Auction Item Ideas

Get started early when putting your procurement target list together and think outside the box for auction item ideas. The list below will give you a starting point for initial procurement brainstorming.

Travel – tie a travel package to a popular film, book, current event, or even the theme of your event. For example, a Sideways movie travel package would include a stay at the hotel from the movie, dinner at the “The Hitching Post” restaurant from the movie, winery tours and, of course, wine. Or, tie a trip to a popular event, like a travel package to the Toronto Film Festival, or to Aspen for skiing and the Food and Wine Classic.

Adventure – an adventure experience applies to any age group and can be physical, intellectual, or spiritual. Look to local attractions for ideas. Live near a racetrack or an Air Force base? What about a racecar driving class or becoming a fighter pilot for a day? A behind-the-scenes-tour of your local zoo or local sports team facility? A walk-on role in a local play? Are you located near a leading university or Fortune 100 company? What about a lunch with a leader in education or business?

Celebrities – who do you know, or who do the members of the procurement committee know, who are celebrities, or know celebrities willing to support your cause? Consider not only individuals in the spotlight, but those behind the scenes who may be able to provide access to a ‘spotlight celebrity’ or items, like a script or a prop, from a popular movie or TV show. And remember that celebrities come in many flavors—the media (entertainment and news) but also business and sports.

Miscellaneous – the sky is the limit for this category. Here’s a brief list of auction items we’ve received from Greater Giving clients:
  • “Kiss the Beagle” – this was used as a fund-a-cause item, where participants bid for an opportunity to kiss a beagle.
  • “Send Your Child to the Principal” – a hot item at one elementary school was the opportunity for a student to spend the day with the principal.
  • Name a street
  • Judge at a county fair
  • “Animal Encounters” at a local zoo
  • “Design-your-Own” Halloween costume – designed by your child, working with a costume designer and built by a local theater costume staff
  • Commission a customized painted mural
  • Free dance classes
  • Tour a local fine art collection
  • Become a named character in a novel, movie, or TV show
  • Water balloon fight, with balloons filled and stocked, and all clean-up provided

The more unique, interesting, and clever your items or packages are, the higher the revenue on each. Keep in mind the demographics and interests of your audience and get creative to create bidding excitement.