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 Home > Fundraise > Guide to Auction Events, Step 2
  • eBay Giving Works Charity Ribbon Guide to Auction Events, Step 2

  • Solicit Items

  • Once you’ve made an overall game plan, it’s time to start rounding up things to sell.
  • 1.Plan your event 2. Solicit items to sell 3. List your items for sale 4. Spread the word 5. Wrap it up, ship it, and assess how you did. Plan Your Event Solicit Items to Sell List Your Items for Sale Spread the Word Wrap it Up, Ship it and Assess How You Did
  • Make a Solicitation Kit

    To make it as easy as possible for donors to say "yes," create a solicitation kit that answers potential questions and helps donors understand the event.
  • This kit will serve as the basis for all other solicitation and marketing materials. It should include:
  • The event name and theme
  • A short paragraph about the auction event and your organization’s mission
  • Name of your organization or program that will benefit
  • Start and end dates of the auction event
  • URL where you’ll be sending bidders (it could be your home page, your eBay About Me Page External Link or About My Nonprofit page).
  • Your fundraising goal (in dollars and items to sell)
  • The types of items you would like to be donated
  • How donors can get their items to you or if you will offer pick-up
  • Time to break out the Rolodex

    Think about who you know. Of course "stuff" sells well on eBay—but so do unique experiences: shop with a supermodel; tour the town with the mayor; lunch with a CEO. Big names tend to generate more interest and bigger donations, so consider high wattage partners and friends of your organization—they may have a one-of-a-kind experience to offer.
  • Are you tight with any corporate donors? Let them know they can donate older merchandise and overstock for you to sell—or better yet, ask them to list the items with eBay Giving Works to benefit your organization.
  • Track your donations

    As your donated items come in, track them in a detailed list or spreadsheet. This will help you keep up with everything and will make writing descriptions much easier. Things to record include:
  • Who gave it? (Name, company and anything else important)
  • How to reach them? (Phone, email, etc. in case you have questions or want to keep them posted on your events progress)
  • When did they give it? (Date)
  • What is it? (Short title and description)
  • What’s it worth? (Dollar amount)
  • What special details are important for a buyer to know? Tell a story about the item that will connect with buyers and bring the item to life (Is it a brand-name? A one of a kind? If it has a pre-written description from the donor, even better!)


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  • Did You Know?
  • In 2007, a lunch with Warren Buffett generated $650,200 for the Glide Foundation
  • Success Story
  • Hazel Wolf High SchoolIn 2004, after four years of holding live auctions, Hazel Wolf High School (HWHS) decided to move its annual auction online. The Seattle-based private school sold 200 items and made nearly $10,000 during their ten-day auction on eBay in April 2004. Read the Success Story.

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