When it comes to fundraising, it’s important to be strategic. This means using the right software platform, making sure you do your research, and being creative.

How can you be creative when it comes to procuring items for an auction?

Check out these awesome auction item ideas and see for yourself!

Come up with great auction item ideas and sign up for a demo of Qgiv's auction software.

Our Favorite Charity Auction Items

Our favorite charity auction items are important because they appeal to a variety of people and can help bring in revenue through bids. If you procure the right items with the right appeal to bidders, you’ll be on your way to raising the money you need for your cause!

Here are our favorite charity auction items:

Gift baskets are great auction item ideas.

Gift Baskets

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Gift baskets are a popular charity auction item that can easily appeal to all kinds of supporters and causes. Local businesses can donate gift baskets filled with their products. Your organization can also compile a gift basket by collecting items related to your mission or groups of related items from different sources.

A travel package is one of our favorite auction item ideas.

Travel Packages

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

Travel packages are great auction item ideas that your supporters will be eager to win. These can include hotel stays and airline tickets, plus guidebooks or certificates for great local activities. Ask a local business to sponsor the trip in exchange for promotion of their services.

Event tickets are fun auction item ideas.

Event Tickets

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

If you’re looking for auction items that can really grab people’s attention, look no further than event tickets! Whether it’s a concert or a sporting event, look for venues that are willing to donate a pair of seats for a good cause.

Sponsored gift certificates are an appealing auction item idea.

Sponsored Gift Certificates

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Sponsored gift certificates are great charity auction item ideas that can cover a variety of experiences or products. For example, you could reach out to a local retailer or company to donate a gift certificate for their products, then list them as a sponsor of the event in exchange.

Free lessons are great auction item ideas.

Free Lessons

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Offer free lessons as a fun auction item idea. Whether you partner with a music school for singing lessons or a neighborhood pool for swimming lessons, this idea is sure to make a splash!

Skydiving is a thrilling auction item idea.

Skydiving Excursion

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

Bring out the daredevils in your community by offering a skydiving excursion as a charity auction item idea. Partner with a nearby skydiving location to offer a free jump in exchange for publicity at your auction.

Offer a cooking class as a fun auction item idea.

Cooking Class

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Let your supporters channel their inner chef by offering a free cooking class as an auction item. Reach out to local professional chefs or cooking schools and see if one will offer a free spot in one of their cooking classes.

Offer a premier parking spot as an auction item idea.

Premier Parking Spot

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

This auction item is sure to be popular, especially if you live in a highly-trafficked city! Offer to pay for a prime parking spot downtown for one year to one lucky supporter.

A sunset cruise is a relaxing and fun auction item idea.

Sunset Cruise

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

The ideal way to spend an evening, a sunset cruise is a relaxing and enjoyable charity auction item idea. Give away a three-hour ride to the winning bidder.

Comedy nights are fun auction item ideas.

Comedy Night

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Bring out the laughs with this comedy-filled auction item idea. Auction off a pair of tickets to a comedy show and raise money for a good cause in the process.

Top Auction Items for Nonprofits

For the average nonprofit, it’s important to offer affordable auction items that your sponsorship partners can donate. It’s essential to not overspend on your budget and still maximize your fundraising potential.

Here are our top auction ideas for nonprofits:

Brewery tours are enjoyable auction item ideas.

Local Brewery Tour

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Local brewery tours are enjoyable experiences that serve as great auction items for nonprofits. Team up with a local brewery to offer a free tour and serve their beer at the event as free publicity.

Dance classes will get you moving and are great auction item ideas.

Dance Class

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Get your supporters moving and offer a free dance class as an auction item. Whether it’s salsa, tango, or jazz, this is a great way to engage your nonprofit’s supporters in something fun and promote the arts at the same time!

A closet cleanout is an appealing auction item idea.

Closet Cleanout

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Offer a service to help one of your supporters clean out their closet, and then encourage them to donate their unwanted clothes to a worthy charity! This is a great auction item for nonprofits because you’ll raise money and the clothing can benefit those in need.

A dining club membership will raise a lot as an auction item idea.

Dining Club Membership

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Offer a dining club membership as an exclusive auction item for nonprofits. See if a local dining club will offer a discounted membership for a year to demonstrate their affinity toward your nonprofit, then raise money to cover the cost and put the rest toward your mission!

Try a name dedication as an auction item idea.

Name Dedication

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$$

If you’re looking to build a new wing at your nonprofit’s headquarters, offer a name dedication as a meaningful auction item. The winning builder will have the wing named after them, and you’ll be able to raise the funds needed to make the build happen.

A private art gallery tour will be an appealing auction item idea.

Private Art Gallery Tour

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

If your nonprofit is a promoter of the arts, why not offer a private art gallery tour as an auction item idea? Team up with a local art gallery and ask a curator to provide an insightful tour.

