Charity auctions were started by religious institutions, can feature services, are a fun way of raising money and have several formats with different bidding processes.

Charity Auctions are events arranged by various types of groups and organizations to raise money for a variety of needs and purposes. Most cases of charity auctions involve auctioning off items that have been donated either by group members or from the larger community the group or organization serves. The proceeds will then be given to the organization or cause that the auction supports. Before you plan a charity auction, here are some facts you should know:

It was started by religious institutions

The first charity auctions were organized by religious organizations in the 17th and 18th centuries that often received various properties and estates left behind by wealthy patrons and parishioners who died. These properties would get auctioned off and the collected money would be given to the church treasury or used for purposes such as feeding and housing programs for the poor. This practice continues today, but is no longer limited to religious groups. Educational institutions, foundations and even social circles often hold very successful charity auctions.

Charity auctions can feature services

Unlike the earlier form of charity auctions which involved only the selling of products, many charity auctions now feature services. Charity auctions that include services encourage the participation of professionals such as celebrities, plumbers, gardeners, musicians, artists and many others. These individuals will perform their services and turn over the money they earn to the organization or cause they are supporting. A popular form of auctions that feature services is the people auction where guests bid on bachelors or bachelorettes. The bidder who willing to pay the highest price gets the chance to go on a date with the bachelor or bachelorette that they bid on.

They are a fun way of raising money

Unlike traditional money-making activities, charity auctions are more exciting because they encourage both generosity and participation of people who typically do not directly gain anything for their contribution. Charity auctions work by challenging the competitive spirit of people and are more fun than simply asking for monetary donations.

Charity auctions have are several formats and different bidding processes

There are several formats of the charity auction. A silent auction is one popular format that does not involve an auctioneer facilitating the bidding process out loud. Instead, the guests of the auction look at displayed times and write their names and the amount they are willing to pay when they find something that interests them. The bidder who submits the highest amount will win the item. If the bidder is absent, the next highest bidder is awarded the item or service. A live auction is another format and has an auctioneer in charge of introducing the various items, individuals or services up for auction. The auctioneer also facilitates the bidding process and announces the amounts involved. Both silent and live auctions generally involve a minimum bid in order to ensure that adequate funds will be raised.

A charity auction is meant to be a tasteful event that raises money for an organization or cause and should give tangible or intangible benefits to all participants.