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How to Bundle Smaller Donations to Create Extraordinary Auction Items

Posted by Jeff Cova

How to Create Extraordinary Auction Items

When you’re faced with too many items for your silent auction event, a smart way to slim down the number of items and maximize revenue is to incorporate bundling into your strategy.

Bundling is taking smaller items and grouping them together into larger packages. This can have a positive impact on your auction for 3 reasons:

  1. Increase the value of simple items
  2. Attract attention to smaller items
  3. Reduce clutter of too many items

Some no-risk auction items simply lack the appeal that others have. Examples include simple items like gift certificates, inexpensive wine, gas cards, apparel or toys. With bundling, you can take these seemingly “basic” items and make them more interesting to your guests by grouping them with others.

EXAMPLE: Ultmate Date Night Bundle

Ultimate Date NightFor example, a $125 dinner certificate on it's own won't fetch many bids - usually you'll be lucky to get more than $50 for it. Instead, try bundling it together with some other inexpensive items to create the "Ultimate Date Night" package:

  • $125 Dinner Certificate
  • 2 Bottles of wine with glasses
  • 3 Dominos Pizza certificates
  • Coupon for 4 hours of babysitting

As you can see, each of these items displayed individually wouldn't go for much. By presenting them together and marketing the bundle as a complete package, you are creating a higher perceived value for your bidders. This translates to more interest, more bids and more money for your cause.

Ballpark BundleMake Smart Combinations

Wait until you have taken inventory of all your donated items before you start bundling. That way, you can look for items that are less valuable and make smart combinations to maximize profits. When choosing which items to bundle, look for donations that share a similar theme and complement each other nicely.

Grouping sports memorabilia with baked goods doesn’t make sense and wouldn’t increase the value of either item. However, including team merchandise - such as a baseball hat, glove and some peanuts - with a sports tickets or a signed baseball will get far more attention than these items would on their own.

Presentation Counts!

It’s not only important that bundled items go well together, but that they are also presented in an appealing way at the auction. A popular option is to display packaged items in decorative baskets because they are inexpensive and easy for attendees to take home. Despite the stigma of Plus, baskets are a much more attractive alternative than simply presenting an envelope. 

Do Not Bundle High-Value Items

Important Note: Do not bundle things that have great value on their own. This might cause one or more of the items in the bundle not to reach its' potential value. Instead of bundling to try to make a few good items great, try using it to make a few mediocre items good.

Take a look at all of your auction items and consider which ones might benefit from bundling. Bundling auction items is an easy way to make them more appealing to donors and reduce the clutter of too many small items at your event.

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Fundraising
Jeff Cova
Jeff Cova
Jeff Cova, President of Winspire, Inc., has over 17 years of experience in the Nonprofit and fundraising industry. Prior to Winspire, Jeff worked for 5 years as the Director of Development at Cal State Fullerton before co-founding a company specializing in producing charity auctions for Nonprofits where he successfully produced the auctions for 250 of Southern California’s most successful fundraising events. In 2008 Jeff founded Winspre with the goal of helping non-profits across the country increase their event fundraising revenue and identify new fundraising sources. Jeff and his team at Winspire have helped over 12,000 non-profits to date.

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