Drive more funds to your cause with these exciting auction experiences. Starting bid price – priceless!
So, you’re planning your next fundraising event and looking for creative auction items to get your donors excited. Jewelry, sports tickets and wine baskets are nice, and appreciated, and they are the bread and butter of your auction catalogue; but if you’re looking for fresh and unusual items to jazz the crowd, nothing gets folks talking (and bidding) more than those out-of-the-ordinary experiences that don’t come along every day. These are things you can’t buy at the store, or take home and regift — they are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that have value far beyond their monetary price tag. They won’t be forgotten or tucked into the back of a closet; on the contrary, these experiences give lasting memories that will have your guests remembering your nonprofit well into the future.
We asked our BidRocket team to share some of the more memorable experiential items they’ve seen raise high dollars through competitive bidding. Often when the competition was neck-and-neck, the auctioneer was able to offer the package to the top two bidders. And that’s a winning bid for your cause! Get inspired with these nine items to find that extraordinary auction piece that will have your donors on the edge of their seats and paddles raised!
1. Speaking Part as an Extra in a Movie
“And Action!” Haven’t we all wondered what it’s like to be on a movie set and see behind the scenes? Much less have an actual speaking role in a feature film. This star-studded auction item ignited such competition amongst bidding tables that eventually the auctioneer awarded the top two bidders with this phenomenal opportunity. It was a stellar night for the nonprofit with a breakout performance by the donors who gave so much to the cause while winning the experience of a lifetime. You may have to know the “right people” to pull this one off, but if you make a few phone calls, who knows what can happen!
2. Perform Live with Willie Nelson (or other notable singer)
Maybe you’re not musical but always wanted to know what it’s like to perform on stage in front of a cheering crowd. Or maybe you simply dreamed of performing with a famous band. Musical talents aren’t required to win this auction item. All you have to do is shake the tambourine! Whether it’s the venerable Willie Nelson or a local artist, performing live with a star is an experience your guests will never forget.
3. Ferrari for a Month
A car lover’s dream! Experience the thrill of driving a high-performance car for a month without the high cost of ownership. For those who’ve yearned for the experience of driving high performance machines, or to just park it in your driveway and gawk at its beauty, this auction item will have bidders driving up the winning bid far above the opening ask.
5. Nascar Driving Experience
Perfect for race fans, auto lovers and the all-around thrill seekers. Claimed as one of the most popular driving experiences, “rookies” learn to navigate a NASCAR race car around one of our nation’s premier speedways. Meet the crew chief, receive professional training and take your NASCAR for a timed racing session around the track! SOLD to the highest bidder!
6. Tandem Skydiving
For those who’ve always wanted to parachute from a plane but were hesitant to go on their own, tandem sky jumping is a great way to check this thrill-of-a-lifetime off your bucket list. Place your trust in the experienced hands of a veteran skydiver who will guide you through each step of the jump and land you gently back to earth. After your winner sees planet earth from a whole new perspective at 10,000 feet, they will be singing your nonprofit’s praises to all who will listen.
7. Vintage Harley Davidson w/ Sidecar
Varooom! For all of you who love a slice of Americana, a vintage Harley with a sidecar is a show stopper. Drive this onto stage (if you can) and wow the crowd with this classic street bike. Guests will go crazy trying to outbid one another for this unique conversation piece.
8. Helicopter Rides
Whether it’s around Manhattan, through the Grand Canyon or to view the falls and volcanoes of Hawaii, guided helicopter tours offer excitement and education. An experienced guide can show you things that can’t be seen from ground level and teach you amazing facts about our wonderful planet. Witness the beauty and grandeur of our remarkable earth while flying high in the sky. Give your donors a ride they’ll never forget!
9. A Day with a Professional Athlete
Who wouldn’t fight for the chance to play with Tiger Woods, Serena Williams or Tony Romo? Polish your game with pro tips while learning what life is like behind the cameras for some of our professional athletes. This up close and personal experience with an athletic star can be a life-changing event for young and old alike. Your sports enthusiasts will bid to win this rare opportunity to spend time with a sports legend and have an athletic experience beyond their wildest dreams.
Enhance your next auction with an experiential auction item and watch the bid paddles fly. Your guests will appreciate the opportunity for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences they couldn’t find elsewhere. And best yet, they will remember your cause and become repeat donors. Our auction fundraising software will help you keep your auction items in order as they come in, leaving you and your staff more time for other tasks – like dreaming up great ideas for new and unique auction items.
What’s the best auction item you have seen?
We’d love to hear what amazing auction item has caught your eye recently. Have you seen something innovative, outlandish, or just plain fun at an auction? Did a new auction idea pop into your head as you read? Tell us below!