An Auction Fundraiser By: Britta Jarvie

My friend Burgess had the brilliant idea to do an online charity auction to raise money for my internship with Heart for Africa this summer. She had done an auction previously and offered to help me put one together. It was such a great idea and has been a very rewarding and fun experience. If you are in need of fundraising ideas, I highly suggest an auction! We hosted our auction through a blog online. But you could also do an auction event on location instead of doing it online.

Although it was a lot of work to organize and prepare for the auction, it has been very worth it. Here are a couple of things that we learned along the way that may help you with your charity auction:

First – Give yourself time and plan ahead. We had about two months to ask for donations, take pictures, write descriptions and get them posted. It took a lot longer than I thought to do everything but luckily we planned ahead and did a little at a time. It didn’t feel as overwhelming because we did a little bit each day.

Second – Don’t be afraid to ask for donations. I know it can be very intimidating to ask others for help so if you feel scared just think of those perfect little babies and children who need us and are counting on us. I think you will be very surprised by the generosity of others. People love to help…you just need to ask! We had all sorts of donations from family, friends and even local businesses. Our auction also had a variety of items from baked goods to headphones to photos shoots…even laser hair removal! The more variety the better…it gives everyone a choice and people are sure to find something they like. Remember to thank the people who donated and give them a tax receipt if possible. Burgess and I made sure to mention the people who donated on our Facebook pages. We also included a link on the auction site to all of our wonderful sponsors. We thought it was important to give credit where credit was due – the auction would not have been possible without them!

Third – Have faith! There were many times during the auction that I was worried that no one would bid or that we wouldn’t make very much money. But it was a total success and we were able to raise a large amount. It’s important to work really hard to have a successful auction, but then stand back and let God work his magic. He will make sure things work out just the way they need to. As we serve Him, our lives will be blessed – even if it’s just through a charity auction.

If you are interested in hosting a charity auction and have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help in any way that I can. You can email me at britta.jarvie@gmail.com. You can also check out our charity auction site for more ideas and information at www.auctionforafrica.blogspot.com.

Good luck and happy fundraising!

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