I recently came across another great idea to raise money at your benefit fundraiser and I wanted to share it with you in time for your next event. This idea is literally a doorway to cash!
As your benefit fundraiser committee ideas for silent auction meets to plan your event, assign someone to find a door. Yes, you read it right – a door! I don’t mean that you should go out and spend good money on a new door at Home Depot. No, this door will be found in the front of someone’s yard on trash night. It doesn’t have to have windows in it or even a handle for that matter – you just need an old door.
It’s now time to turn your door into dollars. What you’re going to do is take gift certificates you’ve collected and tape them – lots of them – to one side of the door. These gift certificates will be for things like car washes, oil changes, pizza, dinner for two, tire rotation, McDonald’s, Arby’s, Hardees, a manicure, a message, a free visit to the salon – you get the idea. Just remember, this is the side of the door your benefit event guests will never see! Prop the door up against a wall so that the gift certificates are hidden in order that no one knows the value of “what’s behind there.”
On the other side of the door, the side that faces the crowd, you can spray paint a big question mark, or using a Magic Marker write the words “Mystery Door” or “What’s Behind Door #1?” Make it fun! Whether you decide to put this door in your live or silent auction is up to you, although I’d suggest putting it in the live auction because the bidding could get really fun. The key is to have this door on display from the minute your guests begin arriving so that the mystery builds and the guessing game begins. You want your guests asking each other, “I wonder what’s behind there? Is it worth nothing or worth a lot? Should I bid? If I don’t bid will I regret it?”
If this door is part of your silent auction, you will have to write ‘Gift Certificates’ on the bid sheet so people will know what they’re bidding on. If the door is in your live auction, you can wait until the door comes up for bid at which point your auctioneer can inform the crowd what they’re bidding on. Just make sure to make the prize a good one so that the bidder goes away happy. One recent event I emceed featured such a door in the live auction. The event organizers taped gift certificates totalling approximately $250 and the high bidder won it with a bid of $650!
Tom Zalaski has helped coordinate and produce benefit fundraisers for countless groups and organizations. Tom has put everything you need to know about putting on a benefit fundraiser in his book simply and aptly titled, “We Need To Do A Benefit Fundraiser — But How?”