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115 Creative (and Profitable) Charity Auction Item Ideas

Arts, Culture, & Entertainment

Memorabilia Signed by a Famous Actor or Musician

Difficulty:  √ √ √

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $ $

 What is it?

A piece of memorabilia signed by a famous actor or musician is a unique item that will make guests feel just a little bit closer to their entertainment idols.

The possibilities with this one are practically endless, so to decide what would appeal most to your guests, analyze your attendee base.

Whether it’s a headshot signed by Meryl Streep or a guitar autographed by Bob Dylan, your guests will be fighting to place that final bid!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

We’re all a little fascinated by the lifestyles of the rich and the famous, and people have the tendency to become downright fanatical about those figures that they really love.

If you can successfully identify your guest’s interests, the combination of their passions and the one-of-a-kind nature of this auction item is sure to spark a lot of friendly competition.

When guests know they only have one chance to win this amazing item, they’ll bid and bid fast!

Season Passes to a Local Theater

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  + + 

Price:  $

What is it?

Turn up the lights, raise the curtains, and brush up on your Shakespeare!

A season pass for the plays, musicals, or improv shows put on by a local theater company will keep guests both entertained and cultured.

To make this prize as appealing as possible, you’ll want to find a professional-caliber company who’s willing to donate 2-4 front row seats to each show. No opera glasses allowed here!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Quality entertainment is priceless.

And, while your guests would likely also be happy with some gift cards to the movies, there is something undeniably special about live performance.

Veteran theatergoers and novices alike will love the chance to be immersed in the fast-paced and immediate world of live theater, especially when they’re viewing the action from the front row!

Walk-On Role in a Play or TV Show

Difficulty:  √ √ √

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Calling all aspiring actors!

Give your guests the chance to enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame by auctioning off a walk-on role in a popular TV show or a local play that has high visibility.

A walk-on role doesn’t even have to include lines, so even those with minimal acting ability can enjoy this prize with no memorization required.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

The chance to have a walk-on role in a popular play or TV show is any starlet’s dream come true, and those with no acting aspirations will still love the bragging rights that come with this experience (“Guess what?! I was on The Walking Dead!”).

Plus, a walk-on role is one of those unique prizes that guests likely won’t be able to find anywhere else, making it an ideal auction item.

VIP Concert Tickets

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $

What is it?

Immerse guests in that rock ‘n’ roll (or pop, country, jazz, etc.) lifestyle with VIP concert tickets to a show that has widespread appeal.

VIP tickets should include a coveted front row spot (or even better, a view from the wings!) and backstage passes so that guests can meet the band. To up the ante, include food and drinks.

The lucky winner gets to channel their inner rockstar!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Bidders will love the exciting occasion to enjoy the music of their favorite artists more intimately and the unique opportunity to meet the band up close and in person.

This item has it all: the thrill of live music, the joy that comes with good entertainment, and the chance to touch shoulders with the rich and the famous.

Regular concert tickets will pale in comparison!

Concert Tickets for a Year

Difficulty:  √ √ √

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $ 

What is it?

Give guests the ultimate year of live music with 12 months’ worth of concert tickets.

For this one to work, have local venues donate tickets to popular shows scheduled for the upcoming year. Or, see if you can get an online ticket vendor to donate enough credits to cover a year’s worth of concerts, so that guests can pick and choose the shows they’d like to see most.

Either way, for the ultimate package, you should plan on providing tickets to one show per month.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Music is the form of art that is most universally enjoyed.

In other words, everyone loves music, so it’s going to be hard to find someone at your auction that this prize doesn’t appeal to.

Whether winners get to pick and choose which tickets they receive to create a dream line-up, or they have a year’s worth of new music and artists to discover, the ultimate concert package will be a hard item to pass up!

Tickets to a TV Taping

Difficulty:  √ √

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $

What is it?

We’re sure you’ve heard it many times before: the laughter, applause, and good-natured groans of a studio audience.

Many popular sitcoms and talk shows are filmed in front of a live audience to help the actors maintain their momentum.

With tickets to a TV taping, the winner and 1-3 friends will become part of that collective laughter and applause, all while enjoying an insider’s view of a popular TV show.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item has two huge things going for it: the fact that this experience is somewhat rare and the fact that it will make the winner feel exclusive.

Many of your guests will never have had the special privilege of enjoying one of their favorite shows right from the audience. If you can provide them with this unique experience, you’re sure to see the bids come in quickly!

Awards Show Passes

Difficulty:  √ √

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Roll out the red carpet and put on your best black tie apparel!

The lucky winner of this item and a plus one will be enjoying celebrity status for a night with tickets to a premier awards show (The Oscars, The Grammys, The Emmys, etc.).

To make this prize as appealing as possible, pair it with airfare and a weekend stay in a nice hotel, so the winner will really feel like a star.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Who hasn’t dreamed about being famous?

While you can’t turn your guests into movie stars or sold-out stadium musicians overnight, the chance to walk down the red carpet and mingle with the stars will ensure the winner feels like a celebrity for the night.

A chance for such exclusivity and glamour is a prize your bidders won’t be able to resist!

A Night of Comedy

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  +

Price:  $

What is it?

Guests who love to exercise their funny bones are sure to love a night of comedy.

To pull this one off, you’ll need a table at a comedy club for the winner and 1-3 friends during a stand-up or improv show.

Throw in dinner and drinks (if they aren’t included with the table) and a limo ride to the club to make it a hilarious night on the town that the winner will never forget.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

We all need a little more laughter in our lives!

Many people love live comedy, so this item will likely appeal to a lot of your auction attendees.

Plus, many of your guests will be glad for the night out.

If you can bring it to the next level by turning the performance into a full-fledged night on the town, the appeal will increase exponentially!

Ballroom Dancing Lessons

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $

What is it?

One lucky couple will be taking over the dance floor!

From waltzing and tango to cha cha and swing, the winner of this prize will enjoy 3-6 months’ worth (one lesson a week) of private ballroom dance lessons from a professional dance teacher.

See if you can get a local studio to donate the classes or if a professionally trained ballroom dancer will donate their time.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Learning how to ballroom dance is an exciting way for guests to actively participate in the arts.

This item is perfect for those looking to impress friends with their moves at the next high school reunion or those simply craving the excitement of learning something new.

In any case, ballroom dance lessons will be fun, educational, and useful for the winner’s next social occasion!

Singing or Music Lessons

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $

What is it?

Maybe someone at your auction was inspired to learn the guitar after listening to Jimi Hendrix as a kid but never picked it up. Perhaps one of your guests secretly sings like Celine Dion but needs a little more confidence before taking the mic.

Point is, sometimes the musically inclined need a little training to bring out their talents.

3-6 months’ worth of weekly singing or music lessons taught by a professional are sure to do the trick!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item is both fun and educational, which makes it especially valuable.

More importantly, music is universally beloved. Many people have always wanted to learn a musical instrument but haven’t had the time or motivation to teach themselves.

With the help of music or vocal lessons, those dreams of Slash-level guitar shredding or finally hitting the high C will be a long-awaited dream come true for the lucky winner.

Museum Membership

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Give your guests first access to all of the popular exhibits and events at a local museum!

A family membership (passes for 2-4) ensures that the winner will be able to get their dose of knowledge year round.

From art to science, from history to fashion, there are a million different types of museums out there, so think of which would have the widest appeal among your attendee base.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A museum membership is the auction item that keeps on giving.

With a whole schedule of special exhibits and events throughout the year, the winner and family will be thoroughly entertained for a full 12 months.

Plus, there are so many different types of museums out there that you can easily customize this item to fit your attendees’ interests.

Art Classes

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

What’s even better than looking at art?

Making your own! With weekly art lessons, the winner can become proficient in:

  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Drawing
  • Pottery
  • Jewelry making

See if a local studio will offer a voucher for 3-6 months’ worth of lessons. Try to leave the terms open-ended so that the winner can pick the type and level of classes that best fits their interests and skill set.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Learning experiences make great auction items, because they’ll last well beyond the scope of the lessons.

Not only will guests have fun learning something new, but they’ll also be able to take the skills they learn home with them to keep enriching their lives.

Whether they be professional artists who are looking to hone their skills even more or novices who just want to start developing their artistic abilities, almost anyone in your audience will have something to learn from this prize.

No matter what skill level they’re at, if you have any aspiring artists in your midst, they’ll be gunning for this prize!

A Day on Tour

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Offer the music junkies in attendance an experience they’ll never be able to pass up: a day on tour with one of their favorite artists!

One very lucky winner and a friend will be able to go inside the tour bus and travel with the band to experience a day on the road firsthand.

As part of the exclusive road crew, they’ll be able to witness the concert from side stage, then top off an unforgettable day with a ticket to the afterparty.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A day on the road is a truly a one-of-a-kind experience that your attendees won’t be able to find anywhere else.

An item this rare is sure to be highly coveted among your guests, especially considering that something as universally popular as music is involved. Imagine how exciting it would be to meet an artist you’ve been idolizing forever!

While this item is more difficult to procure, you’ll have a surefire popular seller if you can pull it off!

Co-Host for a Day

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $

What is it?

Most people like to stay informed with what’s going on with the world, so it’s a pretty safe bet that many of your auction attendees follow the local news or listen to a local radio show.

Why not give guests an opportunity to participate in one of their favorite shows by co-hosting for a day?

They won’t just be listening to the news anymore; they’ll be conveying it!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

The chance to co-host the local TV news or radio show is an item exceptional enough to have major bid potential.

This experience give guests the chance to become more actively involved in something that’s part of their lives on a day-to-day basis.

Plus, they’ll love the clout that comes with being a local celebrity for the day!

