Caution Sign - Mistakes to Avoid While Procuring Auction Items

Procuring auction items isn’t an exact science. How are you supposed to know you’ve made the right decisions and secured the right items? While there’s no guarantee that certain auction items will be a hit at your event, you can significantly increase your chance for success and improve donor relations at the same time by avoiding these top three auction procurement mistakes:

1. Procuring auction items without researching donors: The donated auction items you’ve secured for the big night may seem exciting and interesting to you, so that means donors will want to bid, right? Well, not necessarily. Don’t assume that your donors have the same interests, hobbies and budgets as you. 

Spend time researching and getting to know your donors instead. Important demographic information such as careers, age, interests, income and family status can help you pick auction items that attendees will find exciting and want to bid on.

2. You don’t procure new, exciting items: A benefit auction is a great platform for meeting potential donors face-to-face, establishing connections, and building deeper relationships. The first step in this process is to get people to attend your event, but using the same kind of auction items year after year isn’t going to help you attract new supporters and keep existing donors excited.

Seek big-ticket items that will turn heads, like a trip to Europe or the chance to drive a NASCAR race car. Think of items that will “wow” event attendees. 

3. Not enough variety: You’re never going to have an audience who all share the same wealth status, the same interests, or the same age. So why then would you procure items designed to attract only one particular group? Instead of catering to just the wealthiest donors and most involved, procure a variety of items to entice as many of your audience members as possible.

Securing the right mix of auction item procurement for your event is much easier if you carefully consider your donors’ needs and interests. Procure donated auction items that match your donors’ interests and you’ll be more likely to develop positive relationships and raise larger sums of money.

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Winspire Communications Director

About Ian Lauth

With an extensive background in marketing and design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue.

Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content,  newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals. You can also find Ian on Google+.

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