Hosting an auction is not only a great opportunity for your friends to buy some awesome gifts, products and days out, but also for you to share your passion for PEPY by introducing others to the work in education done by PEPY Empowering Youth.

Below are some useful tips and questions to consider when planning an auction, and the best ways to spread information about PEPY to all the guests over the course of the event.

How does an auction work?

  • The first step is to approach local businesses and ask them if they would be willing to get involved –they can donate prizes (much in the same way as they might donate prizes to a raffle) or help out with providing a venue, or catering. Remember you can also create more personal prizes – for example one of your friends might be a photographer who would be willing to do a free photo-shoot, or a personal trainer willing to give a free session.
  • Plan an event around the auction. Informal drinks, a sit-down dinner – whatever level your ambition is!
  • Recruit an auctioneer. Someone needs to stand up at the front and tell people what the items are and manage the bidding. Ask a friend who is confident at public speaking and likes to create a fun atmosphere.
  • If you have many items, divide the auction into two stages – make sure to put some of the more valuable ones at the beginning, but also leave some for later on to keep people’s attention.
  • Don’t start the bidding too low. For a dinner for two worth $50, the bidding should start no lower than $25!
  • Ensure you have a system to make a note of who won each item, how to collect the money from them, and ensure they receive their item.
  • You might want to consider leaving some items for a “silent auction”. This is when you display the items (often works well with paintings/photos/furnishings that don’t have an obvious price) and people write down their bid on a piece of paper and put that in a sealed box. At the end of the evening the box is opened and the person with the highest bid wins the item.
  • An auction can often raise more than a raffle of the same items, as the auction process encourages people tend to spend more money on bidding for an item than they would for buying raffle tickets. It is also much more fun as an event than a simple raffle draw!

Hints and tips

  • What are you going to auction? Use the PEPY sample letter to contact potential sponsors. Can they donate a health spa package? A luxury food hamper?
  • What is your aim?  – are you creating awareness of PEPY? Networking with PEPY donors? Trying to break your fundraising target? Or all of the above?
  • What is your budget? Can you use the PEPY sample letter to request donations from companies / venues useful to running the event as well as for gifts?
  • Find your venue –  somewhere to display all your items and for your guests to relax and socialize?
  • Will you be serving food and/or beverages? Why not let people browse the items on show whilst being treated to drinks and canapés.
  • Create your personal event page via the PEPY website.  See our downloadable, step-by-step guide for more details.

Make it PEPY-proof

  • Print out the PEPY flyers and make them available to your guests.
  • Have a few PEPY sign-up forms handy so that people who are interested, or who have donated money can be connected with PEPY’s team in Cambodia.
  • Make a formal announcement before, during, or after your event and explain why you are passionate about spreading awareness about Cambodia, and the value of education.
  • Set up a projector and introduce friends to the PEPY website.
  • Have one or more computers available so that guests can donate online.
  • Set up a collection box so that guests can donate via cash (You can then pool the money and donate that amount online on behalf of your guests.)
  • Inform guests about our sister organization, PEPY Tours.
  • Document your event with pictures and send them to PEPY.
  • Let us know how it went! Live tweet your event (find us at @PEY_NGO), and share the outcome of your party through Facebook and Twitter.
  • Fill in our PEPY event feedback form, so that we can help future events just like yours!

If you have any questions or thoughts about creating your very own auction for PEPY, we’d love to hear from you.  The Communications Team are waiting for your email: [email protected]