Shadow the Director

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Lights, camera, action!

With a day of shadowing the director, one winner will enjoy getting an exclusive look into the secret goings-on of a movie set.

Depending on your location and resources, you can dream big to get the winner onto a Hollywood movie set or opt to keep it smaller scale by having the winner shadow on a local, small-budget film.

Either way, whoever wins will love the chance to get a behind-the-scenes peek into the world of film directly from the director’s chair.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Film is universally appealing, and while many people have dreams of being in the movies, not all of them have dreams of being in front of the camera.

The chance to shadow the director will give your spotlight-shy guests their chance to shine in the arts.

Plus, as we’ve mentioned before, rare experiences are always popular sellers, since guests won’t be able to come by them anywhere else.

This ideal mix of uniqueness and universal appeal is sure to ignite some fierce bidding wars!

Food & Drink

Wine or Beer Tasting

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $

What is it?

The winner and a group of friends will be walking away with the ultimate alcohol tasting experience.

Whether it’s a sunny day sampling fine wines in the vineyard or a casual evening tasting all the new beers at a local brewery, make sure to keep it private so the winner will feel exclusive.

If you’re going to offer this item, make sure to provide food and transportation, too, so that your guests can imbibe safely.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Food and alcohol related items are universally popular among guests.

Plus, a beer or wine tasting is a novelty drinking experience that your guests probably don’t get to enjoy that often.

Not only will this experience open up a whole new world of tasty drinks, but also the chance to have the vineyard or brewery reserved solely for the winning bidder and their friends is sure to make that person feel special.

Rare Bottle of Wine

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Fine wines are a small luxury that can make anyone’s day a little brighter.

Add a touch of luxury to your guest’s lives by auctioning off a rare, vintage bottle.

While it’s possible to get this item donated from a store or vineyard, chances are that someone in your donor base has a bottle collecting dust in their wine cellar. It never hurts to ask!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item is appealing on multiple levels.

While some will bid in hopes of adding a rare bottle of wine to their collection, others will simply desire the luxury of sampling a fine wine.

Either way, a rare wine definitely has at least two of the features that make an excellent auction item: rarity and appeal.

Regional Wine Package

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Why settle for just one bottle of wine when you can have many?

Transport guests to the vineyards of southern California or the countrysides of France with a regional wine package.

While it always helps to find items that are rarer in quality, since you’re curating, you can get away with more common selections for this item.

All that matters is that your package includes at least 3 bottles from the same region.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Regional wine packages are a taste of the exotic right here at home.

Plus, they have so many uses: the winner can use the wine included to host their own mini-wine tasting, add the bottles to their own personal collections, or easily gift the package to a friend.

In other words, no matter why your guests are bidding on it, this item will have big appeal.

Ultimate Craft Beer Sampler

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $

What is it?

Chances are, the beer lovers in your audience are probably growing tired of plain old Sam Adams and Bud Light.

Give their taste buds a thrill by auctioning off the ultimate craft beer sampler.

To really make this the ultimate sampler, you should aim for 100 beers or so. Mix and match breweries and types of beer to create the most diverse package.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Many adults enjoy sampling new drinks, so this item should have universal appeal.

With the ultimate craft beer sampler, the winner will have so many beers to choose from that they’ll feel like a kid in a candy store in the absolute best of ways.

If you can successfully procure all of the beer needed to pull this one off, you’ll have a very popular item on your hands!

City Bar Crawl

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity:  + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Get back into the college spirit with a city bar crawl!

The winner and a group of friends will be chauffeured around in a limo to hit all of the hottest nightlife spots in the city.

As well as soliciting the services of a driver, see if you can team up with some bars and clubs in the area to provide the winner and friends with complimentary drinks.

Bonus points for including dinner at a nice restaurant!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

There are probably many full-time workers and tired parents in your audience who are looking to add some excitement to their lives with a night on the town.

What better way to enjoy the city nightlife than by going on a bar crawl?

With a private limo, free drinks, and just the company of the winner’s closest friends, there’s no grander way to bar hop.

Cocktail Basket

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

A cocktail basket will give the winning guest everything they need to mix world-class cocktails directly from their own homes. You’ll want to include:

  • A serving cart.
  • A variety of cocktail glasses (martini, margarita, flute, cordial, whiskey, etc.).
  • A variety of liquors (vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, tequila, etc.).
  • A cocktail shaker.
  • Stirrers and other utensils.
  • A variety of nonperishable mixers and garnishes.
  • A cocktail recipe book.

For this item, as with any gift basket, the more you can include, the better. 

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A cocktail cart will be perfect for both entertaining friends and winding down after work.

Plus, most anything food or drink related is universally popular among guests. Almost everyone enjoys a good drink, especially if they don’t even have to leave their house to do so!

The particular beauty of a cocktail basket is that it’s highly customizable. It will include everything guests need to mix and match and find the perfect drink that appeals to their unique tastes.

Now, let’s get bartending!

5-Course Meal at an Upscale Restaurant

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  +

Price:  $

What is it?

Imagine: the classical music is playing, the candles are glowing, and you and your significant other are sitting alone at a table as an attentive waiter brings you course after course of delicious food with drinks to match.

Seems too good to be true? It’s not!

With a 5-course meal for two in a private room at an upscale, local restaurant, that’s exactly what one lucky winner will be receiving.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Who doesn’t love good food?

We’re willing to bet that there’s not a person out there who wouldn’t appreciate a delicious feast of this caliber.

Plus, you can’t get much more romantic than with a setting as elegant and private as this one. We’re sure that there are tons of couples out there who would love a night out!

A Week’s Worth of Meals from a Local Chef

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  +

Price:  $

What is it?

Turn off the stove and put down the utensils!

With this item, one lucky winner won’t have to cook for a week. Instead, the winner and family will be enjoying a weeks’ worth of meals made just for them by a local chef.

The chef should provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner (don’t forget dessert!) for a family of 4 for 7 days.

If you’re having a hard time finding someone to donate 28 meals, you can also get multiple chefs to cook for you and create a local dining sampler.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

We’re all busy with our day-to-day lives. Between work, taking care of the family and the house, and our social lives, we barely have any time left for ourselves.

With meals provided for a week, the winner will have one less thing to worry about (at least for 7 days!).

No cooking means more free time for that person to spend doing the things they actually want to do.

An auction item that buys time? Now that’s pretty priceless!

Private Cooking Lessons

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

What’s even better than eating delicious food? Learning how to cook it yourself!

With private cooking lessons from a local chef, the winner and a plus one will be transformed into cooking connoisseurs.

The chef should be willing to teach weekly lessons for 2-3 months.

Make sure that the chef you find is also open to teaching all skill levels, so even the most novice chefs can enjoy this prize.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Most everyone loves to eat!

Food-related items are one of the most universally appealing auction items out there.

What makes this prize even better is that the winner will be walking away with a highly useful and applicable skill.

They won’t just be enjoying the meals they cook in class; they’ll be able to enjoy their new cooking skills for years to come!

Pig Roast or Crawfish Boil

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity:  + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

With a pig roast or crawfish boil, the winner will get a full blown feast brought right to their own home. A handful of volunteers will be bringing the winner and friends:

  • Enough pig or crawfish for about 50 people.
  • A pit and utensils for cooking.
  • An array of sides and drinks.
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, and napkins.

For this one, you can try to recruit the volunteer services of a catering company or see if you can find a group of volunteers who have experience cooking and grilling.

Either way, make sure you bring everything needed for an outdoor party, so that the winner can enjoy it without having to worry about anything.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item has convenience going for it.

With a crew to bring over and cook the meal, the winner won’t have to lift a finger!

Not to mention, a pig roast party or crawfish boil is just downright fun.

Not only will there be tons of tasty food, but the winner will also enjoy a party with all of their friends and family members without even having to worry about the logistics.

Food, fun, and convenience? What’s not to love!

Catered Lunch for the Office

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity:  +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Catered lunches are one of those small joys that make a long workday just a little better.

So why not spread that love (and that lunch!) to the entire office?

That’s what the winner of this prize will be doing when they receive a catered lunch for themselves and all of their coworkers.

When it comes to catering, simplicity is key, so see if you can find a sandwich or burger shop willing to donate their services.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

As all nonprofits know, doing something for others is an excellent incentive.

While they’ll also get to enjoy a tasty lunch, above all, the winner will receive the joy that comes with making others’ days a little bit brighter.

And, even though they’d never admit it, the winner will also love the acclaim that comes with doing something nice for their coworkers.

They’ll be the most popular person in the office!

Tea Party in the Botanical Garden

Difficulty:  √

Popularity:  +

Price:  $

What is it?

Remember sitting around a plastic table and serving your stuffed animals “tea” (likely just water) from a plastic tea set?

Many of us played tea party as kids, and some of us probably have lingering dreams of a real tea party.

Make your guest’s childhood dreams come true by auctioning off a tea party in the botanical garden.

The winner and three friends will enjoy an array of different teas and finger foods as they’re amazed by all of the remarkable local flora.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A tea party is reminiscent of childhood.

That small touch of nostalgia will compel many of your auction attendees to bid. Or, maybe they have their own children who are dreaming of a real tea party.

Either way, this item offers a relatively unique experience that many of your guests probably haven’t enjoyed.

The chance to do something new and exciting is always an incentive. When mixed with some pleasant nostalgia, you’ll have a winner on your hands!

Dinner Club

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

With dinner club, one lucky winner will be walking away with the ultimate dining package.

One night each month, the winner of this item and three friends will enjoy dinner and drinks of their choosing at one of the restaurants around the city.

While the restaurants you choose will depend on who’s willing to donate their services, try to provide a range of different cuisines so the winner can really expand their palate.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Dinner club is a universally popular auction item.

