Fundraising Blog

10 Top Silent Auction Prize Ideas For Your Fundraising Campaign

Vic Birch
Passionate fundraising storyteller

One of the keys to a successful silent auction is having a large variety of prizes. Sourcing a range of must-have prizes means you will:

  • Get plenty of bids, 
  • Generate healthy competition, and 
  • Maximise your fundraising result. 

While it’s important to include auction items to suit all budgets (gift hampers and restaurant vouchers are always a winner) – it’s the attention-grabbing items that will get the bids rolling in. 

Think creatively about the items you’d like to include and align the prizes with your audience. A spring break vacation in Cancun may not work at an event attended mostly by retirees (but it could work for a Gen X audience who want to treat their kids). 

The below video will summarise our best auction item ideas that will likely open hearts (and wallets) and your next fundraising event, but if you want to know more ideas and how to get the most out of them, keep reading after it.


Whether it's strolling the streets of Rome, gliding across the skies in a hot air balloon in Australia, or relaxing poolside in a Balinese villa  - a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure never fails to generate excitement.

Plus Points:

Everyone loves a vacation! Most of us spend a lot of time thinking about dream destinations or planning to get there. Delivering a ready-made vacation at your auction makes it easy for people to secure their perfect getaway. 

Things to Consider:

Ensure your vacation package is easy for the winning bidder to access. All travel details should be taken care of. If the trip doesn’t include flights, for example, make it clear in the auction Ts & Cs. 

Pro Tips: Ignite the travel bug in everyone by promoting this experience on your website or via social media in advance of your event. 
Consider exciting but less traveled destinations, Zanzibar is one of GalaBid’s most popular supplied sale or return items. It’s a stunning destination that the well travelled have often not yet experienced.


Offering a special experience for kids is a fantastic way to generate funds.

Consider organizing an exclusive visit behind the scenes at the local zoo, arranging exciting rides with the local fire service, or allowing children to join the police on patrol.  Or how about the excitement of being on the field with their favorite sports team!

Local businesses are often keen to support community fundraisers. Businesses like cake shops, play centers, and toy stores, may be willing to donate goods and services to create an ultimate birthday party for a lucky child!

Plus Points:

Many people will have kids in their family or social circles, which makes child-friendly items a feel-good prize with broad appeal

Things to Consider:

Ensure all prize items meet relevant safety standards and have the necessary insurance cover. 

Pro Tip: Promote your child-friendly auction items using great quotes from actual kids saying how much they’d like to receive the prize!


If your fundraising event will be supported by specific groups or corporates, fun team-based activities can be a popular auction item. 

While you might immediately think of activities like white-water rafting or paintball, consider broadening the appeal with unique options or more gentle activities, such as a harmony singing workshop or a group yoga session."

Plus Points: 

Group members bidding together can encourage each other to ramp up the bids! 

Often guests representing companies have the authority to buy these items on behalf of their companies.  

Things to Consider:

Again, think of your audience and what types of activities are likely to appeal. Include activities that can be purchased as corporate hospitality if you have large corporate executives in your audience. Also, counter-intuitive items (e.g. a guided yoga class for a football club fundraiser) can be a really fun and bid-grabbing option – but plan carefully.

Pro Tip:  Promote group items in advance so people can come together before the event and plan to bid. If you are running an event with tables of ten, include some holidays for ten guests. One table of friends can club together to win the prize.


Exceptional dining experiences are a sure hit, particularly when you have the opportunity to have a renowned chef taking charge in the kitchen. 

Group cooking classes are also popular, or how about fine dining without leaving the front door? A gourmet meal prepared and served at the winning bidder’s home is a unique way to experience exceptional cuisine and share with friends and family. 

Another idea is to create a 'food safari' package, which includes a starter, main course, and dessert from three of the finest restaurants in town, with a limo to whisk guests from one to the next.

Plus Points: 

Who doesn’t love great food? This is an item that will appeal to most audiences.

Things to Consider:

Think about any cultural, dietary or religious restrictions you audience may have. It’s not possible to accommodate every dietary need, but it will mean a lot to your guests if you can show consideration where possible. 

Pro Tip:  Hot new restaurant just launched? Sourcing a silent auction prize meal from them is a great win-win option. They get valued promotional and word-of-mouth exposure, you get a fantastic auction item from a must-book restaurant. This applies to all new businesses targeting your audience profile. Think newly opened beautician, hairdresser, cafe. Check out your local facebook group etc for inspiration.


If you want to offer exciting travel or experience options, but don’t think a luxury overseas getaway will work for your auction guests, go local.

Weekend mini-breaks to local hotels or spas, day-trips to nearby attractions (such as theme parks or museums) or a spin in a race car at the nearest track will all attract plenty of bids without stretching the budget. 

