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When trying to raise money for a school, consider doing a school auction. Classroom projects can bring in a lot of money for their one-of-a-kind quality, as well as build a sense of community. These can then go up via live auction or silent auction.
When setting up a live auction, people will need to be gathered for some purpose. A great way to get people together is to hold a special dinner, perhaps combined with a golf outing or musical event. Hold the live auction after people are eating, but before they try to leave.
Silent auctions can be held right in the school hallway, or prior to a live auction event.
Enlist the help of classroom parents to create some of the best prizes for bidding. This makes them more excited to bid on the projects, and takes some of the strain off of the teacher.
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Creating a Class Project
The classroom items that do the best during a school auction are those that are created and personalized by the children. Every child should touch the item in some way, to add to its creation. Every child should also sign the project, whether by name, fingerprint, or handprint. Handprints go over quite well, especially with parents of younger children. Try the following ideas:
- Paint an unfinished bookcase a solid color, such as light blue. Using the rainbow, have children decorate it with handprints, use fingerprints to make bugs, or stencil or sponge-paint other creatures. Each child should write his or her name next to his contribution.
- Paint a wooden table and chair set for children. Have the kids decorate it like the bookcase.
- Have each child decorate a quilt square. Older children can help sew the quilt together. Find a willing parent to help sew squares for younger classes, or use the looped quilt design from Deep Discount School Supply.
- Purchase the Community Puzzle. Each child can decorate a puzzle piece, to be assembled anyway you wish. Put it in a frame.
- Create a collage of pictures created by the children, or a photo montage of the class throughout the year. Place it in a frame.
- Decorate several terra-cotta pots. Let the children both decorate and fill the pots with flowers and plants.
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Classroom Sponsored Silent Auction Basket Ideas
Each classroom can also sponsor a silent auction project. Parents and local businesses can donate items to fill a basket of a certain theme.
- Gardening basket: Fill a giant planter with gardening gloves, small tools, seeds, and a gift certificate to a local nursery.
- Movie basket: Fill a movie bowl with DVDs, a box of microwave popcorn or a bag of regular popcorn, a giant box of candy, tickets to a local movie theatre, and free movie rentals.
- Cooking basket: Fill a large pot with child-sized cooking utensils, an apron, a chef's hat, and some baking mixes.
- Grilling basket: Fill a pot or basket with grilling tools, a large hand mitt, and marinating sauce.
- Wine basket: Fill a basket with a choice bottle of wine, two wine glasses, and a gift certificate toward a local wine tour.
- Music basket: Fill a basket with ear buds, blank CDs with cases, an iTunes gift card, or a gift certificate to a local bookstore.
The possibilities are endless in this category. Silent auction baskets do not necessarily need to be child-friendly, as you are hoping adults will purchase them.
A committee of children can be in charge of collecting and organizing donations into appropriate baskets.
Both live auctions and silent auctions are a great way to bring in extra funds at a school auction. Classroom projects get the entire community involved, thus making the projects more valuable.
Photo courtesy Stephen Eaststop http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1285842