Charity spending on the part of corporations worldwide is at an all-time high. Giving to charity is a way to support the community that provides a home for corporate operations, and offers a means for the corporation to be a responsible and responsive citizen of the world. A charity auction provides an evening of entertainment for friends of the corporation, and is one of the best means of raising large amounts of money in a relatively short time period.
Two forms of auctioning, the silent auction, and the live auction can be combined for maximum profitability. The evening's festivities begin with cocktail hour where guests are invited to cash in a drink coupon at the bar before touring the display of items donated by local vendors. Each item in this silent auction has a bid sheet attached so that bidders can write their name along with their bid for the item. Bidders are encouraged to check back on their favourite items throughout the evening to assure that they remain the highest bidder. At the end of the evening the winner of each item will be announced from the podium along with thanks to the establishment that donated each item.
After about an hour of silent auctioning, guests will be seated for a formal dinner. Following the meal, coffee is served, and the live auction begins. Each guest is provided with a booklet that describes each item being auctioned, and a numbered paddle to raise to during bidding. A professional auctioneer presents 10-15 donated items for open bidding from the floor.
Dessert and another round of cocktails are provided at the close of the evening while guests mingle and claim the items they have purchased. Invitations to the auction should indicate that this is a "dress to impress" event to add to the elegance of the evening.