Popular Silent Auction Item Ideas for School Fundraisers

a teacher and 2 girls are dancing during music class

Silent auctions are a great way to raise money for your school or non-profit group, but sometimes collecting unique items can be difficult. You need creative, memorable items that will not only generate excitement with your guests but also help you raise enough money to meet your fundraising goals.

Need ideas for unique auction items for your next school fundraiser? We’ve got them! Education and classroom-related prizes make for perfect school fundraiser silent auction items, but there are dozens of other items that are also perfect for these events. The most important thing to keep in mind is what will matter to your guests!

Here is a list of popular silent auction item ideas for your next school fundraiser. Use these to get started, then take your school fundraiser to the next level with Bid Beacon! Start for free and see if our online auction app is right for you.

Type of Item Item Name Fundraising Potential Popularity
Products School Supplies $ ★★★★
Sporting Goods $$$ ★★★
Memorabilia $$ ★★★
Gift Baskets $ ★★★
Services Free Childcare $$$ ★★★★
Personal Training $$$$ ★★★
Cooking Classes $$ ★★★
Photography Sessions $$$ ★★★
Unique Ideas Class Parties $ ★★★★
A Free Parking Spot $$$ ★★★★
Travel Packages $$$$ ★★★★
Adventure Experiences $$$ ★★★
Local Options Dining Club Memberships $$$ ★★★
Museum Tours $$ ★★
Concert Tickets $$ ★★★
Brewery Tours $$ ★★★

Products

School Supplies

They’re not likely to score the largest amount of money out of the items on this list, but they are likely to be extremely popular with parents. Especially those who are sick of going shopping for their children’s missing classroom items—and that can inspire a surprising amount of competition amongst bidders.

Sporting Goods

Sporting gear is often expensive, so most parents will jump at the chance to score some high-quality equipment for their active youngsters. Just be advised that not every child (or parent) is athletically-oriented, so you’ll be catering to a bit of a niche market with this one.

Memorabilia

Sports, movie, or music merch is potentially a big hit with kids and parents alike, which means this is an option the whole family can get excited over. You’ll drum up even more excitement if you get your items signed by a relevant local celebrity or public figure (people love autographed swag).

Gift Baskets

Flowers, chocolates, tea, baked goods, and all kinds of other small items can be combined to make a bundle with something in it for practically anyone. Like school supplies, this is unlikely to be the most exciting item at the auction—but it does have broad appeal, and that can really rack up bids.

Services

Free Child Care

Most parents of school-age children are probably desperate for a little time away from them—but child care can be expensive! That’s why this idea scores high on our list for both fundraising potential and mass appeal.

Personal Training

Not everyone is a gym rat, but who doesn’t like to stay in shape when someone else is helping you do it? Most people consider personal training a luxury, but if it’s available as an auction item they’ll probably be tempted to bid on it, just in case they win. Then they’ll have all winter and spring to build their ideal beach bods!

Cooking Classes

You’d be surprised how many adults wish they had better cooking skills. Cooking classes are likely to be popular with a wide variety of attendees at any silent auction, and since they’re not exactly cheap, they’ll probably spark some aggressive bidding as well.

Photography Sessions

Parents love having good family photos, but class picture day doesn’t always provide them. That’s why professional family photos are always a hit at silent auctions for school fundraisers. Lots of working parents are also interested in updating their professional headshots for LinkedIn and other platforms, so practically everyone can get excited about this suggestion.

Unique Ideas

Class Parties

Yes, the kids are likely to be more excited than the parents about this school silent auction item—at first, anyway. But once the parents realize a class party is a great way to keep their children safely occupied for a few hours, they’re likely to become more interested.

A Free Parking Spot

Busy parents who commute downtown for work will jump at the opportunity to win free parking in a prime location. A year’s worth of parking in an area where it’s difficult to find room for your car will have most adults at your auction clamouring to place bids.

Travel Packages

Working moms and dads love the idea of a vacation, but many feel too busy to plan one. Make it easy by offering a travel package at your school’s silent auction, and watch as the parents at the event attempt to outbid each other for it.

Adventure Experiences

Having children doesn’t mean a person’s sense of adventure disappears—if anything, most parents will want more opportunities to break up the monotony of their regular routines for a few hours. Bungee-jumping, skydiving, and other high-energy ideas are an excellent way to appeal to the sense of excitement in your school fundraiser’s attendees.

Local Options

Restaurant Gift Certificates

Everyone likes nice restaurants, but lots of families are too pressed for time (or money) to eat out often. Fortunately, most restaurants offer gift certificates—even the fancy ones—and your guests will be happy to bid on them, as long as you can get a donation from a restaurant they like.

Museum Tours

Parents are usually desperate for ways to get their little ones to soak up more culture, so museum tours can really appeal to folks who are conscientious about their children’s academic development. It’s also an off-the-beaten-path idea many parents won’t have thought of, so it’s got the novelty factor working for it!

Concert Tickets

Live music’s always a hit, as long as it’s the right kind. You’ll have to pay attention to your audience’s tastes for this one, but it’s an idea that can raise lots of money if you do. For school fundraisers, though, you’ll probably want to keep it family friendly—so we recommend classical or folk music events instead of tickets to Ozzfest.

Brewery Tours

Parents looking for a date night idea will probably be tempted by the idea of taking a brewery tour, so this option scores pretty highly for popularity on our list. It’s also one of those things most people don’t do everyday, so the novelty will likely attract quite a few bids.

Need more unique fundraising basket ideas? Bid Beacon has a library of online resources at your disposal. See why more event planners, fundraising organizers, charities, clubs and sporting teams are using Bid Beacon for their silent auctions

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