Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hosting a Silent Auction for your Adoption

I hosted my first silent auction. I have never been to a silent auction and so it was a first for me and I would say that it was a success! We raised over $2860! I thought that I would share the details of how we organized it in case it can be an encouragement or help others who are adopting.

Booking a venue:
We booked the event at a local resort and so we paid $20 per adult and $10 per child to the resort and I sold the tickets for $30 for adults and $10 for children. I only had two children attend and so with 63 adult tickets sold I profited $630 before the auction earnings. That price included a pasta buffet, dessert, coffee, tea and punch as well as all the linens and they clean everything up after the event. As well, the resort donated a gift certificate to the auction!

Inviting people:
My sister designed nice invitations on the computer and we mailed them to friends and family who live within 2 hours of our town along with a letter talking about my upcoming adoption.

Facebook is a great tool. We created an event on Facebook and invited anyone local. As well, we put signs up at the local mall and a grocery store. If you attend a church that is adoption friendly I would suggest asking them to put it in the bulletin.

Obtaining Item for the Auction:
I was overwhelmed by the amount of items I received. I received around 100 items. I emailed friends, family and acquaintances who have businesses and had a very positive response. As well, I emailed companies in a neighbouring city that has high tourism traffic and my sister went to some local companies and asked them to donate items.

I received:
  • $500 to a resort on the West Coast of the Island
  • two surfing lessons
  • many gift certificates
  • flowers
  • pictures
  • photo sessions
  • games
  • movie night baskets
  • along with so many other items

Setting up and running of the Auction:
Make sure that you have enough tables so that the items are not too crowded. We had 8 large rectangular tables and could have used 10. We placed the tables around the edge of the room.

We made bidding sheets for each item and placed it in front or beside each item. We made our own sheets similar to this one.

The rules were:
  • highest bidder wins
  • must start at minimum bid
  • have to pay by cash or cheque
We allowed throughout the night specific times for people to bid and then we closed the tables in 2 groups. If I was to do it again I would have closed the tables in four groups. As bidding closed my family would use a sticky note to place in the item with the winners name and the amount of the winning bid. When the whole auction had closed they tallied how much each person owed and they gave them the amount as they left at the end of the evening.

We also had a kids table where they could buy the items at set prices. I had items for .25, $1, $2, $3,$4 and $10.

Program for the Evening:
5:30 Bidding on the items and mingling
6:10 Supper with a pianist playing
6:50 Bidding
7:00 Quiz on Bulgaria with prizes (below)
7:15 Two minutes to finish bidding on specific tables and then close them
7:20 Name the Eastern European Countries on the blank map quiz with prizes (I gave them a list of countries that they had to identify)
7:35 Finishing bidding on remaining items
7:50 Closed bidding and my family started tallying how much people owe.
7:55 I shared about the adoption journey I am on, why I have chosen to adopt a boy with Down   Syndrome from Bulgaria and how people can get involved.
8:10 A friend prayed for me and I thanked everyone for coming. People paid for the items they won on their way out.

Lessons learned:
  • ensure you have adequate time to set up
  • recruit help
  • provide table games that involve minimal marking or get a teacher friend to help you!

Bulgarian Quiz

1.      What is the population of Bulgaria?

a.      6.9 million

b.      1.2 million

c.       7.3 million

d.      4.3 million


2.      What is the name of the Bulgarian President?

a.      Rosen Plevneliev

b.      Vladimir Putin

c.       Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta

d.      Petar Stoyanov


3.      How many kilometres is a direct flight from Vancouver to the capital of Bulgaria?

a.      9,307

b.      7,910

c.       11,909

d.      12,082


4.      What is the average high temperature in Bulgaria in October?

a.      10°F

b.      18°F

c.       21°F

d.      32°F


5.      What is the national flower of Bulgaria?

a.      rose

b.      tulip

c.       snowbell

d.      fire lily

e.      iris


6.      When did they become a member of the European Union?

a.      1999

b.      2005

c.       2007

d.      2011

7.      Which of the following is words is Bulgarian?

a.      картоф

b.      barabulă

c.       кромпир

d.      馬鈴薯

e.      תַפּוּחַ אַדֲמָה


8.      What is the name of the capital?

a.      Dobrich

b.      Burgas

c.       Nis

d.      Plovdiv

e.      Sofia


9.      What is the predominant religion?

a.      Eastern Orthodox

b.      Anglican

c.       Muslim

d.      Catholic


10.  What is the currency called?

a.      pounds

b.      lev

c.       euro

d.      forint

 A couple other questions to include would be:
  • Which of the following is the flag of Bulgaria?
  • Which countries border Bulgaria?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sounds like it was a fantastic evening and you had some amazing sponsors! I had to laugh at the part about attending a church that is adoption friendly, if a church isn't adoption friendly I'd say that's probably a warning sign ;-)