Fun, Profitable Auction Games for Your Fundraising Event (2024)

14 Awesome Auction Games for Your Next Fundraising Event

5/20/2019

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Looking to add an extra something special to your nonprofit’s next fundraising event? Auction games are a great way to change things up and encourage your guests to have fun while donating big dollars.

Here’s a list of fourteen awesome auctions games to consider adding to your next fundraising event.



1. Card Raffle - 52 Card Game
Instead of selling raffle tickets, you sell cards from a deck of cards. Instead of pulling a raffle ticket, you pull a card. There are a limited number of tickets available. Donors are able to pick their lucky card if they so desire.

2. Coin Flip/Heads or Tails
Everyone can participate in Heads or Tails, making it a great game for the beginning ofyour event.

Heads or Tails is a pay to play event. Guests should sign-up to play before the game begins.

Your event presenter will ask people to choose heads or tails by placing their hands either on their heads or on their butts. A coin is tossed. Those whose hands match the coin flip get to stay standing. Everyone else sits down. Rinse and repeat until only one person remains standing. This person wins the prize.

This is a fairly quick game, taking only a few minutes even with a large crowd.

3. Golden Paddle
Begin with a set amount of raffle tickets sold forhigher than your normal raffle ticket price.

The winner of the raffle receives a physical golden paddle. This paddle should be homemade, covered in glitter or embellished with beads, sequins, etc. The paddle has a monetary value attached to it. This is acredit to be used towards one item in the live auction.

Your winner is allowed to bid over the credit of their paddle. They pay the difference. The price tends to end up higher because the golden paddle people get a bit happy and bid up the prices faster.

This is a great game for people who may not normally be able to compete with your larger donors.

Note:

This game can be a little difficult to explain. It takes your audience a year or so to understand it, but after that it should be smooth sailing.

Check you my YouTube video all about this awesome game.



4. Golden Ticket
Begin with a set amount of raffle tickets sold forhigher than your normal raffle ticket price.Golden Ticket raffle prizes are typically auction items. The winner is allowed to pull one auction item out of the auction and take it as their prize. You can choose to allow them to pick from all the auction items or just a small selection. This is a really simple game that is easy to understand. It’s a great way for people who don’t have the capacity to participate in the live auction to get in on the action.

Note:

You may have just lost one of your auction items. Depending on which item the winner chose, this can hurt. Guard against the hurt by making sure the items available for this game are not going to go for more than $1500-$2000 at auction.


5. Cage Raffle/Lock Box Raffle/Treasure Chest

Place your raffle items inside containers of some type. Sometimes these are see-through containers like birdcages and Plexiglasboxes. Sometimes the containers are opaque like gift boxes or boxes with locks on them.
Raffle off keys to the box(s).
If you have a bunch of boxes, each key should open a box containing a prize. Collect a variety of prizes at a variety of price points. If you have one box, only one key will open the box. If you are only doing one box you should have a prize that is spectacular inside, like an expensive piece of jewelry.

6. Wine Pull

Wrap up an assortment of wine and display them on a wine rack or a table.

Your guests pay a fixed price to take one of the bottles. They are guaranteed to leave with a bottle of wine worth at least what they paid.

Note:

Requires a lot of wine. This is a great way to use up an overstock of donated wine.

Want more info on this game?

Check out part thirteen of my complete guide to wine at fundraising events.


7. Wine Toss
This one is just like the carnival game.

Attendees can purchase chances to hook a ring over the top of a wine bottle. If they win they take the bottle home.

Note:

Requires a lot of wine.


8. Pick a Bag
This works just like the wine pull but without wine. Instead you put gift cards, trinkets, smaller prizes that can fit into a bag, into bags.

Your guests pay a flat fee for their choice of bag.



9. Pass the Purse
Pass a purse around the room and ask people to make a donation.

The contents of the purse are then raffled or auctioned off later in the evening.



10. The Popcorn Game
To play the popcorn game you need a prize that has broad appeal. This game should happen before your last and final Fund-a-Need level.

People can raise their paddles as many times as they want. Each time they do, they commit to an additional donation at the final Fund-A-Need level. The last person who raises their paddle wins the prize.

Note: It takes some time to run this game, and the build up is slow - like popping popcorn. Sometimes donors don’t understand that every time they raise their panel they are bidding again. These donations are not straight donations, this game technically counts as a raffle so check your state laws to make sure this game can be played near you.
Take a look at my video on the popcorn game for more info.

11. Lucky 7
A silent auction game that gives your guests a chance to win an extra prize.

On your bid sheet you highlight the seventh line. People who bid on the seventh line are automatically entered into a raffle to win a prize. If one person bids on multiple seventh lines that person gets entered more than once.

After the silent auction concludes, pull the Lucky 7 winner.

Lucky 7 can be a little confusing when you first introduce it but after that people love it.

For more information, check out my YouTube video.



12. Fast and Furious
A live or silent auction where gift cards are sold for face value. First paddle up, wins.

Note:

In order for this game to make your nonprofit money you need to get the gift cards donated to your event.


13. Centerpiece Auction
Sell or auction your centerpieces during the event.

Each table holds their own auction of their centerpiece. Instruct each table to pick the most outgoing person to serve as their auctioneer.

The highest bidder takes the centerpiece.



14. Dessert Dash
A Fund-A-Need auction for desserts. Your guests make a straight donation for their pick of desserts. Like any other Fund-A-Need, start at a highest donation level, say $100, and work your way down.

Attendees must donate if they want dessert, the earlier they donate the more choices they have.

Attendees are encouraged to run to the dessert table to make their selection. The last to donate get whatever is left over.


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