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Five tips for collecting great silent auction items

A silent auction is a great way to raise money for someone you love who’s facing a challenge. But procuring items for a silent auction can be hard; most people don’t have Cubs tickets or baskets of wine and truffles lying around. That’s why Zach Hagopian of Accelevents, a mobile bidding system for silent auctions and raffles, created this quick guide to making item collection easier.

Silent Auction Table

A silent auction gives your community another way to show their support.


1. Start with friends and family. As you begin your search for raffle prizes or silent auction items, a great place to start is with the people you know best, your friends and family. By tapping into your network (and asking your friends to do the same), you are exposing yourself to people who are already close to you and are more likely to provide items (for little in return)!

2. Post to social media accounts. As part of your outreach to friends and family, don’t be afraid to post on your social media accounts to ask for silent auction items or raffle prizes. This will increase your chances of receiving an item donation, but will also create some early buzz around your fundraising cause. 

3. Identify potential item donors. Once you’ve asked your friends and family for item donations, it’s time to get out there and begin your outreach to people and organizations that you may not have a personal connection with. Take some time to identify the entities that you think will be most likely to donate. This can include restaurants, local businesses, your employer, and your colleagues.

4. Create an outreach list. After identifying your potential targets, create an outreach list. This will allow you to track your outreach activities to determine which methods are working best. As part of your list, be sure to include the date, your outreach method (in-person, email, call, social media), and the response you’ll receive. 

5. Begin your outreach. Now it’s time to get out there. Spend some time each day emailing and calling the people or organizations on your outreach list. Be sure to let them know about the person you’re raising money for and why he or she means so much to you.

Zach_HagopianZach Hagopian is the Co-Founder and COO of Accelevents, a mobile fundraising platform focused on creating affordable and easy-to-use silent auctions and raffles, powered by text message. His focus is to overcome the inefficiencies of traditional silent auctions and raffles in order to help fundraisers maximize their fundraising potential. Connect with Accelevents on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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