Resource Library

All About “Auctions for Action” Fundraisers

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Online silent auctions are a great way to raise funds for our Sister District candidates. Though they require a lot of work, leaders who’ve done them will tell you that the payoff is there if you’re willing to dig in. These have proven to be a fantastic way to not only raise money for candidates, but also highlight local small businesses and artists in these extremely tough economic times. Many donations are made by the businesses themselves, or by team members who have purchased gift cards from the businesses and then donate them.

Massive appreciation goes to Sister District South Bay HQL Tom Surrette, the mastermind behind the website platform Auctions for Action. Thank you for creating this system and helping teams use it!

Leaders of Sonoma County East and Sonoma West County collaborated on an auction in June 2020 and kindly put together materials to help other teams build and execute an auction. For templates, guides, and notes, browse this folder.

Talk with your Organizing Department staffer if this is something you want to consider; we recommend giving your Steering Committee a minimum of 8 weeks from the time you start planning to the culminating event.

To have a sense for where you might begin, here are three steps all teams have taken at the onset to build their auction projects:

1. Establish a Steering Committee

Key roles are: website management, donor solicitation & input, live event production, marketing & communications. Also important to have a Chair to convene meetings, communicate with all committee heads, and ensure all bases are covered!

As an example of what you’ll find in the Sonoma teams’ folder, see brief descriptions of each role here.

2. Create a Timeline

Work backward from clearly defined deadlines to keep all moving parts organized. A good timeline will provide a full view at a glance to all steering committee members. Locking in regular meetings to check in on progress is key.

3. Get the Word Out!

Teams have gone above and beyond marketing these events with special graphics, social media messages and networking plans. Find some great tips and examples here.

Reminder: if you want to request a candidate to appear at an auction event, put in that request at least 4 weeks out!

Thank you to all leaders who have put in a tremendous amount of work running actions and to Sonoma County East and Sonoma West County leaders for documenting their work and sharing with the rest of the Sister District family.