Offer a fitness class as a great auction item idea.

Fitness Class

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Get your supporters back on their feet by offering a fitness class as an auction item idea. If your nonprofit is a promoter of fitness and being active, this is a great way to tie the item to your mission and keep your community healthy.

Photography classes are fun auction item ideas.

Photography Class

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Capture those precious moments with some impressive photography skills. As a great auction item for nonprofits, offering a photography class could result in your nonprofit adding a great in-house photographer to your team!

Try an animal encounter as a fun auction item idea.

Animal Encounters

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

As a meaningful auction item idea, offer an animal encounter at a local zoo or aquarium. If your nonprofit supports animal rights, this is a great way to build awareness around the value of animal lives.

Auction off a date as an auction item idea.

Date-Night Package

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Give your donors a chance to reconnect with a date-night package. Include items like a gift certificate to a romantic restaurant, a bottle of wine, and a gift certificate for a baby sitter who’s willing to donate their time to a good cause.

Top Silent Auction Item Ideas

Some items are better suited for silent auctions because they don’t require an auctioneer to engage people and get them to place bids. These items can stand on their own and will help raise money for a good cause.

Check out our top picks for silent auction item ideas:

Art is a great silent auction item idea.

Art

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

Art is a great silent auction item idea because bidders can carefully view the work without feeling rushed. Ask artists from around the community to donate their work in exchange for recognition as a sponsor and tickets to your event.

Tech will be a popular auction item idea.

Tech

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

People are always going after the newest technology, whether it’s a tablet, computer, smartphone, or flat-screen TV. That makes tech products a great silent auction item idea.

Restaurant gift cards are perfect silent auction item ideas.

Restaurant Gift Card

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Partner with a local restaurant and see if they’ll offer a gift card as an auction item for your event. As with sponsored gift certificates, they can be listed as a sponsor of your event for extra publicity.

Electric bicycles are fun silent auction item ideas.

Electric Bicycle

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

Electric bicycles have integrated electric motors and are great silent auction item ideas. Keep your bidders’ eyes on the prize with the bike display front and center and get everyone excited about it!

Offer wine as a silent auction item idea.

Wine

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Good wine isn’t always easy (or cheap) to come by. Team up with a local wine shop that could offer a few wine bottles as a silent auction item idea. This is a nice alternative to larger and flashier items at a live auction and is perfect for this setting.

Spa days are relaxing silent auction item ideas.

Spa Day

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

While a spa gift certificate may not be front-and-center at a live auction, it’s perfect as a silent auction item idea and will appeal to many bidders. Give away a massage and facial package, or a manicure and pedicure. Any combination will be popular!

Offer museum tickets as a silent auction item idea.

Museum Tickets

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Give your supporters a taste of culture by offering museum tickets as a silent auction item. Find a new and popular local exhibit that people have been wanting to see, and help promote culture and museums at the same time!

Theme park tickets are exciting silent auction item ideas.

Theme Park Tickets

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Theme park tickets are great silent auction ideas because they offer a memorable experience, rather than a physical product. Offer a pair of tickets to a local theme park and let your supporters have some fun!

Signed memorabilia is a great auction item idea that will raise a lot of revenue.

Signed Memorabilia

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Depending on your location, signed memorabilia could drive in a lot of donation revenue. If you live in a big baseball town, for example, you can have your local team’s star player sign a baseball bat to contribute to your cause.

Offer car detailing as a great auction item idea.

Car Detailing

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Get all the details with this silent auction item idea. Offer a carwash, vacuum, and wax to the highest bidder. We all need to clean our cars eventually!

Top Auction Items for Churches

Churches usually have a more limited budget (even more limited than many nonprofits!), so it’s important to procure items that members of your church could donate easily. They can be family-focused or more general, but all are likely to contribute to your bottom line.

Here are our top ideas for auction items for churches:

Free childcare is a smart auction item idea.

Free Childcare

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

This is one of the most popular auction items for churches! Offer free childcare for a set period of time. Do a good deed and let the parents have a day or night off!

Dedicate a tree as an auction item idea for churches.

Dedicated Tree

Popularity ✓

Fundraising Potential $$

If your church wants to plant trees and refresh the landscaping on its grounds, offer to dedicate a tree to those who bid the highest as an auction item.

A parents date night is the perfect auction item idea for churches.

Parents Date Night

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Offer a date night, such as dinner and a movie, to a set of parents in your congregation. It’s sure to be popular, especially since they’ll be able to enjoy a night on the town, and you’ll collect contributions for your church in the process!

Offer a Christmas card photoshoot as an auction item idea.

