Insights from the EO: Collecting Auction Items

by Alpha Phi Foundation in Focus on Philanthropy

It’s summer! And what better way to spend your summer than helping your chapter’s philanthropy events thrive, right?

I know, I know, laying out by the pool sounds like a lot more fun, but summer is actually a great time to begin collecting live and silent auction items and encouraging your sisters to do the same!

Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started:

1. Motivation station
It is important to keep your chapter sisters motivated, with their eye on the prize – supporting a cause you care about. Consider hosting a chapter meeting dedicated to Red Dress Gala where you recap the past year (successes and struggles), as well as amp up for the next year!

Pass around a contact sheet for girls to submit at least two businesses they feel comfortable reaching out to for an auction item donation. Maybe it’s their own workplace, or their favorite nail salon, but everyone knows someone they can ask for a donation. Once you have the list compiled, share it via Google Doc, so girls can check off when they’ve completed their ask, and if they’ve secured an item!

2. Cut out the guess work
Sometimes the hardest part about creating an auction is coming up with the themes and contents of your baskets. Cut out the guess work for your foot soldiers and assign a group a specific theme, with value assigned and possible contents of their basket. For example: Let’s say you give a group the “Coffee/Tea Lovers” basket. Ask them to value their basket around $50, with contents to include a Starbucks gift card, travel mug, loose leaf tea, tea infuser, cozy blanket and French press. This way, you will be getting the quality items you hope for, while taking the guess work out for your helpers.

Bonus tip: you can find basket ideas located on the Foundation’s website located here.

3. Make it Phi family-friendly
Asking for auction items can sometimes be scary, but if you go out with a team, it makes it that much easier and will make you that much more confident.

Since Phi families are built-in groups within your chapter, try grouping basket teams that way! This will make it easy for women to keep each other accountable for collecting their required items, but will also allow for an excellent Phi family bonding opportunity. This will also allow you to easily assign a value to each group. Example: Let’s say there are 5 girls in one family, each member is responsible for acquiring a donation valued at $25, so this family should plan to create a basket valued at $125. If you know this value and you assign them their themed basket, this should make things pretty easy for your chapter sisters.

Take advantage of your free-time this summer to get ahead on collecting your auction items! I hope these tips will prove to be useful as you prepare for your next event.

Happy fundraising!

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