A purse auction fundraiser is an easy way to raise funds as either a standalone event or as part of a larger gathering. There are several variations on the purse auction, but the basic premise is offering new or gently used purses through an auction format.
Purse Auction Ideas
- Silent Auction – New or gently used purses in well-organized displays
- Antique Purse Auction – Offering only elegant vintage or retro handbags
- Designer Purse Auction – Working with local designers and artists to create one-of-a-kind purses
- Coach Purse Auction – Doing a Coach auction with only the best new or used Coach purses
- Mystery Auction – Adding additional mystery items inside the purses being auctioned
- Purse Raffle Fundraiser – Raffle the new designer purses and a hold silent auction of the used purses
- Live Auction – Working with a professional auctioneer where purses are sold at a live auction
Depending on which of these purse auction ideas you choose, the fundraising event can range from a small-scale gathering to a full-blown charity gala. What you want to focus on is how to raise the most money possible at the purse auction that best fits your group.
The most important step in your purse fundraiser is maximizing turnout at your event. That’s because more people attending means more bidders and that means more funds raised. And that means promoting your event properly.
Purse Auction Fundraiser Promotion Tips
Fundraising events aren’t one of those “if you build it, they will come” type of events. You really need to get the word out about what a great, fun event you’re having and why people should make every effort to be there. In other words, you’ve got to pull out all the publicity and promotion stops!
- Traditional Publicity – Send press release and photos to all local media outlets and followup with phone calls.
- Social Media Publicity – Get the word our through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Posters & Flyers – Graphic design should feature “what’s in it for them” (the fun stuff). Place electronic versions online and flyers and posters at sponsoring businesses.
- Website – Feature your event prominently on your website. make sure every site visitor sees event details.
- Mailing List – Promote to both your regular mailing list (use event invitations) and your email list (ask everyone to forward to their friends).
Auction Fundraiser Display Tips
When doing a purse auction, its really important to let people see and examine the purses being offered at your auction. With a live auction, you’ll want to have a purse auction site where attendees can view photos and descriptions of what purses will be auctioned. If this is a charity gala, then print a nice color bidder catalog with all the relevant information, sponsors list, etc.
With a silent auction, there are certain things you must do to maximize the bids. Here are some display tips and links to more detailed information:
- Auction Bid Sheets – Set initial price at 40% of FMV (Fair Market Value) and minimum bid increment of 10% of FMV
- Purse Auction Display – Place purses on pedestals or stands of varying height. Include large print description in bullet point format. Place these in a standup acrylic tent card for easy reading
- Silent Auction Layout – Divide your purses into color-coded sections with staggered closing times. Leave plenty of room between each auction item (don’t cram everything together).
- Number Of Items – Don’t have too many purses for too few people. If you can’t maximize the turnout and you have a lot of donated purses, consider grouping some of them together into higher-priced bundles. You want to maximize bidding and not have so many purses that everyone is only after a bargain. Going the route of placing mystery items with a certain minimum value inside each purse can also help raise bids.
Fundraising Event Ideas
There are basically 12 ways to raise money at your fundraising event:
- Corporate Sponsors – Best way to raise big amounts, but it’s a value proposition for the business.
- Ticket Sales – Best way to get people committed to attending .
- Silent Auction – Traditional fundraiser and well worth doing right.
- Live Auction – A professional auctioneer will double or triple your fund raising results.
- Raffles – Use all four types at your event
- Food Sales – Include in ticket price or do ala carte offerings
- Drink Sales – Add a wine tasting, craft beer tasting, whiskey tasting, margarita tasting, etc.
- Merchandise Sales – Fundraising bracelets, cause t-shirts
- Vendor Booths – Only for big events, craft fairs, etc.
- Donations – ALWAYS ask for donations! That’s why people are there…
- Contests – Add lots of fun with wacky contests like “What’s In Your Purse?”
- Grants – Lots of ways for nonprofits to get funding to do events
Obviously, not all of these are relevant for a purse auction fundraiser. There is a 13th way to raise money and that’s to use the event to meet new people, greet the people you know, thank your donors and attendees, and get referred to new supporters. So, don’t forget that social aspect of fundraising
Whatever purse auction fundraiser ideas you choose, make your event as fun and entertaining as possible. The more fun it is, the more people will want to come. That means more funds raised for your cause and that’s what its really all about, isn’t it?