Silent auctions and similar fundraisers rely heavily on donations of goods and services that appeal to bidders. Elaborate gift baskets, signed sports memorabilia and handicrafts are traditional auction items as are certificates for a range of goods and services. Whether you make certificates by hand or use your computer, a few techniques make them more interesting and attractive to fundraiser participants.

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Use bright colors, interesting but legible fonts and textured add-ons such as bows, embossing or wax seals. Clearly indicate on the certificates the value of the items or services offered.

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Display certificates in a frames or stand them up on a plate or picture stand.

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Display certificates together with an item or picture of the donated goods or services. Put a few wrapped cookies with the certificate from a baker, a team pennant with the certificate for baseball tickets and a wine glass or bottle of wine with the certificate for an evening out at a fancy restaurant.

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Print sufficient information on each certificate to enable the winning bidder to redeem it for the goods or services involved. Include dates and times for music or sporting events; contact information for scheduling cleaning services or child care; and any restrictions on a certificate's use, such as an expiration date.

Items you will need

  • Decorations such as bows and wax seals

  • Frames (optional)

  • Plate or picture stands (optional)

  • Pictures of donated goods

  • Symbolic item

Tip

  • Make copies of each certificate for your organization's records and include notes on each one with the winning bidder's name, contact information and purchase price.