Many years ago my wife and I co-chaired a dinner auction for our local Boys & Girls Club. This was their annual signature funding event and every year it was getting harder and harder to be more creative while still keep the event fun but also profitable.
The event was black tie optional and we both wanted to add some small special touches to make the event more exciting. Our decorations included black table cloths and white and black linen napkins. We were also able buy from the Oriental Trading Company black plastic top hats and a pair of white gloves to lay over the hat for the center piece. We decided that for desert to purchase custom chocolate molds filled with a special chocolate mousse to round out dinner.
Like most fundraising dinner auction events everyone solicited both money as well as auction items from local businesses. However, we also added a unique twist that proved successful involved some advanced planning, but it was worth it.
On the club’s letter head we wrote to television and movie celebrities asking for their autograph and got a great respond. We got not just signed photographs but other small gift items.
These added a unique touch to the event and it really was not that difficult to pull off but you do need to write well in advance of the event. Also, make sure to include in your letter the date of the event and it is also important to send back an acknowledgment thanking the celebrity because I am sure they get tons of requests!
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.