We’ve produced a comprehensive guide explaining how to plan a quarter auction.
That guide ended up being more than 2,000 words long, but we still felt like there was more information and ideas we could give.
We’ve therefore provided below 10 additional tips to help maximize the event and ensure that you have a successful quarter auction.
1. Use Clear Numbers
In that guide, we suggested using ping-pong balls to write numbers on. The balls would then be used to draw the winners of each item.
As you’ll be writing the numbers by hand, make sure that it’s obvious what the number should be by underlining it if necessary. For example, 6 and 9 can be mixed up when turned upside down, as can 16 and 91, etc.
2. Replace Balls
Once the MC has chosen the winning number for an item, that ball should be placed back in with the others. Otherwise, people who win an item won’t bother bidding any more, reducing the amount you’re able to fundraise.
3. Have A Change Station
The concept of a quarter auction is new to many people, so there will probably be some people who don’t bring any quarters with them.
We suggested in our guide to have up to $100 in quarters on hand, so set up a table with a change station where people can change their bills to coins.
4. Encourage Attendees To Get Involved
As people enter, or on the tables where they’ll be sitting, they should receive information about your organization and what the quarter auction fundraiser is for.
If you’re looking for more volunteers for your organization, make sure there’s information on the tables about how they can get involved and have the MC talk about it just before the items are auctioned.
5. Mix Up The Value Of The Items
Don’t auction off all the most valuable items at the beginning as this might encourage people to leave early. Similarly, don’t leave them all to the end so that people don’t get bored only being able to bid on items with a lower value.
You should therefore mix up the items so that their values are in a random order.
6. Mix Up The Type Of Items
If you have a series of direct sales items in a row (e.g. Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Party Lite, etc), attendees may get a little bored with those types of sales pitches.
As a result, it’s worth considering interspersing these types of vendors with vendors of other products or services.
7. Offer Childcare
If you’re not planning on the quarter auction being a family event, that might limit the number of parents attending.
To try to counteract that, see if it’s possible to recruit enough volunteers to provide free childcare at the event – this should make the evening even more enticing for people to attend.
8. Get Contact Information
This isn’t only a fundraiser – it’s a way to connect people in the community with your organization.
Both as they come in and as they leave (and perhaps even at their tables), have a form where they can add their name and contact details to a mailing list to get more information about your organization in the future.
9. Get In-Kind Donations
In addition to the items being donated to be auctioned, there might be other services you need when planning a quarter auction. Contact local businesses and other organizations to see if they’d be able to assist you in this.
For example, a printing company might be willing to produce all your flyers which will save you on the cost of paper and printer ink/toner.
A web design company might be willing to produce a basic website for the event, while schools or youth groups might have some high school children who want to volunteer their time to help at the auction.
10. Collection Bucket
As people leave, they’ll probably have quite a few quarters left over. Have a bucket by the exit where they can donate their spare change (and any bills if they’re feeling extra generous!), making sure that the MC lets people know at the end of the event that it’s there.
Alternatively, you could ask them to leave their spare quarters in the pots on their table.