The following are ideas for auction items future Fundraiser. This is not a definitive list, but intended to just get the creative juices flowing!

1. HOST A DINNER PARTY. Are you a great cool of International or American cuisine? Or "kick it up a notch" by having the meal prepared by a popular local restaurant chef. Really spice it up with wines paired to each course and donated by the local wine expert. This type of dinner party translates to $ 75.00 maybe $100.00 per person in the minds of the bidding audience. A dinner party for ten of this caliber often sells for $ 1000.00 or more.

2. ADVENTURES / EXCITEMENT! Make a list of "on the edge" activities...then go out and get them donated.

  • Ride in a hydroplane
  • Ride in the second seat in a jet fighter, think Blue Angels
  • Take the research submarine at the aquarium out for an underwater cruise
  • Drive a racecar on the formula one course at Seattle International Raceway
  • Spend an hour in the Boeing flight simulator with three of your friends
  • Take a hot air balloon ride and land to a catered champagne brunch
  • Be in the wheelhouse of a tugboat at the Tug Boat Races in Elliot Bay

3. WINE BASKET. Contribute a high-quality bottle of wine.

4. GIFT BASKETS. The supplies all go in a nice big wicker basket wrapped in festive ribbons and cellophane, with an inventory card on the outside. Almost anything goes! Italian Dinner Basket has everything imaginable having to do with making a gourmet Italian dinner, sauces, spices, cheese, pasta, meats, garlic, biscotti, kitchen tools...The same goes for the New Baby Basket, toys, diapers, shampoo, clothing.. How about the BATHROOM BASKET, CHEFS BASKET, CLEAN CAR BASKET, CHOCOLATE LOVERS BASKET, CHRISTMAS / HOLIDAY, THANKSGIVING, GARDENERS, SWEETHEART BASKETS, CARPENTERS, DESIGNERS AND PAINTERS BASKETS, COFFEE LOVERS AND BIRTHDAY BASKETS....ON AND ON!!!

5. TICKETS. Tickets to local events or venues, either sports-related, cultural, musical, etc. Two or four tickets so the highest bidder can take one or more guests.

  • Mariners, Seahawks, Storm, or other sports game
  • Concerts or shows at Key Arena, The Paramount, The Moore
  • Jazz Alley
  • Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Asian Art Museum
  • Plays or musicals at The 5th Avenue Theater, The Paramount, or other local theaters or venues
  • Seattle Aquarium or Woodland Park Zoo

6. GOLF PACKAGES. Everything that a golf fan needs for a day of fun on the course. Greens fees and a tee-time for two, club rentals, cart rental, lunch and drinks at the club restaurant.

7. KIDS ROOM MAKEOVER. The kids help in the design, they pick the colors! One afternoon the volunteers swoop in, move out the old stuff and repaint, install new shelves, fix the closet storage problem and install new light fixtures! After that the new carpeting is laid, and the new furniture is brought in.

8. INSTANT GARDEN. Five or six volunteers spend five hours at the highest bidder's home weeding, landscaping and planting. The local nursery kicks in with the new plant material and a load of bark and there you have your instant garden!!!

9. CELEBRITY CAR WASH. Find the highest ranking "celebrity" you can to come to the highest bidders' home and wash the cars. Maybe the Mayor would do it, possibly the Chief of Police, maybe the neighborhood firehouse would send an engine company over! Sports star, City Council member, columnist, maybe the most popular radio talk show host would do it!

10. FIRETRUCK DELIVERS BIRTHDAY CAKE! The Seattle Fire Department is great at this. The truck comes to the kids' house with the birthday cake, they show the kids how the fire truck works, the kids get to sit in the cab and they all receive stickers and treats from the firefighters. This is a great PR activity for the fire department, and a real thrill for any child.

11. RESTAURANT FRENZY! Get 15 to 20 local, popular restaurants to donate gift certificates from $ 25.00 to $ 100.00. These are sold "rapid fire" in the Live Auction for retail value (and sometimes more!). This is a good way to save space on the Silent Auction and get 100% of retail value for the donations.

12. SPORTS MEMORABILIA. Go to the your local sports team, and tell them about CEN and the Annual Fundraiser. While Seattle teams will be most popular in Seattle, we could host regional or on-line auctions for items from teams. Items could be auctioned individually or in a gift basket.

13. REAL WORK SELLS! Anytime you can get a licensed and bonded contractor to donate services you almost always get retail value. Carpenters, electricians, painters, landscapers, plumbers, all are great donations.

14. GET-A-WAY PACKAGES. This category of auction item is always popular. Put your excess air-miles to good use in a travel package. Many resorts and hotels will give weekday stays as a donation, some will do full weeks, or specific weekends! Do you or someone you know have a cabin in the woods? That can be the basis for a wonderful get-a-way package!

15. EXTRAVAGANZAS!!! Many times seemingly unrelated donations can be combined for really great auction items. Consider the MOM AND DAD DAY OFF package. Gift certificates for breakfast, lunch and dinner begin this idea. Put a massage, a manicure, pedicure, facial and aroma therapy session together with tickets to a concert, movie or performing art presentation and you are on your way to a spectacular auction item. Add to that a full day of child care, some professional housecleaning, yard maintenance and a couple of car washes all happening while mom and dad are away from the house and the bidding will go wild. Did I mention the use of the new BMW for the day, and the chilled bottle of champagne in the refrigerator upon their return home?

16. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO? A good auction item is often, simply, something that you like to do or enjoy.

  • Champagne sunset cruise on Lake Washington aboard an antique yacht or sailboat.
  • Receive a dessert or flowers each month for a year.
  • Ski passes and overnight in the mountains.
  • Have your car washed and detailed.
  • Have a cord of firewood delivered and stacked.
  • A years worth of haircuts.
  • A dozen custom fit dress shirts and/or a dozen custom-made silk ties.
  • A year's subscription to The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.
  • A wheelbarrow full of gardening tools, bulbs, soil, and flowers

17. JEWELRY. Some nice jewelry will sell but it cannot be too expensive or we won't get the full value. See about getting someone to donate a necklace, ring etc.

18. GIFT CERTIFICATES. These sell great for local establishments. If they are donated, then sell them at face-value and it's 100% profit.

  • Spas / Salons (hair cut, manicure, pedicure, massage)
  • Grocery Store (Costco, Safeway, Whole Foods)
  • Wholesale (Walmart, Target)
  • Movies (these go like crazy!)
  • Restaurants (See Restaurant Frenzy idea)
  • Clothing stores


  • Photos / Images for framing
  • Flowers, plants, seeds from local garden shops

For questions about items or to pledge a donation please contact:

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Tel: +1 (206) 329-6244