Silent auction table

Why are Silent Auctions dwindling at Fundraisers?

We are noticing more and more nonprofits eliminating their silent auctions from their key fundraising auction events.  When we ask what the reasons are, these are the most common remarks:

1.  “They require too much work and manpower.”
2.  “We don’t raise that much money with the silent auction.”
3.  “We don’t have enough volunteers to run it successfully.”
4.  “It complicates the check out process.”

All in all, some nonprofits are saying that their silent auctions aren’t raising enough revenue to justify the work involved to put on a successful silent auction.

So you may ask: “What do we at Elite Auctions and Fundraising Services think about this?”  It’s quite simple actually, we think whatever makes the most sense for the individual nonprofits that we work with.  There are several alternative ways to generate equal or more revenue than a silent auction produces with much less work, volunteer participation and the dreaded Check Out Armageddon.  However, if nonprofits still want to conduct silent auctions we are all for it, and in fact have several proven programs to astronomically increase revenue brought in at the silent auction.

While we have noticed that approximately 30% of our clients have eliminated the silent auction aspect (up from about 15% three years ago), there are still several organizations that are sticking with it.  Either way, Elite Auctions and Fundraising Services have proven techniques to increase revenue in both areas, just visit our website at to find out more!

Written by Mike Grigg, AARE, BAS of Elite Auctions and Fundraising Services

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