Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Run a Silent Auction for Charity: Jord Wood Watches

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I absolutely love the Christmas season and everything about it. I especially love how giving and generous everyone seems to be at this time of year. Whether it be a gift for a loved one or a donation to a charity, people seem to be more giving and aware of the needs of others.

Last month, I had the wonderful opportunity of planning and executing a Masquerade Ball for Hurricane Relief. It was such a wonderful event and we were able to raise a lot of money while having a wonderful time. The bulk of the donation came from a super successful silent auction. I am so grateful for just how successful the auction was, and I wanted to share how we were able to pull it off while highlighting one of the items that was donated--Jord Wood Watches. Jord donated a watch to the silent auction in return for my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

First, reach out to potential donors. I must have sent 100 emails in order to get about 20 items donated. Your email should be short and to the point while also explaining exactly where the money raised by the auction will be donated. Companies generally want to know where their donations are going. Also, partnering with an official nonprofit made all of the difference here because I was able to offer donors a tax deduction receipt. So the email should look something like this:

Kind greeting and compliment of the product.
Request for a donation. 
Explanation of where the funds raised will go. 
Offer to send a tax donation receipt. 

Some people will turn you down, some won't respond at all, but many will come back with such incredible donations that you will be blown away by just how generous people are. Jord was one of these donors. Jaci from Jord Wood Watches was so wonderful to work with! She donated a watch to the auction and sent me a number of amazing watches to choose from. I chose the Dover Koa and Black watch, valued at $295. It was definitely a hot item for the silent auction. Unlike many other wood watches, Jord uses super high quality wood, is splash proof, and is hand finished. I love that both the face and band are wood, rather than many wood watches that you see with only a wooden face. These watches are truly unique, one of a kind, and a cut above the rest. 

wood watch Jord wooden watches dover koa and black

The next step to a successful silent auction is to prepare the auction forms. It is important to include the name of the item with a brief description, the value of the item, a minimum bid, and a minimum increase. The minimum bid ensures that you will raise the funds you are hoping for and the minimum increase makes it so that you don't have people outbidding each other by 50 cents. It just makes the auction go smoother. Include a column where people can write their name, email address, and bid. 

Next, set up the auction to display each item with the forms and a pen next to each one. 

Then, make sure to announce the silent auction frequently during the event and let people know when there are 10 minutes, 5 minutes, and 1 minute remaining to place bids. For the Jord Watch, there were people hovering by the page to try to get the final bid. These watches are seriously gorgeous and people were so excited about the chance to win one. This was likely the hottest item at the auction and there were two bidders going back and forth in the last minutes in the hope of winning. So many people commented on how beautiful the watch was, what a perfect gift it would make, and how unique it was. I loved having such great items in the auction that people were talking about and excited over. 

Once the auction is closed, collect all of the auction forms immediately. Check that the final bidders followed the rules, and then announce the winners. 

Finally, collect payment and distribute the goods. Luckily, all of my winners were still at the event when I announced the winners and were able to pay at the event. If any of your winners had already left, you will need to email them to coordinate payment and pick up. I was glad that all of my winners were present, paid, and took their items at the event. But truthfully, it wouldn't have been a terrible thing to have to coordinate and pick up later. On a side note, I absolutely recommend being able to accept Credit Cards for payment. Had I only been able to take cash or check, I am certain that I wouldn't have had as many bidders as I did. Everyone but two winners paid with card. I suggest signing up with Square Up to be able to accept card payments right on your phone. Easy, safe, and so convenient for the bidders. 

After the event, make sure to send thank you notes to all of your donors. It's a nice touch and will help companies want to work with you again in the future. Truthfully, I am really late on mailing out my thank you cards. The day I had calendared to do so, my water broke and I headed to the hospital. But I did finally get them out, and I feel so much better about that! 

I am so grateful to Jord and my other donors for their generous contributions to my silent auction. And the most exciting news is that Jord has generously offered each of you a 25% off coupon for one of their incredible watches! You can download your coupon HERE. This is a great deal because they rarely discount their watches. You won't want to miss this chance to snag a beautiful watch at an incredible price. I have given two of their watches to Brad as gifts, and they are among the best gifts I've ever given him. I especially love that Jord now offers engraving on the back of these wood watches, which makes for an especially unique and sentimental gift. Make sure to grab and use your coupon code before it expires on December 19th so that your unique gift has time to arrive before Christmas. 

Wooden Wristwatch

1 comment:

  1. Very good to see this beautiful watch. It would great to gift some on his birthday or anniversary. We do have lot of similar kind of gifts on our portal Way2flowers. Have a look, with great interest.


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