Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SCHOOL/CHARITY AUCTIONS: A GREAT WAY TO GIVE BACK

The season of school and charity auctions is upon us, and a lot of auctions are going online. There are two ways you can help with local causes:

1. Donate your goods or services to the auction
2. Bid on auction items

1. Donate Goods and Services to Auctions


I have made it a habit to donate my services as a professional organizer each year to a bunch of school auctions. I've met lots of great people this way, contributed to an important cause, and also gotten new clients.

Here is one very impressive online auction where I've donated my services.
This school, PS 29 in Brooklyn, is lucky to have tech-savvy parents who can set something up that is this sophisticated.

One tip I have for entrepreneurs who donate services to an auction: make the deadline for redemption of the gift certificate for no later than three months from the date of the auction. I have heard so many stories of folks whose services are purchased at an auction and then never redeemed or used by the winning donor. Having a shorter deadline than a year helps the winning donor to actually use and enjoy the services that he or she purchased.

2. Bid on Auction Items

One of the women who recently had the winning bid on my services at the BAX online auction told me that she routinely scours online auctions and finds that she can get services she wants for lower than the market value if only bids within her budget. Very smart!

One way you can scout around online auctions is to go to Bidding for Good. If you want to support causes or institutions that are local to you, search for things geographically. Also, it's worth asking your local schools if they are having auctions.
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