Everyone loves a good meal, so who wouldn’t enjoy having 12 planned throughout the year?

Plus, dinner club is an excellent way for your guests to experience their city.

Whether the winner is new to the area and wants to check out all of the best spots, or they’ve lived there for years and want to discover new places, dinner club is sure to impress!

Dinner with a Celebrity

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

We’ve all heard of touching shoulders with the famous, but what about dining with them?

During dinner with a celebrity, the winning bidder will have the chance to relish a delicious meal in the company of one of their favorite famous people.

Depending on your resources, you can aim for big name celebrities (Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts, anyone?) or a local celebrity. After all, dinner with the mayor is still pretty cool.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Food and fame are a winning combination.

Not only do we all love to eat (especially when others are cooking!), but we also have the tendency to get starstruck from time to time.

The winner will absolutely love the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with the chosen celebrity, especially if that winner happens to be a big fan. And, of course, don’t forget about the major bragging rights!

Professional-Grade Coffee Machine

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Stop wasting money on Starbucks!

With their very own professional-grade coffee machine, the winner can make delicious, high-quality coffee drinks right from their very own kitchen.

Whether they prefer espresso, lattes, or cappuccinos, they’ll have everything they need to become a barista.

Consider packaging this item with with some coffee, mugs, and a recipe books to make it even more attractive!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

There are many coffee lovers out there who would love the chance to experiment with making their own drinks but who just don’t have the resources.

Additionally, those who would love to bid on this item are probably already spending a lot of money buying their coffee drinks from a cafe.

With a professional coffee machine, they can save their dollars for something else!

Gift Baskets

A Night at the Movies

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: + +

Price:  $

What is it?

A night at the movies gift basket will include everything that your bidders need to enjoy a trip or two to the cinema, such as:

  • Movie theater gift cards for 2-4.
  • An assortment of candy.
  • Popcorn.
  • Soda.
  • 3D glasses.

This basket would also work just as well with a gift certificate for an online streaming service like Netflix, so the winner can enjoy a night at the movies right from their own living room!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in your audience that doesn’t enjoy a good movie.

Plus, it’s not everyday that we get to enjoy a movie at the theater.

Offering up this auction item is the perfect excuse for your guests to enjoy the cinema, which makes watching a movie a little more special.

This is an item that will appeal to not only movie buffs, but practically anyone else as well.

Spa Day Package

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $

What is it?

A spa day package will provide the winner with everything they need to conduct their very own spa day right at home, including:

  • Nail polish, clippers, files, and other mani/pedi accessories.
  • An assortment of face masks.
  • A robe, slippers, and towel.
  • Soaps, lotions, moisturizers, and bubble bath.

There are tons of items you can include to show your guests a little R&R, so this list is definitely not exhaustive!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Who doesn’t love to be pampered?

In fact, between work, family, upkeep of the house, and all of the other worries and stressors we face from day-to-day, it’s hard to think of anything that would be more appealing than a spa day.

We’re sure that your guests will feel the same way. And if they don’t, this item would also make the perfect gift.

Beach Days Basket

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

While you can’t bring your auction attendees the sun or the surf, you can bring them a slice of the beach with a beach days basket that includes:

  • An umbrella and chairs.
  • Beach towels.
  • A hat and sunglasses (or gift cards for the two!).
  • Sunscreen and tanning oil.
  • A bucket, a shovel, and other beach toys.

This item works particularly well for auctions taking place in beachy locations or those happening during the summer.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Beaches are some of the most popular and sought after vacation destinations.

Even if you don’t live near a beach, many of the people in your audience probably still visit the beach every summer and would love a package of accessories to make their beachgoing even better.

This is a fun and useful item for the whole family that many are sure to want!

Camping Package

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

One lucky winner will be enjoying the great outdoors a lot more with a camping package, featuring:

  • A tent for two and two sleeping bags.
  • A portable stove and cooking accessories.
  • Water bottles, plates, and utensils.
  • Lanterns.
  • A hammock.

These are just a few ideas of what you can include in a camping package. The more comprehensive your package is, the more bid activity it will see.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item will be a dream prize for all of the outdoorsy types and adventurers in your audience.

And the appeal of this package doesn’t just stop at amazing gear; the winner can use this gear to go on camping trips, enjoy some adventures, and make a myriad of happy memories.

In other words, this item also provides guests with some unforgettable experiences, which is pretty hard to beat.

Baked Goods Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Cookies. Cakes. Pies. Tarts. Brownies.

There are so many types of baked goods out there, and while they’re all amazing on their own, they’re even better together!

A baked goods basket brings all of your guests’ favorite sweet treats together for one to-die-for auction item.

See if you can get sweets donated by a local bakery or have some of your talented supporters submit homemade goods.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item is especially great for schools or auctions being put on by other strongly community-oriented groups.

Guests with sweet tooths won’t be able to resist the tasty treats, and the supporters who have donated them will love the chance to show off their baking skills.

In other words, you should have no problem getting this item donated or seeing plenty of bids on it. It’s a win all around!

Chocolate Lover’s Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Chocolate comes in a wide variety of flavors, so why not give one of your attendees a taste of all of them with a chocolate lover’s basket?

The brands and flavors you can include in this one are practically infinite.

All that matters is that you cram this basket with as many different types of chocolate treats as possible!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Chocolate is one of the most universally beloved sweet treats out there.

It’s not only the perfect way for guests to indulge themselves if they so choose, but it also makes an excellent gift.

Whether it’s a mother’s day treat or a Valentine’s snack, this item should have a big appeal in many different scenarios.

Ultimate Coffee Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

By the time they’re done sampling your coffee basket, one lucky winner will have a palate as sophisticated as a barista’s.

Include an assortment of high-quality coffee from all over the world, as well as a few small accessories like scoops and filters.

Bonus points for including a coffee maker!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Brewing a piping hot cup of coffee is the first thing that many adults do in the morning.

You should have plenty of coffee lovers in your audience who enjoy a cup of joe on a daily basis and who would love to try out some new flavors.

Your organization should see plenty of bids on this one!

Tea Time Gift Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Did you ever have dreams of your very own tea party as a kid? With a tea time gift basket, those dreams can still come true. This basket will include:

  • A tea set.
  • A variety of teas.
  • Tea time snacks.
  • Tea accessories like strainers and tea balls.

From here on out, drinking tea will be quite the occasion!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Tea is one of the most popular beverages out there.

While individual teas are too small and inexpensive to make into their own auction items, having such a variety of flavors makes them perfect for bundling into a basket.

Tea-drinking guests will love being surprised by all of the novel flavors and tea-related goodies inside!

Aromatherapy Gift Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

One attendee at your auction will be walking away with the best smelling home around. Your aromatherapy basket will include everything needed to keep their house smelling fresh and fragrant, such as:

  • Essential oils.
  • Candles.
  • Potpourri and holders.
  • Reed diffuser oil, sticks, and vials.
  • Incense sticks and burners.

As with all baskets, the more you include, the better this item will perform.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This item is completely indulgent, and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

While there’s nothing necessary about a nice fragrance, introducing one (or in this case, many!) to any home can make it that much more pleasant.

Plus, many people enjoy collecting the things in this basket to decorate their space, so you shouldn’t fail to see plenty of bid activity on this one.

Bookworm Basket

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Do you have avid readers in your auction audience? If so, they’ll love a bookworm basket that includes:

  • Books (it can be good to center them around a theme or genre).
  • Bookmarks and a book light.
  • Gift certificates to a bookstore.
  • Book-related paraphernalia (like t-shirts, notebooks, etc.).

Depending on what you include, this item can be great for both adults and kids!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Some might say books are boring, but there are plenty of people who would definitely beg to differ.

The readers, writers, and former English majors in your audience won’t be able to resist this one.

Not only are books an excellent source of entertainment, but they’re also an excellent way to enrich the mind.

Indulgent and informative? This auction idea is sure to be a winner!

Rainy Day Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

We all know that dreary feeling from childhood of being caught inside on a rainy day with nothing to do. One of your guests will never be bored on a rainy day again with a basket that includes:

  • An umbrella and rain boots (just in case they dare venture out!).
  • Colored pencils and an adult coloring book.
  • Books and magazines.
  • Teas and snacks.

This basket could really include anything and could also be geared towards kids; it all depends on your audience and where you want to go with it.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A rainy day basket will be a much-needed source of entertainment for your guests (or their kids!), especially if your auction is taking place in a rainy area.

While this item isn’t necessarily functional, per se, it’s definitely fun and cute.

A handful of your guests are probably going into your auction looking to walk away with something a little indulgent, so this is an item that’s sure to please.

Artist’s Basket

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

One lucky winner will be walking away with an artist’s basket that includes everything they need to become the next Picasso, such as:

  • Colored pencils and an adult coloring book.
  • A watercolor or acrylic paint set and a sketchpad.
  • An assortment of brushes.
  • Clay in a variety of colors.

This list is far from exhaustive, so think about what else you can include to make this the ultimate basket.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

If you’re hosting an art auction in a museum or gallery, then this really is the perfect item for you!

Even if not, an artist’s basket is perfect for all of the creatives in your audience.

Whether they’re the next Rembrandt or just a novice who wants to hone their artistic skills, there should be plenty of people in attendance at your auction who would love to win this item.

Gardening Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Calling all green thumbs! A gardening basket is just what the growers in your audience need to cultivate their very own garden. You can include:

  • Different types of seeds (flowers, vegetables, you name it!).
  • Gardening tools (shovel, hoe, watering can, etc.).
  • Gardening gloves and a hat.
  • Gardening magazines.

