Summer is the perfect time for vacations, trips to the beach, BBQs and… charity auctions?! While nonprofits typically take a hiatus from events in the summer season, June, July and August are actually prime months for hosting informal get-togethers with your most important donors.

Charity events during the summer months are also fun for people with out-of-town guests. Encourage supporters to bring their visiting in-laws, cousins and friends who may have an interest in your cause.

These smaller, more intimate gatherings are a great opportunity to incorporate a fun live or silent auction to provide entertainment and raise a little extra cash for your cause. Take advantage of the warm weather and long lazy days with one of these unique charity auction ideas for your summertime event:


1. The Charity Golf Scramble

Golf scrambles are popular fundraising and awareness events for nonprofit organizations. Serious and casual golfers alike enjoy playing a best ball format with their friends or co-workers. The foursome plays as a team – everyone drives from the tee, and from there each golfer plays their ball from the best ball’s position until a ball ends up in the cup.

There are prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner (and sometimes a prize for the last place finishers). The event typically takes place on a Monday when courses are slow or even closed for weekly maintenance. Revenue comes from individual (from $25–$100 each) and team (from $100–$500) registrations as well as sponsorships.

Create different sponsorship levels with benefits for each one. Keep in mind that most sponsorship levels will include a team registration. Businesses like to sponsor a hole where a sign at the tee identifies them as the hole sponsor. Car dealerships like to sponsor a hole-in-one contest with a car as the prize. This really adds to the event, as even non-players can get in on the action!

Tip: Include Exciting Silent Auction Items

Pairing a silent auction with the scramble can really boost the revenue generated from the event. As participants arrive to register and have a little lunch before teeing off, they can browse and bid on auction items. When the golfing concludes, the silent auction remains open through dinner. Golfers (and hackers alike) enjoy bidding for a variety of entertainment and golf items.

Winspire offers over a dozen incredible golf excursions in Pebble Beach, Scottsdale and Ireland, plus badges to pro tournaments like THE PLAYERS Championship. Check out our entire selection below.


Be sure to include passes to a local golf course, some autographed sports memorabilia, and a no-risk travel package to a golfer’s dream course. You will make your golfers happy and serve your organization well through additional event revenue.


2. The 5k Fun Run

Consider adopting this family friendly event for your organization and generate some goodwill in the community at the same time.

Find a decent 5k (3.1 mile) course – it can be through a park, neighborhood, stadium or school campus. As you consider the location, take into account parking and registration areas. A 5k does not have to be a timed competition, although most runners like this option. Many people will register to walk the course. Registration fees can range from $25–$50 with children participating for free or for a reduced fee.

Volunteer support helps to make the event more successful, and a good way to involve members from your community is to create committees. Some examples include:

  • Registration – determine sign up fees, handle registrations before and day of event, handle money; t-shirt printing and distribution
  • Corporate Teams – recruit teams to raise money for your charity; work with team captains to recruit runners and walkers
  • Course – choose route and work through all course logistics
  • Entertainment – consider children’s activities like face painting and/or a dance party after the event; arrange for audio/visual needs like microphone and loud speaker.
  • Setup and Cleanup – important to have a volunteer crew for both of these functions.

Tip: Incorporate a Winner’s Choice Raffle

{{cta(‘b77d40eb-e9ec-4b49-8726-71f01ef94a99′,’justifycenter’)}}Consider incorporating a Winner’s Choice Raffle as an added source of revenue associated with the event. Work with your Winspire Event Consultant to select between three and five different trip packages for the winner to choose from.

Decide how much you want to make on the raffle, and price tickets accordingly. Then, enlist your board members and volunteers to sell tickets starting at least one month ahead of the event. Announce the raffle winner at the end of the 5k race and watch the excitement as the winner chooses which trip they want to take!



3. Wine Tasting Event

Growing in popularity, wine tasting events are fairly easy to put together and are attractive to high end donors and a great way to reach out to potential donors. You can charge $50-$100 or even more for guests to participate. Enlist one of your special donors to host the event at their home and consider adding a cooking demonstration as well.

Offer several wine tasting stations and heavy hors d’oeuvres. This type of event does not need much structure as guests like to circulate and socialize. However, it is a great venue for your organization’s Executive Director to directly appeal to guests and/or to thank them for their past support.

Tip: Use Auctions as a Conversation Piece

Browsing a few silent auction tables is a great social activity to provide your guests while they are sipping on glasses of wine. Let your guests to create some of their own fun as they peruse, converse and bid on unique items while supporting their favorite cause.

Pair attractive wine serving pieces such as a carafe, wine aerator or wine glasses with interesting foodie items, like artisan cheese, olive oil and crackers.

{{cta(‘bc4b315d-659b-4f3f-b7ab-190318c1f75a’)}}This is also the perfect time to offer a travel package visit a famous wine region. Let Winspire do all the work and incorporate their “Become a Sonoma Valley Winemaker” no-risk travel package which includes airfare, hotel, chauffeur, VIP wine tastings, and an intimate blending seminar. Click above to check out our complete selection of trips and experiences to Wine Country.



4. Farm to Table Dinner Outdoors

Similar to the wine tasting event, an outdoor dinner adds excellent variety to your event lineup and will appeal especially to high end donors. As the natural and organic foods movement is trending high these days, your event will appeal to a broad group of foodies.

Cater this dinner anyplace outdoors with a unique setting (Think long tables close to a garden with dangling lights). Find one or several chefs who will feature local meats and produce for the menu and perhaps an acoustical performance during dinner. You can charge $100-500 per person for this event.

Tip: Punctuate the Evening with a Live Auction 

A live auction after dinner is a perfect way to punctuate the evening while people are still in their seats and enjoying themselves.

Focus on having just a few special items such as an elegant piece of jewelry, fine art, and a unique culinary experience, such as our “James Beard House Dinner Party”. Your guests will savor the opportunity to win this iconic New York City package, which includes Grand Hyatt New York 2-night stay with airfare.

As much as everyone loves summertime, people are always looking for different and creative things to do. Create your unique event and utilize some of these charity auction ideas for a successful revenue generator for your nonprofit organization.

Browse our complete list of our no-risk travel experiences and have fun choosing the ideal package to fit the theme of your fundraising event. In no time, you will have a hot summertime event that is a must for the A-listers in your town.