Going 'Green' at Your Next Auction

The idea of "Going Green" is not so foreign these days.  We see companies and organizations of all sizes making an effort to Save our Planet every day.  Every little bit counts, so if you're interested in doing your part at your next auction, here are a few ideas. 

  • Adding technology to your event is big step.  The use of electronic devices can cut down on the amount of paper you need to use for bid sheets.
  • Trim down your program or journal.  Printing out all those extra pages for silent auction item descriptions is not worth the effort(or wasted paper).  Very few people are actually reading them anyway.  If your silent auction is appropriately sized, you don't need a paragraph description for each item in your silent.   Better yet, eliminate it entirely.  Just not something we need much anymore.
  • Sponsorship Mentions and Thank You's are best served electronically.  Use  digital screens around the room, website links in Newsletters and Social Media.  Most electronic bidding devices also include ad space for donors.
  • Consider reusing your bidder cards.  Laminate paper bid cards or order plastic cards.  Both can be collected at the end of the evening to be used next year.
  • Eliminate paper invitations for your auction.  This is an easy one.  Handling ticket sales online is easier than ever.  Groups with older demographics will likely experience some push-back based on tradition, but as your crowd rotates in newer members, they will expect invites to be handled online.
  • Electronically deliver receipts and certificates at the end of the night.  
  • Recycle theme decorations.  Talk to other schools and organizations and consider borrowing their decorations from their event.  
  • Simple Centerpieces.  Be mindful of buying/renting 30 brand new centerpieces if they are likely to be tossed at the end of the night.

A few years ago, a client eased the transition of eliminating the Auction Programs and not sending out paper invitations, by making sure everyone knew they saved $4000 in printing expenses.  Additionally, they took that money the first year and sponsored the planting 500 trees.