The lucky winner will make the earth a little greener, and will hopefully get to enjoy some tasty homegrown treats.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

While this item is a little more niche, it can have huge appeal to the right audience.

Gardening is a popular hobby, so if there are supporters attending your auction who love to grow their own produce and get their hands a little dirty, they’re sure to love this item.

Here’s to hoping for a sea of green thumbs!

Wine & Cheese Basket

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

With a wine and cheese basket, your charity auction will always be a classy affair. And wine and cheese baskets don’t just include wine and cheese; the nicest baskets usually also include:

  • A knife.
  • A cutting board.
  • Crackers, chocolates, and other snacks.
  • Wine accessories like corkscrews and toppers.

Since this item includes perishables, it’s probably better not to feature it at the event and instead ship it to the winner after the auction is over.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

It’s hard to think of anything fancier than a wine and cheese tasting.

With this item, you’ll be providing your auction attendees with a little slice of luxury to bring home with them, which can be incredibly appealing in the midst of day-to-day monotony.

While some donors might be looking for something more functional, a wine and cheese basket will be the perfect auction item for the plenty of guests looking to leave with something indulgent.

Gift Card Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

While gift cards usually don’t receive a ton of bid activity on their own, they can generate a lot of bids when packaged together.

A gift card basket is really a free-for-all. The only requirement is that you include a wide assortment of gift cards at small amounts.

Which stores and restaurants you provide will depend on what you can get donated and what your guests would find most interesting.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

With a gift card basket, your donors will have freedom of choice.

Instead of bidding on items from their favorite stores, they can go shopping at those stores and pick out what they want instead.

Plus, the grab-bag nature of this item is sure to spark the interest of the risk-takers in your audience. With so many certificates included, guests will never quite know what they’re going to get!

Family Game Night Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Amp up the family fun with a family-friendly game night basket that includes various card and board games.

Stuff the contents of this basket in a portable tote bag so that the winning family can bring the games on the go.

As with most baskets, the more comprehensive the contents, the higher the bids you’ll receive.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Especially if you’re hosting a school auction, there are probably tons of people in your audience who are looking for some wholesome, family fun.

For the winning guest, a family game night basket will do just that!

In other words, this item provides parents with the perfect opportunity to spend more time with their kids, and that’s unbeatable.

Globetrotter’s Basket

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

You can’t travel the world without the right accessories. A globetrotter’s basket will provide one avid traveler in your audience with the things they need to travel in style, such as:

  • Travel guides.
  • Portable travel games.
  • A travel journal and pens.
  • Snacks.
  • Mini toiletries and a first aid kit.

There are tons of things you could include in a travel-themed basket, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Travel is a pretty universally beloved hobby, so travel-related items can do well with many different audiences.

Plus, this item has the advantage of being both fun and functional on its side.

While some items included will be necessary for travel, others will simply make it a little more enjoyable, which is a huge draw when you think about how much time a journey can take.

Goods & Technology

Laptop Computer

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Whether it’s a Mac or a PC, for work or for play, laptop computers are one of the ultimate technological goods.

For this item, you’ll want to find a high-quality laptop that fits into your audience’s general budget.

To make the prize sweeter, package it with some high tech accessories or a gift card to an electronics store so the winner can pick out what they want.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Laptops can be fun and functional.

Plus, in our highly digital day and age, there’s often nothing more enticing than a shiny, new piece of technology.

Especially if it comes with a bunch of exciting accessories, a laptop computer should be a universally appealing prize to auction attendees.

Handheld Tablet

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Handheld tablets include most of the functionalities of laptops while being even more portable.

There are many different brands of tablets out there, so look for one with both the features and price tag that would best fit your attendees.

If you want to make this item more appealing, consider adding in some accessories.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

For many, there’s something incredibly appealing about technology.

Whether it’s the sleekness of the tablet or its ability to make life a little more entertaining and efficient, we’re all transfixed by something so new and high tech.

Plus, we’re willing to bet that not as many of your guests own tablets as phones or laptops, so they’ll probably want to add one to their technology collection.

Digital Camera

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Calling all photographers!

The winner of a digital camera will no longer have to use their cell phone to take snapshots of their adventures (or even their day-to-day life!). Instead, they’ll have a high-quality digital camera that can take professional-grade photos.

Make sure to include lenses and other accessories to make this a prize guests can’t resist.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Depending on your audience, you’ll probably have many in attendance at your auction who would like to hone their photography skills, but don’t have the right tools to get started.

Whether the winner wants to use their new camera to document family moments or make memories of the vacation of a lifetime, this prize has major potential.

After all, the ability to better capture all of your good memories is priceless!

Smartphone

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

iPhone. Android. Windows. These are just a few of the brands of smartphones that your organization could offer as an auction item.

Again, as with most of the technology items on this list, you’ll want to couple the smartphone with some accessories.

At the very least, include a case and a screen protector to prevent any unfortunate accidents!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Anytime you’re on the street, look around. Almost everyone has their face buried in a smartphone.

Smartphones have become essential to the way many of us function day-to-day and connect to others.

Such a pivotal piece of technology is sure to see a lot of bid activity, even to those who already own phones and might just want an upgrade.

Home Entertainment Package

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

What if you could have your very own movie theater at home?

While that’s not exactly what bidders will get with a home entertainment package, it comes pretty close. At the very least, your package should include:

  • A TV with the biggest screen you can find.
  • A DVD or Blu-Ray player.
  • Surround sound speakers.

Additionally, see if you can get someone to volunteer to deliver and set up this equipment at the winner’s home, so they don’t have to do any work!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Movie buffs, TV junkies, and couch potatoes alike won’t be able to resist this item.

In fact, everyone enjoys good entertainment, especially when they don’t even have to leave their own house to find it.

Plus, this prize isn’t just good for entertaining yourself and your family, but for entertaining friends and guests as well.

The winner’s house will be the place to be!

Digital Media Package

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

One lucky winner will walk home with the ultimate package of year long subscriptions to popular digital media sites. For example, your package could include a year’s worth of access to:

  • Amazon Prime
  • Spotify or Apple Music
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • HBO Go

There are tons of streaming services out there. Think about the interests of your supporter base to determine which they might like most.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Fewer and fewer people are actually buying and owning things like movies, music, and eBooks.

Instead, they’re turning to streaming services that give them affordable and instant access to a range of media.

In other words, these services are currently all the rage!

This is certainly a universally appealing item that your guests won’t be able to resist.

If you can make it as comprehensive as possible, it has the potential to receive a lot of bid activity!

Coding or Software Classes

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

3-6 months’ worth (1 lesson per week) of coding or software classes will be just what the techies at your auction need to become webmasters (pun intended)!

While the classes will be determined by what the donor is willing to give, try to keep them as open-ended as possible to account for the different skill levels and interests of your auction attendees.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Whether they’re looking for a new hobby or want to develop valuable professional skill, there are sure to be people in your audience who would jump at the chance to learn more about coding.

Classes are one of the most useful and valuable things you can offer your guests. You’re not just offering them an experience; you’re offering them a skill that could last a lifetime!

Jewelry

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

One of your guests will be leaving your auction with a shiny new accessory or two.

You can offer any type of jewelry, as long as it fits into your guests’ price range. There are:

  • Necklaces
  • Earrings
  • Rings
  • Bracelets and watches

Plus, they all come in a variety of styles and colors. The possibilities with this one are practically endless!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Almost all women (and many men, too!) love jewelry.

The right piece adds a little more glitz and glamour to any life and any outfit.

It’s pretty hard to resist the pull of something shiny and expensive, and if your auction attendees aren’t interested for themselves, jewelry makes one of the best gifts out there.

This is the perfect item for anyone who’s either looking to indulge themselves or impress someone dear to them.

Rare or Custom Artwork

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Paintings, sculptures, pottery…there are an incalculable number of art pieces out there, and no two are alike.

At least, the pieces you offer your guests at your auction won’t be like any other!

The rarer the pieces you can procure, the more successful these items will be. Bonus points if you can find someone to create custom artwork for the winner.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Art has the advantage of uniqueness on its side, which is one of the keys to picking the most appealing auction items.

There’s something undeniably special about owning a one-of-a-kind piece.

Because your guests will have only one chance to win the pieces featured at your event, it’s not uncommon for art to provoke bidding wars!

Designer Handbags

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ $ 

What is it?

One (or more) bidders will be toting around all of their essentials in style when they win a designer handbag.

There are tons of different brands and looks for your organization to choose from; it all depends on your supporters’ fashion sense and what you can get donated.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than splurging on a material extravagance. Luckily, purses also happen to be functional on a day-to-day basis, too.

Between these two factors, a designer handbag (or two or three!) can make a highly appealing auction item.

Antique Furniture or Collectibles

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Antique furniture and collectibles can include a range of items, from pieces as large as chairs and wardrobes to those as small as China sets and table statuettes.

The possibilities on this one are practically infinite. All it takes is a little creativity to determine which type of goods your supporter base would like most.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Antiques have the draw of rarity on their side, and many people love collecting unique, vintage items.

Your guests will likely only have one chance to bid on these items, so if you can find the right pieces, the bid activity on them is sure to reach new heights!

Outdoor Furniture Set

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Sunbathing. Grilling out on the deck. Enjoying a cold drink with friends.

These are just some of the relaxing activities that one of your bidders will enjoy when they win an outdoor furniture set.

While a table with an umbrella and chairs should do the trick, throw in a grill and grilling accessories if you want to make this item even more appealing.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

An outdoor furniture set is perfect for entertaining guests and spending more time outside.

While it’s not a necessity, it’s a small luxury that can bring any of your guests a little more joy.

We’re willing to bet that this is a pretty universally appealing auction item that anyone could find something to like about.

