This Auuction Thing, an Insider’s Guide
So UUCE is having an auction, and it’s been 18 months since our last one. There are a lot of new people to the church, and I’m guessing that there may be long-time members and friends that have not attended. So, I’m going to fill you in on stuff, and hopefully you’ll consider participating this year.
When Stephen and I were newbies at the church, we attended the auction on a whim. Here are some of the things we learned the first auction:
- This is a boatload of fun. The auction itself is fun. It’s not your ordinary auction. There is merriment. There is silliness. There are good people having fun. It’s highly entertaining to watch an auctioneer work with a barn full of UUs and get the job done with grace and laughter.
- There are cool offerings! Some are pricy, some are not. Some are family oriented, some are not. Some are things. Some are services. Some are events. I’m guessing some people attend purely for the event, and buy little. Others buy lots. It’s all money raised for UUCE and it all adds up. All levels of participation are appreciated.
- There are proxy bids. Can’t attend the auction itself, but still want to bid? You can give a buddy permission to bid for you. Tell them what you want, and how high they can bid. I’ve seen it happen, but have never done it myself because I attend every auction, so ask the auction team how this works.
- We learned we wanted to participate every year.
After the first auction – here’s more stuff we learned:
- UUs throw some fun events. And people that we knew on a hi-and-bye basis from church and RE became our good friends after hanging out with them at auctioned events.
- Since we found that we like to bid on so many items, we now set aside a bit of money each month, so when the auction rolls around, we can spend it without stressing.
- Auction events became our main social-calendar for the year. Somebody else has taken the time to put together a fun event, and I get to just show up and have fun. The church gets money. Win, win, winnity-win-win.
- Offering auction items is a BLAST! We dipped our toes in the water after a few years offering homemade soaps, and ventured into other items from there. Hosting our annual Tapas Night is now one of the highlights of my year, every year.
- As a host of a recurring event, when I see new people attending, THIS IS EXCITING! We are honored you bid on our event, and we are excited to meet you and get to know you.
- Hosting is also rewarding because your money goes further. What’s the difference between writing a check to the church as a straight donation and hosting? Let’s break it down with an example of $100 to be used for either an event or a donation: Say you host an event and spend $100 doing so. And 10 people come to your awesome event, and they each spend $30 to attend. You spent the same as your proposed donation, and the church got $300 and 11 people (you and your guests) got an event to remember. Everybody wins.
- Offering an item does not have to be extravagant to be fun or useful or appreciated.
- We have held family friendly movie showings that were inexpensive and lots of fun.
- You can use the church to host an event with room for lots of people – you can raise money for UUCE and not clean your house.
- The people that have offered babysitting services as an auction item are my heroes….hint hint hint.
- The auction team are my heroes, too. Want to contribute and not spend a penny? Volunteer for the auction. There are many ways to help.
- Go preview auction items before the event! Get an idea for what is appealing to you. Not seeing something you’d like? Host it, or convince a member to host it, or buddy up.
In a nutshell, I really hope to see you at the auction, and at auction events. And if you’re new to the auction, I especially encourage you to come out. I’m grateful for all the experiences we’ve had resulting from the auction over the years, and all the friendships we’ve made, and I’m looking forward to lots more in the future.