Spotlight 2010 Silent Auction Guidelines

Spotlight 2010 Silent Auction GuidelinesYou might recall a recent article about Spotlight 2010, hosted in Indianapolis at Clowes Memorial Hall. This event was put on to raise money for the Indiana AIDS Fund. I was able to attend this event, take a ton of great pictures, and share in endless conversation with some of the folks behind the scenes. The night was focused on the fundraising, but there were fifteen incredible performances to entertain the audience as well.

Part of the fundraising came with their silent auction that was taking place in the lobby. Everywhere you went, tables were packed with items from local contributors and sponsors. Even some local artists had donated their work for the auction. The silent auction was broken down into twelve different categories:

  • Artwork
  • Bon Appétit
  • Décor
  • Entertainment
  • Holidays
  • Kids World
  • Sports
  • Travel
  • Celebrity
  • Pamper Yourself
  • Pets
  • Party Hearty

I did not bid on anything myself, but almost every item had at least one name on it. This was the first silent auction I had been to like this. I had seen silent auctions before, but nothing of this magnitude. They ended up raising a ton of money, breaking previous records of money raised. A lot of that had to do with the success of the silent auction.

But as with everything else, the silent auction was not just a free for all. There was a list of some pretty specific guidelines. Considering that Spotlight had such a successful year this year, there is no doubt in my mind they will be back for 2011. And based on the success of the silent auction, I imagine they will be repeating that as well. So, to better prepare yourself for next year’s silent auction, I wanted to share with you the list of guidelines from this year’s event.

  1. Silent auction opens at 5:30 PM.
  2. Every item in the auction has a bid sheet. The sheet states the actual retail value of the item, minimum starting bid, and the minimum increase for raising a bid.
  3. The starting bid is approximately one-third of the item’s estimated value.
  4. You must increase your bid amount by at least the minimum bid increment level.
  5. There is no limit to the number of times you can increase your bid.
  6. Recording your name on a bid sheet commits you. If your name is illegible, the event staff reserves the right to accept the next highest bidder as the winner.
  7. All sales are final. There will be no refunds, exchanges, or shipping of the merchandise.
  8. Gift certificates have no cash value. Cash cannot be returned when the certificates are redeemed unless otherwise specified.
  9. All restrictions listed on the gift certificated are final.
  10. The Indiana AIDS Fund and The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis make no guarantees or warranties as to any auction item or service, its retail value, or the deductibility of any portions of a bid under federal or state income tax. The Indiana AIDS Fund and The Health Foundation shall not be accountable for any claims, liabilities, or causes of action arising from transaction between bidder and donor.
  11. Payment for auction items can be made using cash, check, Visa or MasterCard.
  12. Checks should be made out to the Indiana AIDS Fund.
  13. All items must be paid for the evening of the event. Purchasers are responsible for the transportation of their items.
  14. Bidding closes promptly at the end of intermission.
  15. If your item(s) are too big, we can assist you with the transport to your vehicle. Please pull your vehicle to the front of Clowes Hall.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to pay attention to when bidding at a silent auction. After reviewing this list of guidelines, I can see where this could be taken advantage of, without the use of proper caution. These guidelines are put in place to help protect the bidder, the donor, and most important, the Indiana AIDS Fund and the staff at Clowes Hall.

This list of guidelines was found inside the program, and was also listed in several other places during the night of the event. So the next time you are at a silent auction, make sure you know all of the protocol before placing your first bid. I know I have learned to cover all my bases before bidding next time. Hopefully, next year at Spotlight 2011, you will be better prepared to start bidding to support such a  great cause. Bids are now closed, but keep your eyes peeled for more information on Spotlight 2011.