Pool Table

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $ 

What is it?

Bring a slice of the pool hall to one of your bidder’s homes with their very own pool table. It should include all of the necessary accessories, such as:

  • Billiard balls
  • A range of cues and a cue holder
  • Blue chalk
  • Table and rail brushes

These are just a few of many pool accessories out there, so the more you can include, the better.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A pool table will be an auction item that the pool sharks in your audience can’t refuse.

And if you don’t have any pool sharks, there are still plenty of people out there who enjoy playing.

In other words, a lot of people would probably love to have their own pool table at home, so they can enjoy the game on a more regular basis.

Cuban Cigar Box

Difficulty:  √ √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

When one thinks of cigars, Cuba is usually the first place that comes to mind.

Treat one of your lucky guests to a Cuban cigar box with an assortment of different cigars for their smoking pleasure.

See if one of your jet-setting supporters can donate this item for you, or look online to see what you can find.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

While travel restrictions to Cuba have been easing up, this item still offers bidders something a little exotic, which can be incredibly enticing.

Whenever you offer guests something on the rarer side, you’re sure to see more bid activity.

They won’t want to miss out, so bids should soar!

Lottery Ticket Tree

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $  

What is it?

Lottery ticket trees are just a collection of lottery tickets arranged in an appealing way.

While they can certainly be arranged to look like a tree, the most important part is that you include as many lottery tickets as possible.

Make sure to take into account the value of the lotto tickets as you’re setting your starting bid.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

This is the perfect auction item for the gamblers and risk takers in your audience.

While there’s no guarantee they’ll win big, the chance to win even more money than they spent on this item can be an excellent incentive for bidding.

After all, what’s more appealing than the idea that you might get rich?

Kids & Family

Class Pizza Party

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $  

What is it?

One lucky kid will win a pizza party for the whole class, no special occasion required! While we’re sure any kid would be satisfied with just pizza, you’ll want to make the teacher’s life easier by providing the whole package, including:

  • Enough pizza for the entire class (around 30 students).
  • A range of snacks and drinks (don’t forget dessert!).
  • Cups, plates, and other utensils.

Kids love themed parties (don’t we all?!), so bonus points for providing some festive decor, too!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Think back to your school days.

Wasn’t it just the best when a kid in your class was having a birthday and the whole class got a party to celebrate?

Kids will love anything that adds excitement to (and distracts from!) their school day. After all, anything is better than having to sit still and listen to lectures all day.

Plus, whoever wins a pizza party for their entire class is sure to be the most popular kid in school.

Disney World Adventure

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Bring one kid’s dreams to life by auctioning off the ultimate Disney World adventure, good for a family of 4. At the very least, the getaway should include:

  • Passes to all Disney World parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, etc.).
  • Airfare.
  • Lodging for 4-7 nights.
  • Food and drink vouchers for the parks.

Try to get all of the logistics covered so that parents can spend less time stressing and more time taking adorable pictures of their kids with Sleeping Beauty and Donald Duck.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

What kid doesn’t love Disney World?

Not only will this prize be universally appealing to the young ones in your audience; it will also be a chance that will be hard for the parents in your audience to pass up.

Think about it: this item has all of the ingredients of an awesome family vacation pre-planned, no work required.

The winner will be able to provide their children with the ultimate childhood getaway without having to lift a finger.

Now that’s one cool parent!

VIP Season Passes to an Amusement Park

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

VIP season passes take traditional amusement park passes to the next level.

Not only will the winner of these passes have complete access to all of the roller coasters and attractions in the park, but they’ll also be able to skip all of the lines.

To make this a worthwhile prize, you’ll want to find a popular amusement or water park that’s close enough to your area that guests won’t have to go too far out of the way to enjoy their passes whenever they please.

Plan on providing one pass for the winner and an additional pass they can use to bring a friend.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

While season passes to an amusement park are pretty easy to come by, VIP passes are a little rarer.

Nothing can beat the benefits of skipping the lines, especially when you think about how a majority of your visit is usually eaten up by just standing around and waiting for the rides to open up.

An auction item that saves time really is priceless.

We’re sure there are a bunch of thrill-seekers in your audience who would love the chance to wander their favorite amusement park unrestricted!

Premium Parking Spot for the School Year

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $

What is it?

A premium parking pass will ensure that one student or parent will have access to a cream-of-the-crop parking spot for the entire school year.

The donated spot should be as close to school doors as possible and should always be reserved solely for the winner.

Have the school design a custom parking tag, so it’s easy for parking monitors to spot the pass and differentiate the winner from all those resigned to the plebeian parking spaces.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A premium parking spot is the epitome of convenience.

Whether you’re a student who likes to sleep in or a parent who’s always fashionably late to school events and PTA meetings, with this prize you’ll never be late after frantically searching for a parking space again.

Instead, you can leave your house later than ever and still arrive calm, too cool for school, and collected.

Toy Treasure Chest

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

While there’s no such thing as buried treasure, you can still make one lucky kid’s day by featuring a toy treasure box at your auction.

All you’ll need is a large toy box and a plethora of fun toys to fill it with. You can either center your box around a theme (dress-up, anyone?) or create a random grab bag.

Considering that you’ll want to channel your inner child on this one, there are really no limits to your imagination!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

You’d be hard-pressed to find something that kids love more than toys.

And a toy-filled treasure box isn’t just your average toy; you’ll practically be providing the winning child with their very own mini toy store!

Plus, with how thoroughly and extensively entertained their kids will be with all of their new goodies, we’re sure that this is a prize the winning parents will love, too.

Ride to School in a Fire Truck

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $

What is it?

One lucky kid and their best friend will get chauffeured to school by a real-life firefighter in a real-life fire truck.

You can either have your “chauffeur” pick the kids up from their houses or have the parents drop their kids off at the fire station for a quick tour before they head to class.

No matter where the winner arrives from, their friends are sure to be red with envy!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Riding to school in a fire truck is to kids as riding a limo to work would be for adults: exciting and attention-grabbing.

The winning kid will love the chance to skip out on the school bus and arrive to class in such a new and unusual way.

Plus, an entrance this grand is sure to make a splash. Every kid in school will wish they had such an opportunity!

A Visit from Santa Claus

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Ho ho ho! A visit from Santa Claus is what every kid needs to get them into the holiday spirit.

See if one of your jolly supporters will don a red suit and white beard to pay the winning family a visit.

To make this an auction item parents will love, too, you should also recruit a volunteer with a good camera to take some holiday photos. Bonus points if Santa comes bearing gifts!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A visit from Santa Claus is an auction item that both parents and kids alike will love.

The winning child will feel special when they receive a personal visit from one of their favorite holiday characters, while their parents will love the sentimental and nostalgic value of holiday photos.

We’re sure they’ll also love the fact that they don’t have to wait in line at the mall!

Birthday Visit from a Cartoon Character

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $

What is it?

Power Rangers and Pikachu and Piglet, oh my!

One birthday boy or girl will be hosting a very special guest at their birthday party: their favorite cartoon character.

For this idea, you’ll need to find a volunteer with relatively open availability who isn’t afraid to rock a full-body suit.

While you’ll ideally want to get a costume donated, hold off on selecting one so the winner can pick which character they’d like to meet.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

All of us had characters that we adored as children, and we can attest firsthand to how deeply beloved our formative idols were.

Having the opportunity to see their favorite cartoon characters come to life will really be any kid’s dream come true.

Plus, proud parents will be fighting over the chance to make their son or daughter feel as special as possible on their special day, and that’s exactly what this item can do.

A Month of Child Care

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

With a month of child care, mom and dad will receive a whole blissful 30 days’ worth of worry-free date nights and/or vacation days.

To get this item donated, try contacting a local day care or a nanny service. Either way, just make sure whoever you choose has plenty of credible references and experience taking care of kids.

While the conditions of this item will depend mostly on what the donor is willing to give, try to settle on the most flexible terms possible so the winner can use their babysitting services whenever their heart desires.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Nothing beats an auction item that can provide the winner with something as rare as more time, and that’s exactly what this one will do.

There are probably tons of frazzled parents in your audience who— as much as they love their children— would really appreciate some much needed time to themselves.

A month’s worth of child care will take the the stress of finding a good babysitter off and give the winner the peace of mind knowing that their child is in good hands while they enjoy some R&R.

Custom-Built Dollhouse

Difficulty:  √ √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Forget the Barbie Dream House!

One lucky child will receive a custom-built dollhouse at your charity auction.

While it works just as well to have one of your donors build one before the event, you can also auction off a voucher so that the winning family will be able to customize the dollhouse to their liking.

Imagine how cool it would have been to have a mini replica of your family home!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

While the rooms and furniture may be tiny, the appeal of this item sure won’t be.

As much as any child would probably love to play with even the most generic of dollhouses, there’s something undeniably special about receiving something built by hand, especially if it was made just for you.

That also means that this item is one of a kind, one of the primary indicators of an ideal auction item.

We’re certain that is has major bid potential!

Family Photo Shoot

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

While your family probably has plenty of candid photos lying around to remember your last vacation by, sometimes nothing can beat professional family photos.

After all, you need something to document all of your kids’ adorable phases (and attest to your family’s normalcy, of course!).

Luckily, the winner of this auction item will receive a 2-hour photo shoot from a professional photographer, so they’ll always have fond memories to cherish.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A family photo shoot has sentimental value going for it.

While this might not be the most popular item among the kids in your audience, the parents (the ones bidding) will love anything that can help them capture those fleeting family moments that seem to go by so fast.

Plus, imagine what an excellent gift idea this would be for grandparents and other family members.

The nostalgia factor alone will have your audience rushing to place their bids!