Plus Points: 

Accessible experiences are an auction winner. Bidders will love a hassle-free option with minimal logistics.

Things to Consider:

It’s useful to plan for items within a certain radius. If you’re city based with lots of local options, this may be 10-15 miles. If you’re in a more remote area, you may extend this further.

Pro Tip:  Source prize ideas from your local community. Chances are they’ll have some great suggestions, or even run a business that can donate a prize.


Sports or entertainment memorabilia (especially autographed items) is consistently one of the best items to include at a fundraising silent auction

The more unique the item, the greater the appeal. While you might not be able to source Judy Garland’s original red ruby slippers or Darth Vadar’s iconic black helmet, one-off prizes from local sports teams or celebrities will still fire-up the bidding. 

Plus Points: 

The unique nature of these items mean they’re generally hard for the general public to source – which makes them very popular.

Things to Consider:

Look for items with a special connection to your auction guests. Bidders at a golf club fundraiser may go wild for Tiger Wood’s 2008 US Open Winning club, but may not be as enthusiastic about a football signed by Travis Kelce. 

Pro Tip: Unique memorabilia items can be hard to source, and it can be hard for non-experts to work out if something is authentic. Ensure your items come with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and that the supplier is a reputable dealer. Consider sourcing these items from your auction software provider certified.


Do you know a friendly neighborhood car mechanic who might be willing to provide a complimentary car service for a good cause? Looking to your community for prizes is a cost-effective way to source great auction items!

For example, a group of your charity's supporters could volunteer to give the winning bidder's home a thorough top-to-bottom clean. If you have a friend with a yacht, perhaps they'd be open to hosting a fantastic party for a bidder and ten friends. 

You can also enlist others to help by providing delicious food and taking on the role of bartender at your fundraising event.

Plus Points: 

Sourcing experiences and services from your supporters can be an easy and cost-effective way to stock your auction with amazing items.

Things to Consider:

Make sure your volunteers are covered by the necessary insurance and they understand any relevant safety regulations. They should be flexible with available dates, so winners have plenty of date options to access their prize. 

Pro Tip:  Use your local social media (e.g., Facebook/Instagram) community groups to make a shout-out for items and volunteers.


An exclusive artwork can spark high bids at any auction, and it doesn't have to be an expensive masterpiece. Many artists are often willing to contribute their work simply for a great cause and some welcome exposure. 

In addition to donating existing pieces, artists may also offer to complete a commission. A painting or sculpture of someone’s beloved pet are are often very successful items or even a portrait or statue of the winning bidder!  

Plus Points:

Art is not only a lovely aesthetic addition to anyone’s home, it can be a great investment piece. 

Things to Consider:

Choose an artist or artistic style that will appeal to most people. Niche artworks or divisive styles will limit bids to only a few (if any!) auction guests.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to consider photography in your art items. People love family photoshoots and unique prints of their local area.


While losing bidders missed out on their favorite item, they can still contribute to your fundraiser. 

Set-up a donation item or mutiiple doantion items and include specific items for people to donate to. These work best if they have specific relevance to your cause. 

For instance, if you're wanting to support a baseball team for underprivileged children, think about asking for donations equivalent to the cost of a new bats and ball, a jersey, or covering the expense of renting a playing field for the season?

Plus Points:

Donation items give everyone a chance to contribute, even if they don’t win items at the auction. Your auction software will have the option to prompt participants who didn’t win an item in the auction to make a donation. Make sure to include this in your end of auction notifications. 

Things to Consider:

Work out what your cause needs and set a fundraising target for the event – it’s useful to update people on how you’re tracking against a target during an event.

Pro Tip:  If practical, use a donation leaderboard at a live event to track progress to a target and give donors recognition as they make their donations.


GalaBid's silent auction software will make sure everything runs smoothly when it comes to bids and paying. 

Our easy-to-use platform showcases your auction items in a beautifully presented catalog, with a great user interface which is optimized for mobiles.

We can provide you with those hard-to-find items, such as luxury getaways, unique experiences and certifiable memorabilia via our shop.  All items are supplied on a risk-free basis, which means if it doesn’t sell at auction, you simply return the item to the shop (a 100% online transaction) with no cost to you.

GalaBid also takes care of the booking process, so you can rest assured your auction item winners will be well looked after once they claim their prize.

About GalaBid

Ideal for donations. Perfect for Raffles. Awesome for Live and Silent Auctions! GalaBid’s online fundraising platform is designed for fundraisers of all types and sizes. For over 10 years we’ve been helping non-profits, charities, community clubs, churches, schools, and individuals to raise more and make a difference.

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