Thousands of events later, our team of fundraising experts has compiled the ultimate list of the latest creative auction themes! A creative auction theme highlights both the cause and the fact that it is a fundraiser (e.g. Bid for Kids, The Big Give, Night of Hope etc.). The golden rule is: the more fun guests have, the more they will give, because people like to party! It’s good to theme with what is relevant in the moment: seasons, TV shows, current events, anything top chef or cooking related, etc.
12 Creative Auction Themes:
1. Monopoly: use the colors from the monopoly board for different sections of the auction. Place a board games at each place setting as a place mat. Include spaces for the sponsors as advertisements on the boards.
2. Mission Impossible: here are some creative ideas.
3. James Bond: decoration and dress up inspiration here.
4. Putting on the Ritz: when the clock turns back decades — to the era of The Great Gatsby. See Austin Children’s Shelter’s example here.
5. Suitcase Party: someone has the opportunity to be whisked away on a private jet that night for an unbelievable weekend vacation.
6. Hollywood: how to throw an awesome hollywood party.
7. Fairy Tale Ball: ask all of the Sponsors to decorate and create their own table that they purchase (e.g. Pirate Ship theme from Pirates of the Caribbean, Little Mermaid, Captain Hook, etc.). See Junior League of Corpus Christi’s example.
8. Masquerade: example Black & White Masquerade Ball.
9. Love Boat: cruise theme with a game show.
10. Buckaroo Ball: western and cowboy!
11. Beach: give leis to people for the raffle instead of tickets.
12. Schoolhouse supplies spelling bee: include a signature drink, like the Pink Eraser, that runs through an ice luge and host celebrity contestants.
Creative auction theme faux pas: going over the top with your décor.
We also really like these Top 10 School Auction Themes.
Think out of the box!
Very helpful article; I’m looking for ways to connect with clients who need reasonably priced, well-made historical fashions for the years 1870-1930.
Hi Deborah, I would recommend doing a search for local non-profits and inquire if any of their galas or fundraising events will have a theme that could utilize your fashions. Non-profits are always looking for unique themes each year and your call may give them the inspiration they were looking for. Good luck!
I have a monthly fundraiser. We presently are doing quarter auctions and Jamming bingo. The quarter auctions are fading out because so many groups are doing them. Rock and roll bingo is the new trend, however, everyone is beginning to do rock and roll bingo. Our committee is trying to think of new ideas to bring in more people. We are losing vendors because of our poor turnout. Guests are getting tired of the same vendors. We have a mixture of guests, mostly an older crowd who feels that they do not need to shop with the vendors because they do not need anything, they are just there to win items.
If you looking for new revenue enhancing ideas and how to incorporate them into your event—this easy-to-use lookbook is for you, 26 Proven Revenue Enhancers for Your Fundraiser eBook available as a free download. Download here – https://go.greatergiving.com/auction-games