Charity Auction Centerpieces – A Fun Selling Idea

Most nonprofit organizations that are planning a charity auction event find a way to get the centerpieces for the tables donated, or at a reduced cost. Professional charity auctioneers and event organizers sometimes differ on their opinion of whether to sell the centerpieces or not. Some believe that it is too much to ask of the guests who are already paying to be there, but some see it as another opportunity to raise money for the cause. Whichever way that you decide is right for your organization; here is a fun way to sell centerpieces without overdoing it. It is used as an icebreaker to get everyone in the crowd involved and it raises some quick money in the process.

When your auctioneer takes the stage to start the auction, have him select a volunteer at each table and ask them to stand. They will be the “auctioneer” for their table. The real auctioneer will give them 30 seconds to sell the centerpiece of the table for as much money as possible. They can only take bids from people sitting at their table and are encouraged to use an auctioneer chant. After the 30 seconds is over, determine which “auctioneer” raised the most money for their centerpiece. If possible, have a simple award for the “Champion Auctioneer”. If this is an annual tradition, there may even be a past “Champion Auctioneer” in the crowd that can be recognized.

The professional charity auctioneer will start the live auction with the crowd already excited and having fun. Most of them will have already participated by bidding at their table in a fun “mini” auction. It is a wonderful way to get people laughing and happy as the “real” auction begins.

Mary J. Gibson

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