101 Silent Auction Basket Ideas

Silent auctions are a great way to raise additional funds at any event. Putting together the right basket makes all the difference. Themed baskets are the best way to accomplish this. While individual gift certificates for restaurants and local businesses are great, they may only appeal to a few individuals at the event. Combine them with other items to make the basket stand out and appeal to more bidders.

I love to buy silent auction items from Amazon. Not only do they offer free shipping on hundreds of items, but their prices cannot be beat! It is also an easy way to find off-season items that may be hard to find in local stores.

If you want to try to get the most out of your silent auction baskets, here are a few tips to maximize results:

Limit the value:Save high ticket items for live auctions. Keep your silent auction baskets under $200 in value. If you have a lot of items and a great theme, break them up into several smaller baskets. Ideal basket prices are in the $50-$75 range.

Package it right:Keep the theme tight. A beach basket that has items for teens, tweens, toddlers, etc. may look great but may not appeal to a family with only toddlers. The same goes for a basket that has items for both boys and girls that may get passed over by a family with all boys or all girls. Instead, split up the baskets to focus specifically on one age group, gender, etc.

Delegate: If you are fundraising for a school, ask the room parent in each grade to coordinate a grade basket. Let them choose the theme and contact the parents in their classes for donations. Asking for help will produce a wider variety and more creative options.

Combine donations:Some items do better in a package then they do standing alone. For instance, a gift certificate for pizza may work better in a Family Night In basket then on its own. People will sometimes try to get a deal on a gift certificate, causing the auction item to close lower than its face value. But, when you combine it with other items, you may get more bang for your buck.

Require a minimum bid:Always set a minimum bid for any silent auction item.

Collect cash:If you are hosting a silent auction for a school or organization with a large number of members, rather than asking for item donations, ask for a small cash donation so that you can shop for the baskets yourself. $1, $5, or $10 may be easier for a busy parent to dish out than shopping for a specific item. When I have used this method, I was able to shop on Amazon and create several consistent baskets while keeping the costs affordable.

Know your audience: Is this an auction for a Little League team or a school? Is this a group of young singles or maybe a predominantly male audience at a golf tournament? By knowing your audience, you can appeal to local businesses for donations and design your auction baskets for the best result.

Assign items:If you are not in a position to accept cash donations to shop, make a list of ideal donations. Be descriptive and specific in order to keep the baskets themes consistent. Use tools like Evite and send out e-mail. Evite has a feature where you can make a list and participants can sign up to bring an item. Or use tools like SignupGenius.

Collect donations and then shop on Amazon. With free shipping on many items it is fast, affordable, and easy.

Create a wine basket with accessories, snacks, wines, and reference books.

A beach theme is a fun and cost-effective way to make a silent auction basket. Several low-cost items can quickly add up to an incredible basket. Its also appealing for a school silent auction where there are families with small children. Package the basket in something fun like a beach cart or cooler.

An exercise basket can be appealing to a diverse group. Pick items that are the latest in fitness to make it fun and inviting.

A family night with games, movies, and popcorn is an appealing basket for any family type. Fill your basket with items such as:

A spa auction basket could work well in an event that hosts women. Start with a certificate to a local popular spa and embellish with a few items to dress it up.

Create a basket with passes to local golf courses, golf items and accessories. Basket items could include:

Save high-ticket jewelry pieces for a live auction, but unique costume jewelry or mommy-and-me jewelry sets are excellent for most silent auctions.

Take restaurant gift certificates and combine them into a theme that would make any parents night out a dream. If it is a school fundraiser, check to see if a popular teacher would donate babysitting services for the night or check with local groups that offer parents nights out.

Make a basket of regional books and local gift cards to allow the buyer to explore the local area.

A yoga basket is a unique basket theme. Items you could include in your basket are:

This basket of pranks is a hit for families with young boys. It is a perfect silent auction item for schools, clubs, or boys sport events.

Green thumb gift baskets work well for springtime auctions.

Ever wanted to take piano lessons or become better at tennis? Many establishments will offer gift certificates for a free lesson at their place of business. This is one where you will need to know your audience. An auction basket for music lessons may go over very well at a school, while a series of tennis lessons may work better at a country club. Combine the gift certificate with a small basket or item to make it stand out. For example, include a small basket of balls and accessories with a tennis lesson auction item.

Fill this basket with chocolate galore! This is a fantastic option near Valentines Day or Christmas where the basket can double as a gift.

A magicians basket works well for school silent auctions or events that attract adults with children. It is an affordable and popular auction item. Ask local magic stores for gift card donations or items in exchange for advertising to round out the basket.

Fill a basket with fun sports items for boys (or girls). You can target it to toddlers with plastic and soft sports equipment or an older age with more performance-based sports equipment. Pick a specific sport or mix-and-match. Top it off with a gift card to a local sporting good store or tickets to a local sporting event.

Were you a child of the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s? Do you miss that favorite candy or soft drink? These retro throwback gift baskets are full of decades of fun!

Pizza is something the entire family can enjoy together. Layer your basket with a childrens pizza kit, cookbook, pans, pizza cutter and sauce. Round it off with a gift certificate for a local kitchen store or grocery store to complete this fun basket.

High quality Melissa & Doug wooden toys are keepsakes. Their incredible craftsmanship and unique design capture the imaginations of children. They have wooden sandwich making sets, wooden pizza making sets, wooden cookies, and wooden fruit. Pick a theme-based assortment, such as a group of food products.