Book Reading from a Celebrity or Children’s Author

Difficulty:  √ √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

From Judy Blume to J.K. Rowling, there’s a whole world of excellent children’s literature out there that’s dying to be heard over the buzz of technology.

Enrich the minds of today’s youth by auctioning off a book reading done by a popular children’s author or celebrity.

The author or celebrity of choice will come to the winning child’s class and read either one of their books or the winner’s book of choice, respectively.

Provide lots of popcorn and sweet treats to make this day at school unforgettable!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

An item that’s both fun and educational is something both parents and kids can get on board with.

Parents will love an opportunity that gets their children excited about reading, while the kids will love the excitement that comes with getting to do something a little different during the school day.

Plus, we’re willing to bet that none of your auction attendees have experienced a book reading from a celebrity just for them.

The opportunity will be too remarkable to pass up!

Custom-Built Tree House

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

As a kid, we all probably begged our parents to build us a tree house at one point or another. And while mom or dad gave it a valiant effort, our tree houses were likely little more than some planks of wood nailed together with love.

With a custom-built tree house, on the other hand, one very lucky kid in your audience will receive the tree house (or should we say tree mansion!) of their dreams.

To offer this item, you’ll need to solicit the services of an experienced carpenter who’s willing to come to the winner’s home and build them a treehouse fit for a king.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Tree houses are one of those classic childhood joys that will never go out of style.

In other words, every kid—past and present— has probably dreamed of having their very own tree house at some point.

And this prize is a little better than just getting a treehouse; the winning kid will actually get to design the tree house of their dreams.

Imagine how many cool parent points you would get if you won this item for your kids!

Elephant Ride at the Circus

Difficulty:  √  

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Step right up! One family of four will enjoy a trip to the circus with a little twist: the kids will get to ride on a real-life, larger-than-life elephant.

To organize this prize, you’ll first need to make sure the circus is coming into town. Depending on what the circus will allow, the kids can either go for an elephant ride before the show or during.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll have an aspiring circus performer on your hands!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

The opportunity to ride on an elephant will be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that most kids will never get to have.

Not only will they get to be a part of the circus they’ve adored from afar, but they’ll also get to interact with one of their favorite zoo animals up close.

Plus, imagine how much the parents will love to see their kids in the spotlight!

Services & Community

A Year’s Worth of Massages

Difficulty:  √  

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Swedish. Deep tissue. Shiatsu. Hot stone.

These are only a few of the therapeutic options that a winner of a year’s worth of massages will receive.

You’ll want to solicit the services of a professionally trained masseuse who’s willing to offer the winner the equivalent of one massage per month. Some rest and relaxation has never felt quite this good!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Between work, family, and a million other day-to-day stressors, everyone needs a little pampering and tension relief from time to time.

And this person doesn’t just get one day of relaxing massages; they’ll have a whole year’s worth to look forward to.

We don’t know about you, but we’d be hard pressed to find something more popular than that!

Total Makeover

Difficulty:  √   

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

One lucky man or woman attending your auction will win a complete new look. To really make this a total makeover, you’ll want to provide:

  • A shopping spree worth about $500 (you can either provide a generic gift card that the winner can use anywhere or see if one store will donate a certain amount of clothing).
  • A cut and color from a professional hair salon.
  • Professional makeup services or beard trimming.
  • A manicure and pedicure.

By the time all of your donors are done with the lucky winner, you’ll hardly be able to recognize them!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Let’s be honest— we’ve all probably wanted a new look at some point in our lives, but it’s so hard to change your style when you’ve been relying on the same trends and habits for years.

A total makeover will help the winner transform themselves and their life.

Not only will this item ensure that the winner is en vogue, but it will give them the tools and confidence they need to look great and feel great for years to come. And that’s truly priceless.

Historic City Tour with the Mayor

Difficulty:  √  

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

What’s even better than getting a tour of all of the beautiful landmarks that make your city unique?

Getting a behind-the-scenes peek into their history from the very person who’s the leader of that city: the mayor.

The winner of this item and a plus one will get a personal, private tour of their home city directly from the mayor.

While you’ll probably want to let the mayor pick the stops on the tour for authenticity’s sake, rent a limo and include dinner so the winner can take the tour in style.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

If your organization has strong ties to a particular city or community, this really is the perfect auction item for you!

There are probably tons of attendees at your auction who are super passionate about their home city and would love to see it from a new angle.

Plus, they probably don’t have many chances (if any) to touch shoulders with the mayor, so you should see plenty of bid activity from people who won’t want to pass up this rare opportunity!

Maid Sevice for a Year

Difficulty:  √  

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Take off your rubber gloves and step away from the vacuum!

The winner of this auction item will be walking away with a year’s worth of maid services.

The maid(s) who volunteers their skills should be willing to come to the winner’s home once a month for 12 months to clean it from top to bottom. No more dust bunnies here!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

We’re willing to bet that there’s not a single person in the audience who wouldn’t love this prize.

While cleaning is always a necessity, it certainly isn’t what any of us would prefer to be doing.

Whoever wins this prize will not simply win a clean house; they’ll also win the invaluable benefit of having more time on their hands to do with as they please.

A Year’s Worth of Car Washes

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Through rain, snow, and pollen, the winner of a year’s worth of car washes will always be driving around in a shiny and squeaky clean car.

For this auction item, you can try soliciting the services of a popular local carwash or see if someone in your donor base will volunteer their hours to come to the winner’s home and wash their car.

Either way, plan on providing one carwash a month for the span of 12 months.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Like most service-based auction items, receiving a year’s worth of carwashes will both make the winner’s life a little more convenient.

It will also free up the time they would be spending giving their car a little TLC, so they can focus on the more important aspects of life.

Plus, there are bound to be some car fanatics in your audience who are more than a little protective about their cars and always want to keep them in tip-top shape.

25 Hours of Manual Labor

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $

What is it?

With 25 hours of manual labor, one of your auction attendees will have someone at their beck and call to complete any random tasks that the winner desires (within reason, of course!). For example, your volunteer worker could:

  • Help out around the house.
  • Work in the yard.
  • Run errands.
  • Babysit or take care of the winner’s pets.

Luckily, this auction item requires no special skills. All you need is an able volunteer from your donor base who’s willing to pledge their time.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

There’s nothing worse than getting home from a long day of work and still having to worry about all the menial, day-to-day tasks necessary for upkeeping your life.

That being the case, we can’t imagine there would be a person in the audience who wouldn’t love to have someone at their disposal for 25 hours to do all of the things they’d rather not.

An auction item that buys time wins big bids.

Insider’s Tour of a Popular Local Business

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Whether it’s the neighborhood indie bookstore, everyone’s favorite boutique, or a local restaurant that has become the hangout spot, we’re sure there’s a place in your city that the locals just can’t get enough of.

So, why not give them a behind-the-scenes peek?

See if the owner of one of the city’s hot spots will open their doors for the winner and a couple of friends and give them a personal tour of what really happens at the backend of a business.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Most of your attendees will have never had the chance to get a backstage view of their favorite local business, and many would probably love the opportunity to see a spot they frequent regularly from a new angle.

Not only will many in your audience find this auction idea interesting, but they’ll also get a secret thrill out of being able to go where the rest of the community is forbidden to tread.

Any time you can offer the winner an item that will make them feel exclusive, you’re sure to have a hit.

Chauffeur for a Week

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

With a week’s worth of chauffeur services, one lucky winner won’t have to get behind the wheel for 7 days.

For this item, you’ll need to solicit the services of a professional chauffeur with fairly open availability who has access to a limo.

Whether they want to sleep through the morning commute or need a designated driver to get them home from dinner, the winner should be able to call on their driver whenever they need.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Must we bring up how popular apps like Uber and Lyft have been lately? Well, chauffer for a week is that times ten.

The winner won’t just have a ride readily available; they’ll have a personal driver at their beck and call. Plus, they’ll be toted around in much more class and style when riding in a limo than they could ever be when riding in a regular car.

Point is, everything about this item is a recipe for success.

20 Hours with a Personal Assistant

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $

What is it?

When the term “personal assistant” comes to mind, most probably think of a harried secretary answering calls, booking appointments, and going for coffee runs.

Well, offering your bidders 20 hours with a personal assistant won’t be much different.

The winner will receive 20 glorious hours of an assistant’s help to take care of life’s more menial tasks.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

All of your attendees are busy and would probably love an extra hand to help them with the nitty gritty of everyday life.

With somebody doing the grunt work for them, they’ll have more time to focus on the things that really matter, like work or family.

Or maybe they’ll just have a little extra time for some rest and relaxation, which is always great, too!

“Best Pizza in Town”

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $

What is it?

“Best Pizza in Town” will essentially be a competition between all of the pizzerias in your area.

Have each of the restaurants donate a gift card that will cover a meal for a family of four.

The winner of this item will receive the gift card bundle, then try all of the local pizzerias. The only stipulation is that they must determine the best pizza joint.

That winner will be crowned “Best Pizza in Town”!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love pizza, and the winner of this item won’t just get to try one restaurant’s pizza, but all of the pizza in town.

Alongside of multiple tasty meals, they’ll also enjoy a fun family experience.

Plus, this item will be excellent advertising for the local pizzerias, so they should be rushing to donate their gift certificates!

Billboard Ad Space

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ $

What is it?

We’ve all driven down the highway and seen a blank billboard proclaiming, “Your ad here!” with a contact number beneath it.

The winner of billboard ad space won’t even have to make that call; instead, they’ll simply receive an ad space for their business high above the highway.

Try to secure a billboard in a prominent place to make this item as appealing as possible.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

There are likely plenty of people in your audience who are trying to market their products and services.

