As I mentioned in previous posts about yard sales and bake sales, I love to share fundraising ideas for volunteer groups. We’ve had great success selling gift baskets through silent auctions. This works well as a stand-alone event or as an addition to another event.
These are a few tips we’ve learned over the years:
- Gift baskets sell especially well before holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Christmas.
- Remember that you can use containers other than baskets. Consider a flower pot, cooking kettle, cloth tote bag, small cooler, mixing bowl, wastebasket, cookie jar, or cleaning bucket.
- Attach a list of contents to each basket, especially if wrapping materials make it difficult to see inside.
- Offer baskets in a variety of price ranges.
- Post what the proceeds will be used for. People tend to pay more for a basket if they know their money is going to a good cause.
- Set a minimum bid to assure you get a reasonable price for your basket. You also may wish to specify minimum bidding increments.
- Make the baskets attractive with ribbon, colored tissue paper, etc. from dollar stores. This goes a long way toward increasing the perceived value of the basket.
- Be sure to graciously thank all donors after the event. This will set the stage for another donation next year.
My favorite place to get gift basket ideas is Pinterest. There you’ll find zillions of themes as well as ideas for items to include in your basket. Here’s a list of possible themes to get you started:
- Coffee 11. Grilling
- Kids Cooking 12. Pizza
- New Baby 13. Romance
- Aromatherapy 14. Pedicure
- Gardening 15. Local Fun
- Popcorn 16. Off To College
- International 17. Knitting
- Car Care 18. Movie Night
- Kitchen Gadgets 19. Pampering
- Chocolate 20. Kid’s Crafts
Donations for baskets can come from several different sources:
- Check with local businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, salons, and gift shops.
- Ask friends, neighbors, staff, and volunteers to donate a basket or a single item. Be sure to clearly post the name of the donor(s) next to the basket.
- Check with independent consultants for companies such as Avon, Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, or Mary Kay. Include their business card in the basket as advertising.
- Look for inexpensive items at thrift stores, yard sales, or dollar stores. Be sure the items are good quality; people buying the baskets deserve to get high-quality products for their money.
- If you have enough storage space, consider buying items for your baskets throughout the year when you spot great sale prices. (Next month watch for a post explaining how to get supplies for your projects at dirt cheap prices!)
Has your group raised money by selling gift baskets? Please share your tips in the comment section.