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.
- Our favorite place to get gift basket ideas is Pinterest. There you’ll find tons of themes as well as ideas for items to include in your baskets.
- 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.
Donations for baskets 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.
Has your group raised money by selling gift baskets? I would love to see your tips in the comment section.