A prime ad spot on the highway will be an excellent way for them to spread the word about their business to the community.

There are few things more incentivizing than the possibility of making more money, so this is a prize that’s sure to entice the right guests.

Sports & Fitness

Equipment Autographed by a Famous Athlete

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Whether it’s a football signed by Peyton Manning, a soccer jersey autographed by Cristiano Ronaldo, or a baseball bat signed by Derek Jeter, a piece of sports equipment autographed by a famous athlete is sure to impress.

If possible, provide a certificate of authenticity that’s been signed by a witness to prove to auction guests that you’re offering the real deal.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A piece of memorabilia not only signed, but also used by a famous athlete is sure to be a prize that no sports fan will be able to resist.

Autographed equipment not only makes great decoration; it’s also charged with sentimental value.

Imagine how cool it would be to say that you owned the baseball bat that hit the winning home run or a soccer jersey that was worn during the World Cup!

Autographed Photo

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

If you can’t find an athlete that’s willing to donate their equipment, at the very least, maybe you can find someone who’s willing to donate their John Hancock!

While an autographed photo isn’t quite as cool as a signed piece of equipment, it’s still pretty neat.

Make sure to print out the photo on high-quality paper and put it in a nice frame to make it a decoration worthy of any sports lover’s home.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Anytime you can find an auction item that offers your guests something novel, it’s sure to be a winner!

Think about it: how many chances will your auction attendees have had to win a photograph signed by one of their favorite athletes? We’re willing to bet not many.

If you can pull this one off, every sports fan in the house will be tackling each other to get that final bid!

Tickets to a Professional Championship Game

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

One lucky athlete in your audience will be walking away with the ultimate vacation: tickets and transportation to a professional championship game. Depending on which sports are popular in your area, you could offer tickets to:

  • The Super Bowl
  • The World Series
  • The NBA Finals
  • The World Cup
  • The Stanley Cup
  • The Masters

As with any package, the more comprehensive you can be, the better. You don’t want the winner to have to do any additional planning!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Being able to attend the championship game of their favorite sport in person is any sports fanatic’s dream.

They’ll get to witness the action of a high-stakes game firsthand and enjoy the camaraderie of being with other fans.

Plus, an exciting getaway always makes an excellent auction item.

Everyone wants to escape the monotony of their day-to-day lives from time to time, and if you can couple a vacation with your supporters’ interests, you’re sure to have a winner on your hands!

Pro Golf Lessons

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

As any athlete can attest, there’s no better way to enjoy sports than to get right onto the field (or court or course) and play for yourself.

And that’s exactly what the lucky winner of pro golf lessons will be able to do: put their passion for putting into practice!

To pull this prize off, you’ll need a professionally trained golfer who’s willing to offer the equivalent of one lesson per week for a couple of months.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

If you’re hosting an upscale auction (think gala or golf tournament), there are probably tons of guests who love to golf and spend plenty of time on the course.

Pro golf lessons will meet your attendees right where their passions lie.

Plus, you’re not just touching on their love for golf; this prize will also be teaching the winner applicable skills that they can use for years to come.

Ceremonial Coin Toss

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Heads or tails? Offense or defense?

One winner will play a part in deciding the fate of their favorite team by performing the ceremonial coin toss at the beginning of a home game.

Not only will they get their fifteen minutes of fame right from center field, but they’ll also stick around to watch the rest of the game.

Here’s to hoping the odds are ever in the home team’s favor!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Performing the ceremonial coin toss is an iconic part of any sports game that’s usually reserved for athletes, celebrities, war veterans, and the exceptional among us.

It’s not everyday that your average Joe gets to lead something so special.

Unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences always make excellent auction items, because your supporters won’t be able to find them anywhere else.

Catered Tailgating Party

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Rock your favorite team’s colors, grill some hot dogs, and pop open a beer with your closest friends!

Bring the pre-party right to the winner’s home with a tailgate for them and 50 of their closest friends. You should provide:

  • Fold-out tables and team-branded tents.
  • Grilling equipment.
  • Burgers, hotdogs, fixings, sides, and drinks.
  • Paper plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Monitors for streaming the game.
  • Lots of volunteers to help out.

Make sure you have everything you need so the winner can sit back and enjoy the tailgate without having to lift a finger.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Who doesn’t love a party, especially one centered around something as beloved and celebrated as sports?

Whether they’re watching the game from their house or pre-gaming right from the stadium, we’re sure the winner of this item will love the chance to celebrate their favorite team with their closest friends.

Since they don’t have to do any planning, the winner will get all of the glory that comes with hosting without having to do any of the dirty work.

This is definitely one of the most fun auction items out there, and your attendees should be rushing to place their bids!

Private Yoga Classes

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Put on your yoga pants and roll out the mat!

It’s time for one lucky winner to ace all of the poses with private yoga lessons from a pro.

To provide this item, all you need to find is a professionally trained yoga teacher who’s willing to donate their time for one private lesson a week for at least a couple of months.

Depending on what the instructor prefers, they can offer lessons in-studio or come right to the winner’s home for added convenience.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Yoga is all the rage right now, and it’s an exercise that almost anyone can get into.

While you’ll probably have some yoga experts in your audience who are looking to hone their skills, we’re willing to bet you’ll also have some attendees present who’ve always wanted to give yoga a try but who’ve never had the opportunity.

Either way, yoga can easily be adjusted to all skill levels, making this an item that should have a fairly widespread appeal.

Personal Training Services for a Year

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

It’s time to start working on that beach bod!

One winner will be able to get in shape and stay in shape with a years’ worth of personal training services from a professional trainer.

To make this the ideal auction item, the trainer you find should be willing to provide the winner with a personalized and comprehensive training plan and workout support.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

We all know how hard it can be to take care of ourselves and stay healthy, especially without someone there holding us to it.

There are probably a bunch of people in attendance at your auction who really want to make a lifestyle change but just don’t know where to begin.

A year’s worth of personal training will not only be the perfect start, but will also cement healthy habits that will extend well beyond the scope of the trainer’s services.

Season Box at a Popular Sporting Event

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

With their very own box, the winner will have the best view in the stadium for an entire season.

They’ll also get exclusive access to all the elite dining, lounges, and services reserved for box-holders, so they can watch their favorite sport in style.

You can offer VIP tickets to any type of professional sport; it all depends on what’s most popular in your area and what you can get donated.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A season box at their favorite sporting event is a prize that will appeal to any athlete.

Whether they buy regular-priced season tickets every year or have never splurged on season tickets before, the winner will love being able to watch the game from one of the best seats in the house.

Exclusive access to all of the stadium’s best food and drink can never hurt, either!

Motorcyclist for a Day

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ 

What is it?

The winner of motorcyclist for a day will be chauffeured around town for the entire day atop the back of a motorcycle.

See if there’s a motorcyclist in your supporter base who’s willing to donate their time and driving skills.

However, be careful with this one; since there’s an element of risk associated with this prize, you’ll want to make sure to check the cyclist’s driving record.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

How many people in your audience have always wanted to ride a motorcycle but have never been allowed to buy one due to (rightfully) concerned parents or spouses?

People are always intrigued by a little bit of risk, and this auction item offers just enough danger to make it irresistible.

The daredevils in your audience will love both the adrenaline rush and how cool they look when riding around town on the back of a Harley.

Rare Baseball Cards

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ 

What is it?

Any baseball fan will be able to add the crown jewel to their collection with rare baseball cards.

To make the most out of this item, you’ll want to find vintage cards with limited printings. In other words, the fewer copies of the card, the more valuable it will be.

Depending on the worth of the cards you’re auctioning off, you can feature them individually or package them together to create the ultimate set.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Rare baseball cards have one huge thing going for them: their rarity.

Because this item will likely be something that your attendees would have trouble finding elsewhere, you should see plenty of bid activity on this one.

Baseball card collectors will love the chance to add something unique to their collections, while non-collectors will still enjoy owning a cool piece of sports memorabilia.

Shadow a Coach

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

What’s even better than watching your favorite sport from a box seat? Getting to watch it from behind the scenes!

From practice to warm-up to game time, one lucky winner will get to shadow the coach of a professional sports team for the day.

The type of sport you choose will depend on your location and who’s willing to offer their time, but aim to get the winner in with a professional sports team to make this opportunity as exciting as possible.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

People have the tendency to get fanatical about sports.

We’re sure that the sports lovers in your audience have probably worn out everything to do with their favorite teams, so when they have the opportunity to see that team from a new angle, they’ll jump at the chance!

Not only will the exclusive access make the winner feel special, but they’ll also be able to hang out with the coach and team members that they’ve admired for so long.

Catered Dinner at Center Field

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ 

What is it?

The stadium doesn’t have to be reserved for the game. In fact, it can make an excellent date location, too!

The winner and a plus one will get a 3-course dinner brought to them right at center field (or center ice or center court, depending on which arena you’re working with!).

Rent out the stadium and recruit the services of a professional caterer to ensure it’s an experience that the winner will never forget!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Food and sports are both wildly popular, so they’re sure to be a winning combination.

Additionally, we’re willing to bet that many of the sports fans attending your auction have always had dreams of being at center field.

The chance to enjoy a delicious meal right from where their favorite team has played will be an opportunity many fans won’t be able to pass up.

Home Gym

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Bring your auction attendees’ gym of choice right to their very own home with a complete home gym set. You’ll want to provide them with everything they need to stay in shape, so your home gym should include:

  • Weights in varying sizes.
  • A power rack.
  • A treadmill, an elliptical machine, and a bike.
  • Yoga mats.
  • All necessary accessories.

To make this item even more appealing, see if you can also find some volunteers to transport and set up the equipment in the winner’s home.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

What fitness buff wouldn’t love to have their own gym?

