So often silent auctions are only included as part of a large event. But any opportunity where your community gathers creates a ripe environment for a silent auction. Whether your event is large or small, Pearl Bids can help make these additional “sub-auctions” a no-brainer to put together and run.

Many schools have found that monthly “get-togethers” help pull their community together. A Family Game Night, Read-It Night, or Movie Night, all bring people together who are excited to support your cause. Why not pull out an extra table or two for a few silent auction items? Ten $30-$100 items can bring in anywhere from $300-$1000; not bad for a monthly “extra.” Have one volunteer responsible for gathering donations each month, or provide a free pass to movie night for whoever secures a donation. Whether it is a plate of home-baked goodies or a gift certificate to favorite restaurant or hardware store, each item will be viewed and bid upon.

Familiarity always makes a task easier. These evenings can even be thought of as a trial run for your big event; the more times your volunteers handle a silent auction, the simpler it will be to bring it to the next level for your large annual fundraiser.

These are a few of our favorite community get-togethers:

* Family Game Night - Pull those board games out from the closet and set them up around the room. You’ll discover some old forgotten favorites as well as newly released games.

* Read-it Night - Have teachers and/or your librarian gather some recommended books. With comfortable “reading areas,” families or groups of 1-3 kids can gather to read books to one another. Add to the night by having a great theatrical reader read aloud to your crowd.

* Movie Night - Invite the kids to bring their sleeping bags and pillows. Pop up a load of popcorn and you are set. When the whether is nice, having the event outside on a grass field or play area can be a special treat.

* Family Science Night - Spark an interest in science with hands-on, kid friendly experiments. PTO today has a free kit with some great suggestions at (

* Bar-B-Que Night - Gather for an evening bar-b-que. Have it catered by your school cafeteria or a local favorite or see if a few parents want to volunteer for a fun to Costco for hamburgers and hot dogs. Whether this is a money maker or just an excuse to get together and have fun, a bar-b-que night is a super way to welcome the new school year or enjoy the arrival of spring.

* Family Tech Talk - Create a safe environment for families to talk and learn about dealing with tech issues from cyber-bullying to safe surfing.

* Create-It Night - Pull out those craft supplies, set up a few stations, and grab a few artistic volunteers. Families will love the opportunity to create projects in a fun environment.