Creative, Unusual, and Engaging Ideas for Virtual Auctions

New and creative auction items for virtual fundraising event galas
This is part one of a series focused on virtual fundraising ideas for non-profits. It includes great ideas for non-profits like associations and chambers of commerce.
The series explores everything from virtual event promotion to non-profit livestream technology options, from auction item photography tips to online bidding and pickup policies, and much more.


Maybe a local real estate agent (who probably won’t be donating a house) would donate a 6-month subscription to an online wine service.

Does a garbage/recycling company want to step outside the box with a gift certificate for an online eyewear provider?

Your friendly travel agent could provide a voucher for an airport shuttle or airport parking.

An accounting firm might sponsor a live visit by (a) Santa at someone’s home or event during the holiday season.

Would a brewery offer naming rights for their next lager along with a case to enjoy?

Maybe there’s an intimate picnic with a to-go catered meal and wine for 6, provided by a construction company.

An architecture firm might underwrite an acoustic duo providing entertainment for that same intimate outdoor picnic.

Will a landscaping company commit to providing a live Christmas tree delivered in early December? Maybe they work in conjunction with an interior designer who will professionally decorate the Christmas tree in someone’s home?

How about a food truck or ice cream truck for a socially distanced, neighborhood block party sponsored by a local real estate brokerage?

Is there a property management company willing to partner with a housekeeping provider for something entirely out of their wheelhouse, like sponsor a limo ride to school or to tour Christmas lights?

A physician’s office could sponsor a private yoga lesson in someone’s home.

Instead of the standard gift card, a pizza place could let someone create and name a pizza of the month or weekly special.

Ask a local glass repair company to spring for a professional impersonator appearance at a 40th birthday, grad party, or hospital room.

Maybe a well-drilling company or septic system installer provides a 3-month subscription for a variety of streaming services.

Find a tax-prep firm that will donate a $50 in lottery ticket tree – always a favorite!

There are so many businesses approached over and over again to donate and sponsor. It’s always helpful to be able to tell them about donations beyond the “usual suspects.” A good rule of thumb is this: The answer is always “no” unless you ask.

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