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Auction Items
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7 Steps for Hosting a Date Night Auction

If you’ve never hosted a date night auction before, we recommend following these seven steps:

1. Decide what auction format you’ll use.

You can choose between the virtual, in-person, or silent auction formats. These formats all have their benefits, but depending on which one you pick, you’ll need to prepare for the auction in different ways.

2. Set guidelines for your auction.

Determine what date and time your auction will take place, what your budget is, and what your fundraising goal is for the event. If your event is in person, you’ll want to decide on a venue, what food you’ll offer, and how you’ll set up the location.

3. Partner with businesses.

In order to offer great date night packages, partner with businesses that offer romantic and fun date night activities. These businesses can include restaurants, spas, or hotels, and you should offer them something in return for their partnership. You can include their logos in your promotional materials or mention them in your thank-you speech at the end of the auction. 

4. Set up your technology.

Create an easy-to-use registration page for your auction with event details on it. If you’re hosting a silent or virtual auction, you’ll also want to look into auction software that streamlines bidding and makes it convenient for attendees. Live auctions can also make use of mobile bidding tools.

5. Promote your auction.

Include details of your auction in your email newsletters, your social media posts, and in any texts and phone calls you make to your supporters. If possible, you should add the link to the registration page, so that interested supporters can easily sign up.

6. Host your auction.

On the day of the event, make sure to establish a dedicated event team that will help your auction run smoothly. Set up your venue or your online bidding system, and focus on ensuring that your attendees have a fun time.

7. Follow up with attendees.

After the auction is over, follow up with winners to collect their bids and give them details on how to use their date night package. Thank them for bidding and inform them of a tangible objective their money will be going towards.

You should also communicate with attendees that didn’t win anything, and show your appreciation for their support!

3 Tips for a Successful Date Night Auction

Now that you know how to host a date night auction, here are a few tips for making it even more successful:

1. Offer a variety of prizes.

Not all attendees will have the same idea of what a date night looks like. Offer a variety of prizes to appeal to a greater number of supporters, such as:

  • Fancy dinner for two.
  • Football game tickets.
  • Spa facial treatments.
  • Full body massages.
  • Cruise tickets.

Feel free to get creative with your prizes! As long as they are fun and entertaining, attendees will be happy to bid on them.

2. Hire an auctioneer.

If your event is in person, having an auctioneer to run the event and oversee the bidding process can keep everything organized. They’ll also help “sell” your auction items to attendees, getting them excited to bid.

3. Encourage supporters to share your auction.

Although you should have a solid promotional strategy for your event, you can implement social media integrations into your registration page. Encourage supporters that have registered to share your date night auction on their social media pages. That way, more people will learn of your event, and some may be inclined to attend solely because their peers are!

Why Hold a Date Night Auction?

You may be wondering what makes a date night auction so special, and why you should choose it as your fundraising event over another type of charity auction or nonprofit fundraiser. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Defined theme. A date night auction has a defined theme, which makes it easier for you to decide on what items to auction off and how to decorate the venue. You can even host it during February to take advantage of the Valentine’s day spirit.
  • Casual. When people think of auctions, they usually think of star-studded, expensive formal events. Since you’re offering date night packages, your auction will be relatable to everyone, and easy to make casual.
  • Local partnerships. Date night auctions give you the perfect opportunity to for connections with your local businesses. If the partnership goes well, they may be inclined to partner with you again.
  • Gives donors choices. Usually, when donors are asked to make gifts, they don’t have much choice about what their gift goes towards. During an auction, they’re guaranteed to spend their money on something that they’re interested in.
  • Additional fundraising opportunities. You can implement other fundraising strategies in your date night auction. For example, you could sell your nonprofit’s merchandise or food and drinks to interested attendees.