Eliz Greene

Is the idea of pulling together yet another silent auction stealing enthusiasm for your event?

Are you having a hard time finding a committee member who will volunteer to lead your efforts?

Are big-ticket items harder to get?

Are your attendees bidding less?

Isn’t it time to try something, anything, else?

But what?

I am privileged to travel the country presenting at countless charity events, and while the silent auction has been a staple for years, the tide is changing.

Many events are trying different ways of raising funds which require fewer volunteer hours, easier donation asks, and lower expenses. Here are a couple of the best I’ve seen.

Basket Raffle:


  • 20 Blue Level Baskets: Themed baskets including smaller donations, for example, donated move passes are combined with popcorn, popcorn flavorings and oil, and a popcorn bowl set.
    • Blue Level Baskets range in value from $50.00 to $150.00.
    • “Friends” of the organization were asked to contribute items for baskets or cash used to buy items.
  • 5 Red Level Baskets: Themed baskets with larger donated items, for example, a gift certificate to the local spa, a fluffy bathrobe, and slippers.


  • Blue tickets $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00
  • Red tickets $25.00 each or 5 for $100.00


  • Collection boxes are placed next to each basket.
  • Participants drop tickets into the box for the basket they wish to win.
  • Blue Level Basket tickets are pulled in four sections, at different times during the event (before the meal is served, before dessert, before the presentation, after the speaker).
  • Red Level Basket tickets are pulled at the end of the event.


  • No catalogues to print.
  • Can make use of smaller donations.
  • People can choose the prize they want to win, so more people participate.
  • No check-out, receipts or payments at the end of the evening.

Wine Shop:


  • 40 bottles of wine in the $20.00 range.
  • 10 bottles in the $30.00 to $300.00 (or more) range including one very fine wine.
  • “Friends” of the organization are asked to donate wine or cash to buy wine.

Tickets: $50.00 each or 5 for $100.00


  • Each of the bottles are put in a wine sleeve and numbered (they could also be gift wrapped or put into wine bags).
  • Participants “buy” a masked bottle with their ticket.A list of all the wines should be made available for participants to view.
  • At the end of the evening participants pick up their bottles — the winner of the most expensive wine is revealed.
  • A “dummy” bottle can hold the place for the expensive vintages if you wish to display them.


  • Very few volunteer hours needed.
  • No paperwork, check-out or receipts are needed.
  • Unusual and appealing to participants.


  • Jewelry Box Shop. (Fun jewelry in most boxes, plus a few fine pieces)
  • Take Out Shop. (Take out containers with restaurant gift certificates)

Cracker Jack Surprise:

Donations: Donations with values ranging from $5.00 to $500.00 (or more).

  • Small donations could include items such as I-Tunes cards, movie passes, gift certificates to restaurants, hair salons, etc.
  • One large prize, a pair of diamond earrings, for example.
  • Several medium prizes, such as a bicycle or spa day.

Tickets: Boxes of Cracker Jack are sold for $5.00 each.


  • Each box of Cracker Jack is marked with a number corresponding to a prize.
  • At the end of the evening, participants pick up their prize and the winners of the large and medium prizes are announced.


  • Unique and appealing to participants (especially good for events with children — they want the Cracker Jack)
  • Very few volunteer hours needed.
  • No paperwork, check-out or receipts are needed.


  • Chocolate Bar Surprise
  • Candy Cane Surprise (for holiday parties)
  • Center Piece Surprise (take home one of the center pieces — and a prize!)

Reenergize your event, committee, and participants with something new this year!

Please share your comments, questions and suggestions below.

Eliz Greene

Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.

She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after heart health, stress management, & wellness speaker.

If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.


About Eliz Greene

Eliz Greene survived a heart attack at age 35 while seven months pregnant with twins. Her down-to-earth strategies to manage stress and improve heart health and reduce stress are used by thousands of busy people all over the world. She is a motivational wellness speaker, author, and job stress researcher. Visit elizgreene.com to book Eliz for your next event.


There are currently no comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.