Step-by-step: auction of promises
From an hour's ironing service, to a taxi home from your
next event, an 'auction of promises' is a fantastic way of raising
money for your cause and helps get everyone, including local
1. Select a date that doesn't clash with anything else going on
in the area. The auction will take a good 2-3 hours, so you might
want to consider having a break midway with refreshments on
2. Elect an 'auctioneer' - someone with a big personality who
can make amusing quips, but who can also handle the rabble - and a
gavel!. They will need to call out the Lot, with a brief
description and what it's worth, then start the bidding. You will
need several volunteers to collect the successful bidders' details
and money, and someone to run the bar and serve food.
3. Publicise the event using Charity Print Shop - order 10 A3
posters for just 9.95! Professional-looking and editable,
these posters are sure to draw a crowd.
4. Secure auction bids - create a form entitled 'I am
donating...' with room for a description of the 'promise',
including how much it's worth and any conditions. Make sure the
name, address and telephone number are included. Send this out to
supporters and 'share' on social media. Contact local businesses,
local celebrities or your MP. Make sure you have all your
'promises' two weeks before the event.
5. One week before the event, give each promise a number and
publish the list - either online, by email or sent out via book
bags. Keep some of the better or more unusual offers as 'lucky dip'
secret Lots. Allow parents to bid beforehand if they're unable to
attend on the night. Let the auctioneer have a good look at the
list, so that anything particularly funny can be used to keep
spirits high or preparations can be made to deal with something
Tips and advice
Variety: Consider offering a combination of
promises, products and services - this will guarantee that there's
something for everyone. And make sure you promote the event as
widely as possible - the more people who come along, the more money
Licensing: You will need to have public liability
insurance and undertake a simple risk assessment. If you plan to
run a bar, make sure you obtain the correct licence.
Payment: Specify in the rules that money must be
paid on the night or within seven days, - it's worth warning people
beforehand so that they come prepared.
Donation ideas: Ideas for donations can span
quite a range.
- Meal for two at a local restaurant
- Babysitting services
- Ironing or housework
- Bike servicing
- Dog walking
- Car wash
- Hobby lessons (jewellery-making, model-building)
- Pampering vouchers
- Sport coaching (Golf, Football, Tennis)
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