man and woman holding wads of cash against gold background

3 Ways to Up Level PTO Auction Profits

Auctions are absolutely terrific money makers for PTOs. 

With a chance to offer something a little different than traditional school fundraisers, parents and school staff will take notice. 

But to take your PTO auction profit to the next level, you’ll need to be smart and strategic.

These tips can really make the difference between an auction that does okay and one that blows past expectations.

Here’s how to boost income from your next fundraising auction.

Expand Your Participant Pool

Why limit the possible auction bidders to those able to attend the auction in person? 

By opening up the bidding to those who can’t attend the event in person, but still want a chance to snag a prize from the fabulous offerings. 

This means the pool of potential auction participants is virtually limitless.

Friends and family from across networks of school families can now support your fundraiser and you without having to show up in person for the event, which is fantastic for everyone. 

Nowadays, people are going to expect this option since most folks are comfortable purchasing items online, so give them what they want and add the online ability to bid on auction items.    

Multiply Items

Be intentional about having a wide array of options for auction-goers to choose from. 

Poll parents to see what sorts of things they’d be interested in most.  

Get donations from your business partners to get items regularly used, like car wash kits and family pool passes, but also unique items like event and attraction tickets. 

Having a healthy number of different auction items is a savvy choice that will lay the foundation for boosted auction income.

There’s no magic number, but ensure the value of the items far exceeds your fundraising goal since not all auction items will go for their value. 

However, securing a big ticket item is a strategy to attract lots of attention to your PTO’s auction and get more potential bidders looking at other items, boosting your overall income.

But the time and network it can take to get a big ticket item is sometimes difficult, so start early and mine your network for hook ups.

Keep Expenses in Check

A no-brainer way to boost your auction income is to keep expenses in check wherever possible

Work to limit how much raising money will cost your PTO, as far as auction software costs, platform fees and the other overhead expenses. 

Keep expenses low through donations, sponsorships and by making smart software choices. 

Don’t overlook this aspect of the event because these costs can soar and steal a huge chunk of your potential profit. 

colorful resources for PTA PTO fundraising

Recommended Resources

Ready to dive more into the work of PTO and school fundraising, but wish you could have a plan of action ready at your fingertips?

Time to learn more about the Fundraising Success Kit!

It’s never been easier to hold highly profitable school fundraisers using these customizable strategies and step by step plans that work for every type of parent group, and any type of fundraiser, from a traditional catalog to A-thon Fundraisers and everything in between.

This resource is guidance plus a complete plan walking through the entire process of fundraising for your school, including a publicity plan, templates, forms and a planner kit to help you get outrageously organized in a snap!

Over to You

Auctions are a profitable fundraising method that make for a smart choice for an annual PTO fundraiser. 

Using any of these strategies really can make a noticeable difference on your event’s bottom line and ultimately, on your PTO’s financial bottom line.

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