If you have retail connections…

Host a silent auction using donated items as a stand alone event or in conjunction with another fundraiser.Invite your friends, family, and members of the community.Solicit donations from local businesses (i.e. a book from a local bookstore, massage, pedicure or spa treatment, concert tickets, groceries, gift cards, etc.), or from your family and friends (maybe your aunt runs a dog walking business and would donate a free session, or if a friend is good at home improvement he/she could offer a voucher for a specific amount of time). Your family or friends might also be willing to give you items that are slightly used or even new items that you can auction off at your fundraiser. If you really wanted to be creative, you could host a themed silent auction where you auction off baskets, such as a Movie Night Basket with a DVD, popcorn and candy, or a Bath Basket with bubble bath, salt scrub, candles, lotion, body spray. Be creative. Make bidding sheets for each silent auction item. Select a starting bid that is about 25% less than the retail value.

AFS Returnee Success

Emily, an AFS Returnee to Italy, raised $3,000 to apply to her AFS exchange by hosting a silent auction. To begin, she asked local businesses in her town for items they would donate to her silent auction. Emily received so many donations that she decided to host a block party in conjunction with her silent auction, providing Italian-themed food and music! During the party, guests could bid on the silent auction items (all having a minimum bid) and experience Italy through food and music!