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April 13, 2018 Silent Auction Items – How Many to Include?

How many silent auction items at your next fundraising event?

The American thought process is if some is good, then a lot is better, right?  Let’s apply this logic to a silent auction context.  The more silent auction packages you have, the better, right?  Not so fast.

If you have 200 guests and you have 200 silent auction packages, what usually happens?  You will see very low bids on most items and you will have numerous items with NO bids.  Actually, the fewer silent auction items/packages that you have the more revenue you can raise. It’s the old supply-and-demand rule at work.

Here is an example from one of our clients.

One year this particular group had 141 silent auction items.  C King Benefit Auctions recommended they lower the number of silent auction items, which they did, to the tune of 88. Based on that recommendation, as well as our suggestion that they strive for better packaging, this client generated almost double their silent auction revenue with 38% fewer silent auction items at their event.  There you go – a fine example of supply and demand in silent auction action.

Silent auction items – optimize your ratios

At a minimum I recommend having one silent auction item/package for every 4 people in the room. I’ve seen ratios of one item for every 7 people work very well, too.

Don’t get caught up in the misconception that more is better.  Create a supply and demand situation with your silent auction items then sit back and joyfully watch your event raise more money.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!

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