Virtually anything can be auctioned. One only needs to look at the success of eBay to see the amazing variety of products sold with auctions: cars, bikes, airplanes…even land. However, since this site is geared more toward school, church and individual fundraising, we’ll concentrate on smaller items like gift baskets, picnic baskets and the like, unless you have some airplanes to sell.

Mr. Ranger, Sir

For picnic baskets, you can share the work load by buying in bulk and having a group meeting where everyone joins in the fun and puts the baskets together assembly line fashion.

Picnic baskets can be filled with food: nuts, sausage, chocolates, crackers, fruit or other gourmet snacks, or even wine and cheese or champagne. You could even have several different kinds of baskets to attract a variety of bidders.

Be sure and keep track of how much is spent for the merchandise. Divide this by the number of baskets you make and this will give you a minimum starting bid for each basket.

Ask and ye shall receive

Better yet, contact local businesses for donations to fill your gift baskets. It never hurts to ask, and the less you spend, the more money your fundraiser will make.

Gift baskets are not limited to food. If your fundraiser audience is both male and female, create gift baskets that appeal to both. Women would like baskets with lotions, soaps, bath beads and the like, while most men would prefer more masculine baskets with tools, batteries, and perhaps coupons for car alignments or oil changes.

Or you could create baskets that cater to both sexes. Themed creations might include golf baskets, which could have golf balls, gloves, hat and golf course coupons or tickets to a golf tournament. Travel baskets work well also, which could have airline tickets, cruises or vacation packages, stuffed in with a pair of thongs, sunscreen and a beach towel, depending of course, on the destination.

Be sure to read our page about fundraising gift baskets.

Scheduling your church fundraising auction

Auction fundraisers can be held year-round, but if you’re group is large like a school, it’s always best to have them when there are other school activities going on so you can benefit from the extra traffic, like before or after an athletic contest, such as a basketball game. You can even have them a few times a year for maximum benefit.