Back to Blog

25 Creative Live and Silent Auction Ideas to Boost Your Auction Revenue

Hosting a live or silent auction is yet another traditional way to raise money for an organization or specific cause. Sometimes traditional can be associated with repetitive or uninspired and we are here to tell you that that does not have to be the case for your next event! If you have found that your recent auctions are low in engagement, or if you have never hosted a live or silent auction before, you have come to the right place.


The best auction items are the ones you cannot get at a store or on-line. They are the items that cause the bidder to think in terms of needing to bid or they may not get this opportunity again. In other words, we want bidders to bid with emotion, not logic. The more you can be creative with ‘one of a kind’ or unique ‘must have’ items, the more you will make from your auction, regardless of whether it is a silent or live auction.


Below is a list of inspired live and silent auction ideas to leverage at your next event.

  1. The Latest Technology

Every year brings with it the latest technology, including the newest iPhone model or accessory. A prize of the newest iPhone, Android, or tablet can attract even more guests. People already feel incentivized to purchase these products and will feel even more so inclined when their purchase is benefiting a worthy cause.

  1. Dinner with a Public Figure

Recruit a public figure, whether a known athlete, blogger or a county commissioner, and auction off a dinner with them. Guests will jump at the opportunity to potentially get some face time with someone influential in their community.

  1. Photoshoots and Headshots

Many people either need a family photoshoot, professional headshot, or dog portrait for those dedicated dog parents, at some point in their life. Help them set it up by bringing the photographer to them through your live or silent auction.

  1. Premium Tickets

With sports and music events garnering a huge audience, premium tickets are a luxury. Those eager to see their favorite team or band in prime seats will find this item a no brainer.

  1. A Luxury Vacation

We all could use a vacation from time to time, even if its close to home. Auctioning off a reservation at a luxury hotel is bound to attract people to your live or silent auction. Everyone can find enjoyment in a luxury vacation. Raise the price by including travel accommodations, all-inclusive perks, and more.

  1. Wine and Beer Tastings

Offer an indulging experience, such as a wine or beer tasting, to shake it up. This auction item only requires a partnership with a local bar or restaurant.

  1. Gift Baskets

Adding in some budget friendly auction items, such as a gift basket, can open the auction up to more people. The variety will also help you build up to the more extravagant items.


  1. Autographed Items

Whether a famous sports star or a musician, autographed items can go for top dollar. Not only is this an exciting auction item, but it is also a great tool to help market your auction.

  1. Cooking Lessons

Cooking is a universal experience. It is also something that everyone can always improve at, making cooking lessons a great auction idea. Your organization can even offer this item multiple times and turn the lessons into a full-blown cooking class.

  1. Fitness Class Reservations

Fitness class reservations allow you to either sell one spot or multiple spots, helping to maximize the auction. There are also many options, such as yoga classes, boxing classes, cycling classes, and much more. A local gym might even be willing to do a trade for exposure.

  1. Helicopter Ride

Give guests a new perspective with a helicopter ride. A local company might even be willing to partner with your organization for free or for a low cost in exchange for the exposure.

  1. Limo Services for a Day

Add a luxurious touch to the auction by auctioning off a limo service for a day. Guests can bid on this item as an individual or even share it with some of their friends and family. You can include packages, too, offering packages with champagne, and other extras.

  1. Lessons From a Pro

Find a local sports pro and offer up a personal lesson, or a package of lessons, with them. Bidders will not only love an opportunity to learn from a pro, but they also get to spend time with a successful athlete.

  1. Comedy Show Tickets

Comedy show tickets are something that everyone can enjoy. You can get the ball rolling by having this budget friendly auction item auctioned off in the beginning.

  1. Brunch at the Firehouse

Offer up brunch at the firehouse for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The winner can dine with some local heroes while giving back to a great organization.

  1. Theme Park Tickets

Attract thrill seekers to your auction by offering some theme park tickets. People of all ages can find something to enjoy at a theme park, making this item a hit.

  1. A Mixology Class

Give guests the power to make their favorite cocktails by auctioning off a mixology class. Those who enjoy relaxing with an ice-cold beverage will seize the opportunity to bid on this item.

  1. A Designer Handbag

A designer handbag makes for a great live or silent auction item. People can bid on the item either with the intention of using the handbag or with the intention to gift it to a loved one. Either way, you are bound to attract many bidders on this item.

  1. Movie Night

Secure a room in the movie theater for a bidder and their loved ones. You can also include snacks, such as popcorn and candy, to bring up the bidding price of the item.

  1. A Day at the Spa

Guests who are looking to relax and treat themselves will enjoy a day at the spa. Your organization can auction off multiple spa packages, too, including facials, massages, pedicures, and manicures, and more.

  1. A Vintage Bottle of Wine

Start the auction off with something simple, such as a vintage bottle of wine. Wine connoisseurs and those looking to try something new can do so while supporting your organization. You can also include multiple bottles of vintage wine if you are looking to add more items to your auction roster.

  1. Monthly Flower Deliveries

Although seemingly simple, a monthly florist delivery is an excellent auction item. Partner with a local florist to offer a one year, once a month, flower delivery service.

  1. A Wine and Canvas Class

Auction off one spot, a few spots, or spots to fill a whole class. Wine and Canvas classes give people the opportunity to get creative while indulging in a delicious beverage.

  1. Tickets to a Dinner Cruise

With good views, delicious food, and delectable cocktails, a dinner cruise is an excellent auction item. Not only does this item provide a meal and beverages, but it’s a great experience.

  1. A Painting Commissioned by a Popular Artist

For a grand finale, you can auction off a painting commissioned by a popular artist. Not only is art a big selling point for some auction goers, but it can help raise even more money for your organization.


Closing Thoughts:


With our 25 creative live or silent auction ideas to boost your auction revenue, you can feel confident that there is an engaging way to fundraise for every type of donor. From activities, such as theme park and comedy show tickets, to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as brunch at the firehouse and dinner with a public figure, you can reach, connect with, and engage a broad audience.


To learn more about silent auctions or to get assistance planning your next live, silent, virtual, or hybrid auction, please reach out to our fundraising consultants and experts by clicking here.