Christmas Card Photoshoot

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

When the holidays are around the corner, everyone is scrambling to take family photos for their cards and letters. Make it easy by offering a photoshoot as an auction item for your church.

A pew with a view will be a creative auction item idea for churches.

Pew with a View

Popularity ✓

Fundraising Potential $

Some congregants might prefer one of the better seats during services. Offer a pew with a view as an auction item for churches and let your congregants enjoy their time there even more.

Decorate a house for the holidays as an auction item idea.

House Decorating

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

If your congregants don’t have the time, energy, or money to deck their halls for the holidays, offer a service that will do it for them! This is a great auction item for churches that will make it easier on those who can’t decorate, and allow your community members to step up and offer the service.

Have a holiday dinner with a chef as an auction item idea.

Holiday Dinner with a Chef

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$

If your town has a well-known chef, see if this local celebrity will cook a special dinner at their restaurant around the holidays. This is sure to be a hit with your congregants and a great auction item.

A Christmas cookie basket will be a popular auction item idea for churches.

Christmas Cookie Basket

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $

Encourage your church’s congregants to bake batches upon batches of Christmas cookies as a great auction item idea. Include them all in baskets and let everyone taste the sweetness of the holidays!

A visit from Santa will be a great auction item idea for churches.

Visit from Santa

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Perfect for families, this auction item for churches will make sure their children are on their best behavior! Bid on a visit from Santa at home just in time for Christmas.

Offer a garden tool set as an auction item idea for churches.

Garden Tool Set

Popularity ✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

Around springtime, it’s very popular for people to do garden work around the house and around the church. Why not include a garden tool set as an auction item for congregants to bid on? Ask the local gardening shop if they’ll donate a set as a contribution to your church.

Top Unique Auction Items

Procuring unique auction items is an important part of running an auction in general. If your items aren’t interesting, you won’t raise nearly as much revenue as you could if you truly put on your creative hat and came up with something special.

Get creative and check out these top ideas for unique auction items:

A personal trainer will be a popular auction item idea.

Personal Trainer

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

If you’re looking for a unique auction item, a personal trainer is sure to be a popular one! A step beyond a regular fitness class, a one-on-one approach will appeal to many bidders who want a more personalized workout experience.

Offer a movie ticket subscription as a unique auction item idea.

Movie Ticket Subscription

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

What better way to grab people’s attention than with a movie ticket subscription? With movie ticket prices constantly rising, this is a unique auction item that will definitely raise money.

Backstage passes will be a popular auction item idea.

Backstage Passes

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Backstage passes are a unique auction item that will appeal to a variety of audiences. Choose a local concert and reach out about getting a pair of backstage passes that can be donated to your auction for a good cause!

A staycation package is a unique auction item idea.

Staycation Package

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Ever wanted to take a staycation? A staycation package is a great way to raise funds and a unique auction item that’s sure to be a hit. It can be a combination of a spa day, restaurant gift card, and/or local event tickets that will give the winning bidder a great vacation at home.

Lunch with a local celebrity is a great auction item idea.

Lunch with a Local Celebrity

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Does your town have a local celebrity? Reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to support a worthy cause by having lunch with a winning bidder. This unique auction is sure to be a hit!

Offer custom artwork as a unique auction item idea.

Custom Artwork

Popularity ✓✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$$$

If you’re looking for a unique auction item, look into local artists who can offer custom artwork to the winning bidder. This can include a family portrait or other personalized piece that will be meaningful and help support a good cause.

Hot air balloon rides are unique auction item ideas.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Forget your fear of heights! Offer a hot air balloon ride as a unique auction item that will stand out from the crowd. An experience like no other, look for local hot air balloon festivals and offer a pair of tickets for a great experience.

Whitewater rafting will be a popular and unique auction item idea.

Whitewater Rafting Excursion

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

For the adventurous types, a whitewater rafting excursion will be sure to make a splash! As a unique auction item that will make you one with the wilderness, this will be sure to help you raise money for your cause.

Create an ice cream flavor as a unique auction item idea.

Create an Ice Cream Flavor

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$

A popular choice among children, try out this unique auction item idea. Instead of reaching out to ice cream parlors simply for a gift card, let a child create a brand new ice cream flavor and test it out for a day.

Make someone famous for a day as a unique auction item idea.

Famous for a Day

Popularity ✓✓✓

Fundraising Potential $$$

Have you ever wanted your 15 minutes of fame? How about an entire day or evening? Let your winning bidder become famous for a day in your town. Arrange to have them conduct an orchestra performance with your local symphony, throw out the first pitch at a baseball game, or find other unique ways to make them famous!

Additional Resources

If you’re looking for more information about charity auctions or fundraising in general, check out these additional resources below!

Come up with great auction item ideas and sign up for a demo of Qgiv's auction software.