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November 14, 2014 Silent Auction Bid Sheets – Predetermining Bid Amounts

Silent Auction

There are two standard types of bid sheets commonly used in silent auctions.   One is a bid sheet that has a minimum starting bid and the bidders simply write in the minimum required increase of $5 or $10 on the next line of the bid sheet along with their bid number.   Pros of this format: they are easy to prepare before the auction. Cons: they can inadvertently create illegal bids when bidders do not follow instruction and proceed to place a bid lower than the minimum required bid.  Also, due to the various values of silent auction packaging, these “minimums” are not a one-size-fits-all and you can lose opportunity in fundraising.

The other type of bid sheet has pre-determined bid increases and bidders simply write their bid number next to the amount they want bid for the item.  This type of format is my bid sheet of choice.  Pros: by writing in the predetermined bid amount your group will raise more money by strategically controlling the increase of bid amounts per line per item.  This also allows guests to bid on the line and amount of their choice and prevents those illegal bids mentioned above. In addition, your group will raise more money by starting the bid at 30% of fair market value and ending at 100%-200% of value.  Cons: requires more upfront preparation.

The Bottom Line: The format you use to set up your bid sheets can make a big difference in the amount of revenue your silent auction generates.

Make sure you are using the best format for bidding during your silent auction.  A little work on the front end of the silent auction can raise more money for your nonprofit.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!

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