For hobbyists that love beer, a beer making kit would make a great gift. Keep costs low and simple on this one. No home breweries are starting here, you just want to draw in those who have an interest and keep your audience broad. Include mixes, ingredients, a beer brewing jug, beer brew books, and a certificate to a local beer barn (in the event their brew goes south!).

Put together gift certificates from craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Joannes Fabric with a themed craft item to create a craft lovers dream. Your theme could be do-it-yourself thank you cards or make-your-own wreaths.

Create a basket full of childrens classics that will bring a lifetime of memories.

Appeal to dog lovers with an auction gift basket that makes their dog the crown prince.

A school, child care center, or other family-centered organization can have success with a scrapbook gift basket. Stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and even Walmart offer an array of unique designer scrapbook papers and accessories. A few ideas include:

Compile a basket of unique spices, spice racks, and cookbooks. Create a basket with unique hard-to-find spices and delicacies.

Coffee is a hot commodity in many households. Homes with bare kitchen counters and condiment-heavy refrigerators still grace a coffee maker. A basket with unique coffees, syrups, and maybe even a Keurig will be a bit hit at silent auctions.

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I have not done a basket for a silent auction before and love your A to Z tips for baskets – well done and thank you!

Awesome ideas for silent auction. I didnt know where to begin and I googled ideas for silent auction and ran across soapboxie.

You have included some very unique basket ideas. I used to make gift baskets and sell them in a few local stores. I should get back into it and suggest a silent auction event like this for a non profit group Im involved in.

Nancy Tate Hellams4 years agofrom Pendleton, SC

I love the idea of themed Silent Auctions. We have held many a Silent Auction but never thought to keep it with a theme. Good idea

Have done the silent auction thing from both sides. You provided some really good donation ideas.

Thank you thank you! Just what I was looking for!

Awesome ideas! I will most def be using several of them, thanks for sharing!

This page is so helpful, Ill use a lot of the basket ideas. THANKS!

Nice lens with a lot of great ideas. Thanks!

A great lens, thanks for sharing the information.

My vet and groomer always give me a gift certificate for a pet basket.

Loved your ideas! Great job putting this together thank you!

I can Not say how many wonderful ideas I got from this !! thank you so much from assistance league of Mobile and the children thank you too

The only things missing in the Beach basket was some Carolina beach music maybe some JIM QUICK / COASTLINE BAND -BAND OF OZ

Thanks for all the awesome ideas, very creative

Some very nice tricks here,, Interesting stuff.

Ive got a silent auction at my workplace in December. Those ideas are gold!

These are some excellent suggestions! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

I work on at least two silent auctions every year for a nonprofit and I plan to use some of your ideas and will share this page with my committee members. Thanks!!

Raena Chammartin! Great ideas! Thanks for posting!

I am planning a craft show/silent basket auction for my local FCCLA chapter and I absolutely love these ideas! So many themes I could never have thought up on my own. Thank you so much!!

I was looking for new ideas for an annual event we host and I got them…thanks!

Feedback is golden and you deserve it. This was very nicely done. So many great ideas. Thank you!

Our annual fundraiser is already rearing its ugly head and these lists will be a great help! Thanks for putting them together.

Thanks for the many ideas. We have lots of gift card donations for our events, but I just couldnt wrap my brain around how to present them. Your ideas will help a lot.

Loved your informative ideas… I am stuggling to get participation from our 4th grade parents…. 3 rooms of approx. 30 students and not one family stepped up to help me with our 4th grade basket for our upcoming Auction. I know times are tough (I have been out of work for 4 years now) but this should be a time to pull together for our students. Thank you for your information.

Awesome ideas! I was given a task to find ideas for the school fall fundraiser, but Im new as a room parent for my daughters class and I had no idea where to start ! Thanks!

I stubbled on your site by accident but LOVE IT! I have bookmarked it and will return often. Thank you for all the great ideas.

This is a huge help for our silent auction. Trying to make some sense of all the scattered donations. Now we can group things together and streamline a bit. Thanks.

Thanks for a great lens. Our local elementary has an auction every spring, even though they do very well, fresh ideas for baskets are always welcome and I will be using some of your ideas this spring. Pinned and Blessed by a squid angel.

thank you so much! excellent ideas thanks so much for sharing!

Really great ideas for a Rett Syndrome Golf Charity I am working in the Fall. Thank you

Cheryl Kohan5 years agofrom Minnesota

Im baaaack! I am using this as a guide to put together a basket for a raffle for our Women Build (Habitat for Humanity) team. Were building a house…all our town this July/August and are trying to raise money to help with the costs. Im either going to go with the family night idea or the regional fun idea. Were in tourist country here in Minnesota so that might be the best choice. Thanks for so many great suggestions!!

Thanks for the very interesting and helpful ideas

Love the magic gift basket! Great idea!

Love the dog lovers suggestion! Wonderful ideas here!

Thanks for your suggestions. Very helpful.

Cheryl Kohan5 years agofrom Minnesota

Excellent ideas! Im helping build a house for our local Habitat for Humanity Women Build Project and we could probably have a silent auction as a way to earn money. Im going to present this at our next meeting! Squid Liked and Blessed!

Thank you so much – really neat ideas!

Thank you so much for these ideas. Great share!

Im doing a post on my Lyme Disease blog to help people put together fundraisers and will add this. THank you for a great lens!

Thank you so much for these ideas. Great list!!

Great ideas and thanks for your wonderful contributions to help fundraise for good causes!

Frankie Kangas6 years agofrom California

Great ideas. Thanks for all you do to help charities learn to fundraise. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

I love these ideas for a silent auction basket; esp. the yoga one.

Some great ideas here. Will use them for our next fundraising event.

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