A regular or silent auction is one of the best ways to generate additional revenue for you golf tournament fundraising efforts. In addition to keeping your golfers active and entertained while the wind down after their round, it is an opportunity to get friends, family and those people who may not have had the chance to play to get involved with your event. And perhaps most importantly, an auction is great opportunity to further involve your major tournament sponsors and attract a larger number of smaller sponsors. But what kind of auction should you have?
The silent auction is most often the popular choice for golf events because it is the easiest to run. All that is required are some fold out tables, all of the items displayed nicely atop them, and a bid sheet in front of each item. On the bid sheet you should list the name of the item, description and minimum or starting bid amount. Of course, the bid sheet should have a place for each bidder to also include their name, phone number and email address if you like. If the item was donated, it is a good idea to list the donor’s name as well.
The key to raising a significant amount with your silent auction is ensuring your auction item list has a good mix of big, medium and small items to fit all your participant’s budgets. Popular items for auction include memorabilia, event tickets, jewelry, travel or entertainment packages, and complimentary rounds of golf at exclusive courses.
If your golf tournament is fortunate enough to have premium items like vacation packages, cruises, or even new cars donated to the event, a live auction may be the best way to raise the appropriate level of donation for these kinds of high dollar items. For a successful live auction, we recommend hiring a professional auctioneer. A true professional will understand how to get your event attendees and players involved, excited, and how to get the most for each item. It is customary to start with the lowest priced item and work your way toward the highest valued one.
How to Get Great Items for Your Auction
Where does all this great stuff come from? Well, the answer varies. Here are three of the most popular ways to acquire, purchase or partner to find the best items for either a silent or a live auctions.
This is a great way to cut down on costs and add to your bottom line, making the most of your golf tournament fundraising initiatives. The first place to start is with your golf tournament sponsors. Many companies have access to event tickets and will give them when asked; just be sure to give your donor enough lead time to accommodate you. It’s particularly important to follow-up with potential sponsors you know are looking for increased exposure at your event. These sponsors may not be able to purchase a hole sponsorship for your event but may jump at the chance to be featured in your auction by donating either their products, services or something else entirely. Bottom line, work with your sponsors and be creative, like packaging up groups of smaller items to create more value.
Buy Wholesale Items
Some companies will sell you their items at wholesale if they are familiar with your organization. You can then auction these items at retail value (your minimum bid) to generate a profit. Offer companies like these sponsorship opportunities at the silent auction if they’re a little hesitant at the outset. Remember, this is a win-win for both parties.
Finally, if you’re really looking to make a lasting impression and your event is large enough there are many highly regarded auction companies that specialize in these services. They offer auction items on a consignment basis, which means you don’t pay for the items unless they sell. Your organization will retain all of the money generated, less the consignment cost of course. This is one of the simplest ways to organize an auction that is sure to help you boost your golf tournament fundraising efforts.