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Chinese Auction

by Linda

I don't know if anyone is familiar with this fundraiser or not. We have done several of them for missions trips for our youth group, but I'm sure it would work for an adoption fundraiser as well. I don't know where the name comes from, but there isn't anything "Chinese" about it - as far as I know.

This is the way it works: It basically amounts to a silent raffle. Items for the auction are donated by family, friends, coworkers, church members, businesses, etc. The items can be
new or used, but in like new condition - you decide what would be acceptable.

On the day of the auction, the items are placed in a single row along the edge of tables. Below each item, you hang a brown paper lunch sack (tape it to the table so that it hangs down from the table - open end, open at the top). One bag for each individual item.

Those who attend the auction purchase preprinted sheets of tickets. Each sheet holds two large tickets with a number. One is the stub and the other is used for a door prizes. There are also 25 individual small tickets on the sheet that all have the same number. When the attendees arrive, they purchase as many sheets of tickets as they would like.

We've been to Chinese Auctions where each sheet of tickets cost $2.00. However, when we did the fundraiser ourselves, we charged $5.00 for each sheet. You can choose whatever amount you think would work for your area.

After the tickets are bought, the person goes around the room looking at all of the items. They decide which items they would like to win. Then they place as many of those small tickets inside the paper bag in front of the item they want to win. A certain amount of time is set aside for this purpose, like the first 1 ½ hours. After that time is up - no more tickets can be bought and the drawings begin.

You then go around the room, removing the bag below each item, one at a time, shake the bag to mix the tickets and then have someone else draw the ticket from the bag. You read the number of the winning ticket, everyone checks their stub - and the winner gets the item. Then you proceed to the next item, and so on until you have gone through all of the items.

The entire event runs for about 3 -4 hours and is of course, open to the public. You can also sell food during the event because people like to eat. We've done hot dogs, chips, baked goods, cans of soda, bottles of water, etc. One time we did chili - just tailor the food to your liking and what would go well in your area. We had all of the food donated - so everything we made was pure profit.

Some of the donated items we've had at the auction have included: clearance items from Penney's - Elmo and Spiderman slippers; clothing, gift certificates, kitchen baskets (tea towels, dish cloths, dish detergent) 12 pack of soda, 2 liters of soda, camping equipment; homemade craft items; movie basket (movie or rental certificate, micro popcorn, couple of candy bars, etc.) It really can be anything that you deem appropriate. Christmas decorations; homemade pies, farm fresh eggs, 10lb bags of potatoes - really anything.

If you get larger, more valuable items donated, you could set those aside and hold a silent auction simultaneously on those items OR you could set those aside and raffle those items with those carnival type tickets that come on a roll. Selling those at whatever price you want.

The most time spent in this fundraiser is gathering the donated items and setting up the church social hall, firehouse, community center or wherever you hold the event. When it's over there is virtually little clean - up and because most everything is donated - there is little expense. However, you will need to purchase the pre-printed tickets. I think we paid $40 for 500 sheets of tickets.

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