Everything You Need to Know About Silent Auction Items

Silent Auction Item Ideas

So, what should be up for bid at a silent auction? Silent auctions hold many opportunities to gain long-term supporters, and it is your job to create a fun and exciting event that they will remember. Let’s discover the best silent auction item ideas to engage your donors!

1. Tickets to Sporting Events

Who doesn’t love a local sporting event? No matter where you live in the world, sports is a family affair, and many sporting organizations are happy to donate tickets to nonprofits for their auctions. Should you run out of luck getting donations, there may be people in your network or donor list that has season tickets they are willing to share. Often, sporting event tickets will sell more than they are worth because tickets run out.

You may even decide to pair two items together, such as the limo ride and the sporting event tickets. A bundle can get higher bids because the perceived value is higher.

2. Vacations

Everyone loves a getaway. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can be stressful, and a vacation can refresh you. Since you are hosting a virtual fundraising event, your silent auction items attendees are likely located in different parts of the country. This means the destination won’t matter much. People want to travel out of their immediate environment, and an item on auction like this will generate a lot of buzz and attention.

If you can, add transportation to the vacation to make it an all-inclusive package. That way, you can maximize the bid and increase interest. Who could resist this silent auction idea?

3. Memorabilia

Memorabilia will forever be popular. People collect things because it helps them relive their childhoods, connect with history, or the thrill of the hunt. Several memorabilia items will grab your attendees’ attention at your auction:

  • Old books
  • Coins
  • Postage stamps
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Antiques
  • Historic artifacts
  • Vintage clothing

If people donate many of one genre of goods, you can host another event for a specialized audience later. Collectibles are sought-after items, and a niche auction can be a successful event for your nonprofit.

4. Wine or Brewery Tours

Who are your donors? Consider your target audience and whether they are beer or wine individuals. Most cities or towns have local breweries that offer tasting flights and tours of their breweries. Craft beer has grown exponentially due to its popularity, and as of 2021, there are 9,247 breweries nationwide. In addition, there are more than 11,000 wineries.

Often, people value experiences over goods. Wine and brewery tours are excellent group adult activities where people can explore new areas of their city and broaden their tastes with their favorite beverages. You may even gift the tickets with a charcuterie board for their venture!

5. Music Lessons

Haven’t we all wanted to learn an instrument or two? Music is popular among all demographics, and it’s never too late to start. Offering music lessons as an item at your silent auction may be a big ticket because those who have been wanting to take lessons but never got around to it might jump at the opportunity.

You can create a combo item and auction an instrument with the lessons to up the ante. For example, offer a guitar with ten guitar lessons.


Silent auctions are successful additions to your charity’s fundraising event. This is an excellent opportunity for your nonprofit to generate funding, expand its donor base, and spread the word about its mission. In addition, you can collect thousands of dollars by including attractive items, events, and experiences in many areas of interest.

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