Team of Champions: The Auction

The UUCPA Auction–scheduled for November 11, 2023, so mark your calendars–is a great event because it’s a party for extroverts and introverts. Extroverted? You’ll chat, dance, and enjoy the crowd. Introverted? Spending the evening reading descriptions at the silent auction is a completely acceptable activity! And the food and live auction are fun for both.

It creates opportunities for social connection and learning all year, as people go to dinners, concerts, lessons, etc. with folks they might never have spent time with otherwise.

It’s also our biggest fundraiser of the year, bringing in more money to power our congregation than anything except pledges and rentals.

It’s a great way to repurpose and redistribute beautiful, useful items from the closets where they’re languishing to the hands of people who will love and enjoy them–again, while raising money for a good cause.

And for the many volunteers who make it happen, it is deeply satisfying to serve, and fun to work together. The work won’t begin for a while, but having a team lined up now will make the whole experience so much better for everyone, so have a look and see if one of these roles is right for you.

Communications: So important! You’ll be writing blurbs for publicity (the Publicity team will take it from there), setting up an attention-grabbing table for Sunday mornings, and whatever creative ideas come your way. Email the Auction Committee if you want to handle communications.

Donations: internal: You send the donors from the past few years reminders of what they’ve given before and ask them to give again, and you get as many folks within UUCPA as possible to give goods and services and host events. There’s lots of room for creativity as well, since many people don’t realize their talent is so valuable to others until you reach out to them. If you enjoy connecting with lots of people and eliciting their gifts, email the Auction Committee and say “I’ll do internal donations.”

Donations: external: You reach out to merchants to solicit the donation of gift certificates and goods. If this appeals to you, please tell the Auction Committee.

Menu Planning and Cooking: The food for the auction has varied from home-cooked to Costco’s best, French to Middle Eastern . . . if you salivate at the thought of putting together a party menu and feeding a crowd, this is the job for you. Send “You’ve found your head chef!” to the Auction Committee.

Cleanup Crew: Taking down decorations and cleaning up from the meal is fun when there are many hands. Maybe you and a friend would like to be on the team together–email the Auction Committee now.

Serving: Presentation of food, keeping the tables refreshed, circulating with trays, and serving drinks–if this is for you, email the Auction Committee.

Hiring: You’ll be lining up the band, the Balloon Lady, and possibly a couple of our child care providers. Sound good? Email the Auction Committee.

Decorations: Enough said. If you love making a space look like a party’s about to happen, email the Auction Committee saying you’d like to take charge of decorations.

Children’s Auction: The Children’s Auction is a highlight of the auction, and not just for the kids who are bidding. The teenagers who run it enjoy it, and lots of adults have fun watching the kids decide whether to save up their Skittles for a big purchase, spend a few on something small, or just eat them. To be in charge of Skittles purchases, soliciting donations of kids’ stuff, and coaching the teens, email the Auction Committee saying you’d like to work on the Children’s Auction.

Online auction setup and management: We have used Auctria the past few years to good effect. So you don’t have to be a coder to set up the event, but you have to enjoy working with websites. Email the Auction Committee to tell them you’d like to work on this essential part of the auction.

Reception and raffle ticket sales: You’ll coordinate and be part of the crew that’s greeting folks, getting them their paddles, and selling them tickets for the raffles that are always a part of the night. Email the Auction Committee to let them know you’ll be in charge of the reception table.

Volunteer recruiting: The team will need help with all of these tasks, and lots of people are willing to help decorate, serve, clean up, sell raffle tickets, etc., if you ask. If you’d like to do that. please email the Auction Committee.

Writer / Editor: The description of an item makes all the difference between a couple of lukewarm bids and a bidding war. The donor gives a brief description; your writing savvy can make it shine. Email the Auction Committee if you’re interested in writing or editing.

Auctioneer: If you like being in front of a crowd, if you’re at ease talking off the cuff, this is the job for you. If last year’s auctioneer wants the job, then you can shadow him this year and take it on in 2024. Let the Auction Committee know you’re interested.

Auction chair: This is a great job for you if you enjoy project management and delegation: you’ll check in with all of the above people, make sure they have what they need to do their jobs, and keep track of deadlines and the big picture. Having a chair with these skills allows us to make the auction a bigger event, and makes the planning lots of fun instead of a source of stress and burnout. Email the Auction Committee if you’d like to coordinate the team.