How to Host a Charity Date Auction

by Fern Morris

A charity date auction is a great way to introduce potential couples while raising money for an organization or charitable cause. All you really need are a few willing, outgoing and attractive participants who can have fun participating in the auction. With a little luck and a bit of effort, you should be able to raise significant funds while having a lot of fun.

Things You Will Need

You will need an event space, bidding paddles, a ticket desk and volunteers to run the event. Ask vendors in your local community if they would be willing to donate decorations, food or drinks. Of course, you will also need some fun-loving singles to volunteer to be auctioned off at the event. Tell participants more about your cause or organization in advance and describe what they will be expected to contribute. Speak with neighborhood restaurants and ask if they will be willing to donate the cost of a meal for two for the dates after the auction. If you are unable to secure a meal, speak with coffee shops or ice cream parlors about donating two scoops or two lattes. Have a date organized in advance for the winning bidders.

Publicity

Publicize your event widely across media platforms. Post fliers in neighborhood shops, cafes and community centers. Promote the auction through email and social media. Ask participating bachelors and bachelorettes to publicize the auction on their personal pages. Suggest that they write cute profile updates, such as “Would you like to take me on a memorable date? Ask me out at the charity bachelorette auction this Friday night at the Greenwood Community Center. All auction proceeds will be donated to the Greenwood Humane Society. I hope you will be the winning bidder!”

Appropriate Boundaries

Be sure to remind winning bidders that this is a fun, innocent, charity event. They should be made to understand that the dates have no obligation beyond the agreed upon appointment. It is expected that bachelors and bachelorettes will follow through on their dates. However, if they are made to feel uncomfortable or threatened at any time, they may end the date early. The comfort and safety of the auction participants is key.

Decide How the Auction Will Work

You can run the auction in a traditional manner. This entails having each bachelor or bachelorette walk across the stage while the emcee or auctioneer looks out to the audience for a winning bid. However, the traditional auction model can get very rowdy. If you would like to organize a quieter or calmer auction, consider running it as a silent auction. Have each bachelor or bachelorette submit a photo and a brief biography. Set out each photo and biography on a long table and allow people to write in their bids throughout the night. Towards the end of the night, announce that the silent auction will be ending in 10 minutes and ask everyone to submit their final bids. Then the emcee can read the names of the winning bidders aloud.

The Date

It is easiest to connect the winning bidder with his bachelorette and then allow them to plan their own date if the organization has not gained a donation of dinner, concert tickets or other entertainment. The event organizer can provide an exchange of the couple’s phone numbers and email addresses. Then, leave it to them to find the right place and time for their dream date. Check in with the bachelorette after the date to see how the date went. If the couple ends up being a love match, ask if you can include them in a promotion for next year’s event.

About the Author

Fern Morris has been writing about the arts, culture, etiquette and society since 2004. She has published her work internationally in various magazines, websites, exhibition catalogues and academic journals.

Photo Credits

  • Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images