanted Christmas gifts like cheap perfume or a half-read book, but they may be able to provide more valuable (and auctionable) items like gift cards, unused and unopened electronic devices, etc.

75 Ideas For Silent Auction Items

Now here’s what you’re really after! Here are the ideas for silent auction items – this includes both items and services that should auction well. Where possible, try to make experiences as unique as you can. For example, instead of just asking for a movie theater to donate tickets, ask if they’d be willing to provide a private viewing.

  1. Gift certificates for online retailers (e.g. Amazon, iTunes, etc)
  2. x amount of hours of babysitting
  3. Gardening services
  4. Landscaping services
  5. x amount of items dry-cleaned
  6. Car servicing (e.g. tire rotation, oil change, etc)
  7. Bouquet of flowers delivered
  8. Weekend hotel stay
  9. Sports tickets in a corporate booth
  10. Wine-tasting evening
  11. Free storage unit for a year
  12. Movie tickets
  13. 2 hour massage
  14. Spa day
  15. Manicure & pedicure
  16. Hair styling
  17. Gift certificates for stores (e.g. Target, Walmart, etc)
  18. Jewelry
  19. Limousine ride
  20. Paintballing
  21. x number of hours painting and decorating
  22. Personal chef service for the evening
  23. Flights
  24. Golfing day
  25. Cake decorating class
  26. Painting/sculpture by a local artist
  27. Ballroom dancing lessons
  28. Personal chauffeur for the day/week
  29. Professional photography shoot with copies of photos included
  30. Kindle or Nook
  31. Convertible car rental for the weekend
  32. Basket of food from a local farm
  33. Hot air balloon ride
  34. Tickets to a theme park
  35. Segway experience
  36. Helicopter trip for two
  37. Skiing/snowboarding lessons
  38. River dinner cruise
  39. Gym membership
  40. Item autographed by sports team
  41. Gift basket
  42. Concert tickets
  43. Go Karting
  44. Makeover experience
  45. Theater tickets
  46. x number of bowling games
  47. Museum tickets
  48. Inflatable castle for a child’s birthday party
  49. Lunch with a local celebrity (e.g. local news anchor)
  50. Teeth whitening
  51. Designer handbag
  52. x hours of house cleaning
  53. x hours of pet walking
  54. Pet sitting for when on vacation
  55. Pottery class
  56. Tennis lessons
  57. TV show tickets
  58. Sailing day
  59. Website design
  60. Gift certificates for restaurants
  61. Singing lessons
  62. Tour of brewery
  63. Private concert by local band or artist
  64. Lasik eye surgery
  65. VHS to DVD conversion
  66. Case of wine
  67. Free tax preparation
  68. Charter fishing trip
  69. Children’s birthday party entertainer
  70. Swimming pool services
  71. One pizza a week for 6 months
  72. Kayaking day out
  73. Botox
  74. Portrait by a local artist
  75. Custom-made piece of furniture

If you’ve found these ideas helpful, check out our series looking at how to run a silent auction. You may also like all of our other youth group fundraiser ideas.

Question: What are some other good ideas for silent auction items? Share your thoughts in the comments below to give inspiration to other people organizing silent auctions.

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