What to do with unsold auction items?

By Charity Fundraising - November 27th, 2012

You’ve worked hard and your charity auction is officially over.  But after the last guest has headed home and the cleanup is complete, you realize there are several items that are leftover.  Michael Gordon, Fundraising Specialist at Charity Fundraising shares a helpful tip on sharing the leftovers and allowing your fundraising to linger a little longer.

“So many of our charity partners tell us that when auction items are left over they store the items and dust them off at their fundraiser the following year,” comments Gordon.  “But when an item has an expiration date like a gift card, storage is not an option. Furthermore, items like artwork, wine and jewelry may require special storage or secure storage in order to preserve the integrity and value of the item.”

Here’s a strategy the team at Charity Fundraising suggests to discourage the storage of auction items.

Consider holding a second auction for the left over items.  A second or follow-up auction, that has a short bidding window, is a great way to create additional funding for your cause and rid yourself of the auction items left behind after your main event.  Be sure to host the follow-up auction soon after your fundraiser and don’t let it linger too on long.  Our suggestion is to include information about the secondary auction in your follow-up thank you note to your auction attendees and event underwriters. There may be a bidder out there that wanted an item and assumed it had sold.

Additionally, this is a wonderful opportunity for non-profits that are considering an online event to experiment. An online auction not only allows your organization to test the waters, but it also allows your prospective guests for your next event to try out online bidding.  Your fundraising committee can collect feedback and decide if an online auction is a good option for your cause.

Don’t forget, when you partner with Charity Fundraising, our no-risk auction policy allows you access to all of the incredible autographed memorabilia, VIP experiences and vacation packages on a consignment basis that allows your organization to receive 100% of the profits. We’re proud to work on the honor system and request no cash, credit cards or deposits up front. We work exclusively with the non-profit community, so we have perfected the fine art of helping deliver blockbuster charity auctions to all our partners.  If your items do not sell, simply ship them back to us free of charge.

Charity Fundraising looks forward to helping you plan your next live or silent auction.  Contact our professionals today at (201) 840-8777 to discuss fundraising ideas for your non-profit group.  Charity Fundraising serves over 2,000 non-profits worldwide by providing fundraising ideas and items to help them exceed all of their fundraising goals.

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