It's been a while since my last post on companies that offer that offer donations. Did you know that many companies have a budget set aside for charitable donations? While some require that a specific application be completed, for others a personal request letter will do. The donations range from small items to large gift certificates and they are waiting for you - all you need to do is ask! 

Here are a few companies that have a history of donating to silent auctions to get you started.

Social media has become one of the best advertising strategies on the planet. Through blogs, Facebook, twitter, instagram... information is being disbanded at a rate never before imagined. Not only are the viewers receiving real-time updates, but the audience reached is growing exponentially.

While assigning volunteer duties, don't forget to create a team of marketing/social media volunteers. The beauty in this position is the diversity of people and involvement required. Whether the volunteer is hands on and actively assisting with other duties or someone who "just does not have time," there is something for everyone.

A new way to pass out bid numbers... When attendees arrive, hand out wristbands with their bid number on it. The bid number is handy throughout the evening and as the attendees circulate and bid on items it is super easy for them to double check their bid numbers before writing them down. Having seen way too many people record the wrong bid numbers on bid sheets, I think this is a fantastic idea.

If your event is an annual one, don’t forget the valuable resource of historical data. Knowing what sold and who your key buyers were can help your silent auction profits soar. A program like Pearl Bids, which allows you to view which items were bid on and what the bids were can prove invaluable.

So, what can you do once you have the data?

Anyone who is volunteering to help with your event supports your mission. And while some are there simply to support, most may have an additional incentive as well. Even though they have willingly given you their time, if you put in the extra effort to help with their other motives for volunteering, you will have happier, more productive, and longer term help.