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By: Sean Gallagher
Now more than ever, the American spotlight is focused squarely on a troubled education system. With last month’s release of David Guggenheim’s widely praised and criticized documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” as well as historically low graduation rates, and a continued status quo among inner city dropout factories, schools need support now more than ever before. America’s schools are in crisis.

For teachers, administrators, parents and volunteers responsible for school fundraising, combating this education crisis can be a daunting task — a task bake sales often can’t overcome. Whether coordinating fundraising events for public or private schools, elementary or secondary, mainstream or special needs, one of the most profitable types of fundraisers institutions can pursue are well-executed charity auctions.

“Acquiring unique school auction items is the key to hosting successful fundraisers,” said Anthony Nurse, charity fundraising director for Autograph Store. “Charity auction items like guitars autographed by Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift or photos autographed by the casts of the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’ films raise big bucks for schools. We just started carrying a photo autographed by Justin Bieber, and we just can’t keep it on the shelves, it’s been so popular with schools.”

For a school auction to generate the maximum fundraising dollars possible, an organizer should consider a few tips from Autograph Store Charity Fundraising.

1. Include auction items from various genres. For example, Autograph Store Charity Fundraising’s Jonas Brothers autographed guitar is popular among students, so it’s often popular with the parents controlling the purse strings at school auction events, too. But, if mom and dad are big Beatles fans, they might be more likely to make a large bid on an album autographed by the Fab Four for themselves. Remember, school auctions shouldn’t only cater to students.

2. Include items at different investment levels. Each family’s circumstances are different. Many parents may feel like they want to support their kids’ schools, but bidding big bucks for an autographed Rolling Stones guitar might be out of reach. But, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t bid a few hundred dollars on a lower-cost piece of autographed memorabilia from their favorite actor or sports star. Everyone should be able to be a part of a school fundraiser.

3. Mix it up with more than just autographed memorabilia, adding once-in-a-lifetime experiences to your list of school auction ideas. Some supporters may come to a school fundraiser prepared to place a bid, but aren’t excited by autographed charity items. Those parents and friends might be more interested in a family trip to Disney World or Space Camp. Don’t limit the scope of your charity fundraising items at an event. You never know what a supporter might be interested in, so variety is key.

“Many schools rely on bake sales and small-scale events for all their fundraising, but there’s so much more potential in auction fundraisers,” Nurse said. “Parents, alumni and community supporters want to donate money to their area schools, so you already have a receptive audience. You just need to deliver the kind of value donors will open their wallets a little wider for. Good school auctions will do just that.”

With a national education crisis stifling many children’s futures, there’s never been a better time to make major improvements to school fundraising events. Effective auction fundraising is only part of the solution, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The author of this article has expertise in silent auction items. The articles on charity fundraising items reveals the author’s knowledge on the same. The author has written many articles on silent auction items as well. For more details visit

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