Furthermore, how many of us would love to start working out but are too lazy to get up an extra hour early to go to the gym?

Between these two scenarios, we’re sure that a home gym would appeal to almost any person attending your auction.

If you can make this package as comprehensive as possible and provide people to deliver and set up the gym in the winner’s home, a home gym package will definitely be a popular, big-ticket item.

Travel & Adventure

Exotic Getaway

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Whether it’s a safari in Uganda or a stay at a luxury resort in the Bahamas, offer guests a unique and exotic getaway that they’ll never be able to forget!

For the best results, your getaway should be all-inclusive. You’ll need to provide:

  • Roundtrip airfare for two with a reputable airline.
  • Lodging for 4-7 nights.
  • Prepaid gift cards to cover food and drink.
  • Vouchers or tickets for a couple of fun events or experiences.

Because this prize has so many pricey components, consider consignment items, which you only have to pay for if you sell.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Everyone likes to get away from the stress and humdrum of their daily lives from time to time.

Whether it’s an exciting adventure or a week of rest and relaxation, the chance to do something new in an exotic locale is universally appealing.

And, as much as they would never admit it, your guests will love the bragging rights that come with enjoying a vacation in a unique spot that won’t have been traveled by many others they know.

Tell the globetrotters in your audience to pack their bags and get ready for an adventure they’ll never forget!

Guided Tour Package

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Guided tours are a popular way to travel, especially to foreign countries where there’s a language barrier.

With a guide at hand to help them get around, guests can navigate the streets with confidence while getting a deeper picture of the rich histories and cultures behind their destinations.

Offer them a weeklong tour of one city that they can really get to know or a longer vacation that hits multiple countries or cities.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Vacations are always a popular seller! Since they’re a little more structured, guided tours will offer guests something both exotic and a little more comfortable.

Depending on how daring and adventurous your audience is, this item might have a wider appeal than a solo exotic trip would.

Plus, there are guided tours to almost every country, so you can easily customize this prize to fit the interests of your guests.

Week in a Vacation Home or Timeshare

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Want to offer your guests a vacation, but don’t have the resources to provide them with an exotic getaway? Never fear!

A smaller-scale vacation right here in the good ole’ U.S.A. will still do the trick.

Offer your guests a week-long stay at a beach house so they can work on their tans or a retreat to a mountain cabin so they can brush up on their skiing. Bonus points for providing transportation, food and drink, and entertainment, too!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Everyone loves a vacation, but some might not have the time or desire to embark on a large-scale, international trip.

Providing a smaller-scale, domestic getaway will still allow the homebodies in attendance to reap the benefits of some vacation time.

Plus, since many people own vacation homes or timeshares, it can be much easier to get this item donated.

Gas for a Year

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ $

What is it?

As all drivers know, buying gas is a necessary evil.

There are a million other things we’d all like to be putting our money toward, but we still have to get around!

So, why not offer guests enough gift cards to cover their gas for a year? You’ll need about 50 gift cards at $50 apiece.

See if you can get them donated by a local gas station or a donor who’s been saving up their fuel points.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

While this item isn’t fun, per se, it’s highly practical.

Almost everyone drives, and many of them drive long distances for their commutes every morning.

Even driving around town from day to day can eat up a lot of gas, so this item is sure to be useful.

Gas for a year should definitely appeal to all of the practical people in your audience!

Luxury Luggage Set

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Every jetsetter needs a stylish and durable set of luggage for when they’re trotting the globe!

A luxury luggage set consisting of two or three suitcases and a carry-on duffle bag is sure to make globetrotters feel prepared and glamorous, no matter where their adventures might take them.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A high-quality set of luggage is both a necessity and an indulgence.

Because it’s functional, guests won’t have to feel guilty about spoiling themselves with something luxurious.

Plus, luggage sets make great gifts!

Cruise

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

A cruise is the perfect way to offer guests an all-inclusive vacation.

There are many different types of cruises you can feature as auction items, such as:

  • Luxury cruises
  • Adventure cruises
  • Themed cruises
  • Family cruises
  • World cruises

Each type of cruise will vary in length, expense, and flavor, so consider your donor base and the resources of your organization to choose the one that’s right for you.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

It’s a pretty sure bet that any type of vacation will be a universally popular auction item.

What’s so great about cruises, however, is that there are so many different types available to choose from.

With such a variety out there, you’re sure to find one that entices your audience.

Plus, they’re all fairly self-contained, so you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching multiple items from different donors to create a great vacation.

A Helicopter Tour of the City

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Your guests see their home city from the same, ground-level perspective every day.

Allow guests to view their beloved city from a new vantage point by featuring a helicopter city tour as one of your auction items.

Provide dinner and a bottle of champagne on a rooftop landing site that guests can enjoy during or after the tour.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A helicopter city tour allows guests to enjoy a mini-vacation right from their own hometown, so there’s none of the stress associated with taking a trip.

Plus, a helicopter tour is fairly easy to come by and is a unique experience that most of your guests have probably never had.

Any time an item is unique, it’s sure to do well with the bidding crowd!

Kayaking, Rafting, or Canoeing Day Trip

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ 

What is it?

A day trip to the river to do a fun activity like kayaking, rafting, or canoeing is a prize outdoorsy, adventurous types will love.

Which of these activities you choose will depend on the geographic location of your event.

Just make sure that it’s close enough that driving there won’t inconvenience guests too much.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Many people will love the chance to get outdoors and get active.

In addition, a kayaking, white water rafting, or canoeing trip is relatively easy to procure and simple to organize.

A fun, easy, and exciting adventure? What’s not to love about this one!

Hang Gliding Experience

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Imagine sailing through the treetops and seeing a breathtaking expanse of flora and fauna stretch out ahead of you for miles.

A day of hang gliding will allow adventurous guests to admire the great outdoors while getting the adrenaline rush that comes with experiencing it all from a bird’s eye view.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Hang gliding a thrilling activity that most of your guests will likely have never experienced.

In other words, this experience definitely has its uniqueness going for it.

The novelty of this opportunity will provide nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike with a challenge they can’t refuse!

Weekend on the Slopes

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $ $

What is it?

Grab your skis or your snowboard and hit the slopes for the weekend! Because it’s a vacation, this is another item that should be all-inclusive, so make sure you provide:

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Lodging
  • Skiing or snowboarding equipment
  • Access to the slopes (obviously!)
  • Food and drink

To make procuring this item a little easier, focus in on all-inclusive ski resorts.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

If you live in a cold, mountainous area where skiing and snowboarding is popular year-round, you likely have a lot of guests at your auction who would love this item.

On the other hand, if you live in a hotter or flatter area where these activities are hard to come by, your guests will be thrilled by the chance to escape the heat and see some snow.

Either way, this item is sure to be appealing!

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: +

Price:  $

What is it?

Guests will be able to experience their home city from a brand new view as they’re floating leisurely among the clouds in a brightly colored balloon.

Many cities have companies that will provide hot air balloon tours, champagne included.

Guests can pop open the bubbly, sit back, and watch as the city rolls by for an experience that’s unique and luxurious.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A hot air balloon ride is another one of those unusual experiences that your guests have probably never had.

Many will be intrigued by the chance to do something different and to see their city from an entirely new perspective.

Since this item has the draw of uniqueness on its side, it’s sure to make the ideal auction item.

A Month’s Worth of Boarding and Pet Care

Difficulty:  √ √ 

Popularity: + 

Price:  $ $

What is it?

See if a local kennel will donate a voucher for 30-days’ worth of free boarding and pet care to auction off at your event.

The package can include just the basics, but see if you can up the ante by including some pet-pampering services, such as:

  • Bathing and grooming
  • Nail clipping
  • Teeth cleaning

Depending on what the kennel is willing to donate, guests can either use the days consecutively or scatter them throughout the year.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

A month’s worth of boarding is every pet owner’s dream!

Many have probably experienced a scenario where they’ve wanted to get away but can’t find anywhere to board their dog or cat.

A month’s worth of boarding and pet care from a kennel will give them the freedom to go on more vacations while also providing them with the peace of mind knowing that Fido and Socks are well taken care of.

If your audience is pet friendly, you should see bids soar!

Private River Cruise

Difficulty:  √ 

Popularity: + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

A river cruise is just a smaller scale version of the ever-popular ocean cruise.

Your guests will sail down the river, usually while enjoying a multi-course meal and drinks.

Offer a private cruise so that the winner and friends will have the boat all to themselves. Cue the romantic night on the water or the boat-bound dinner party!

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Who hasn’t dreamed of having the attractions of a cruise ship all to themselves?

While you can’t exactly provide this with a private river cruise, you can get pretty close.

A night on a boat reserved for just the winner and their closest friends is sure to make your guests feel special!

Weekend Stay at a 5-Star Hotel

Difficulty:  √

Popularity: + + +

Price:  $ $

What is it?

Give guests the opportunity to vacation in their home city by procuring a weekend stay from one of the upscale hotels in the area. To make this prize irresistible, you’ll want to include:

  • 3 nights in a suite with a view.
  • 3 days’ worth of food and drink (including room service!).
  • A couple of vouchers good for one spa service each.
  • A pair of tickets to a show, attraction, or other type of entertainment.

This item can definitely get pricey, so see if you can find a hotel that’s willing to donate any or all of these components.

Why is it the perfect charity auction item?

Everyone loves going on vacation from time to time, but we’re all busy with the responsibilities of work, family, and our social lives.

Providing guests with a mini-vacation in their own city will be a perfect small getaway that will appeal to many.

Plus, your attendees are sure to love the luxury of a stay in a 5-star hotel.

We think that everyone at your auction will want to bid on this item!

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