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101 Silent Auction Basket Ideas

Updated on May 24, 2016
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101 Ideas for Silent Auction Items

Silent auctions are a great way to raise additional funds at any event. Putting together the right basket makes all the difference. Themed baskets are the best way to accomplish this. While individual gift certificates for restaurants and local businesses are great, they may only appeal to a few individuals at the event. Combine them with other items to make the basket stand out and appeal to more bidders.

I love to buy silent auction items from Amazon. Not only do they offer free shipping on hundreds of items, but their prices cannot be beat! It is also an easy way to find off-season items that may be hard to find in local stores.

Silent Auction Basket Tips

If you want to try to get the most out of your silent auction baskets, here are a few tips to maximize results:

Limit the value: Save high ticket items for live auctions. Keep your silent auction baskets under $200 in value. If you have a lot of items and a great theme, break them up into several smaller baskets. Ideal basket prices are in the $50-$75 range.

Package it right: Keep the theme tight. A beach basket that has items for teens, tweens, toddlers, etc. may look great but may not appeal to a family with only toddlers. The same goes for a basket that has items for both boys and girls that may get passed over by a family with all boys or all girls. Instead, split up the baskets to focus specifically on one age group, gender, etc.

Delegate: If you are fundraising for a school, ask the room parent in each grade to coordinate a "grade basket." Let them choose the theme and contact the parents in their classes for donations. Asking for help will produce a wider variety and more creative options.

Combine donations: Some items do better in a package then they do standing alone. For instance, a gift certificate for pizza may work better in a "Family Night In" basket then on its own. People will sometimes try to get a deal on a gift certificate, causing the auction item to close lower than its face value. But, when you combine it with other items, you may get more bang for your buck.

Require a minimum bid: Always set a minimum bid for any silent auction item.

Collect cash: If you are hosting a silent auction for a school or organization with a large number of members, rather than asking for item donations, ask for a small cash donation so that you can shop for the baskets yourself. $1, $5, or $10 may be easier for a busy parent to dish out than shopping for a specific item. When I have used this method, I was able to shop on Amazon and create several consistent baskets while keeping the costs affordable.

Know your audience: Is this an auction for a Little League team or a school? Is this a group of young singles or maybe a predominantly male audience at a golf tournament? By knowing your audience, you can appeal to local businesses for donations and design your auction baskets for the best result.

Assign items: If you are not in a position to accept cash donations to shop, make a list of ideal donations. Be descriptive and specific in order to keep the baskets' themes consistent. Use tools like Evite and send out e-mail. Evite has a feature where you can make a list and participants can sign up to bring an item. Or use tools like SignupGenius.

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Silent Auction Organizer Tip

Collect donations and then shop on Amazon. With free shipping on many items it is fast, affordable, and easy.

Through the Grapevine Silent Auction Basket

Wine Lover's Auction Basket Ideas

Create a wine basket with accessories, snacks, wines, and reference books.

  • Wine (different varieties: red, white, dessert, etc.)
  • Bottle opener
  • Small wine refrigerator
  • Cookbooks
  • Wine reference books
  • Day trip to a local winery gift card
  • Cheese
  • Crackers
  • Ice bucket

Life's a Beach Silent Auction Basket

A beach theme is a fun and cost-effective way to make a silent auction basket. Several low-cost items can quickly add up to an incredible basket. It's also appealing for a school silent auction where there are families with small children. Package the basket in something fun like a beach cart or cooler.

  • Frisbee
  • Snorkel
  • Beach towels
  • Boogie board
  • Cooler
  • Disposable waterproof cameras
  • Beach cart
  • Umbrella
  • Pails and shovel
  • Sandcastle molds
  • Sunscreen
  • Bubbles

"Let's Get Physical" Auction Basket for Exercise Lovers

An exercise basket can be appealing to a diverse group. Pick items that are the latest in fitness to make it fun and inviting.

  • Resistance bands
  • Free weights/dumbells
  • Yoga or exercise mat
  • Exercise DVDs
  • Certificate for personal training sessions
  • Certificate to sporting goods store
  • Trial membership at a local gym

Family Night Silent Auction Basket

A family night with games, movies, and popcorn is an appealing basket for any family type. Fill your basket with items such as:

  • Family movies
  • Popcorn
  • Board games
  • Pizza gift certificate
  • Movie candy

Spa-Tacular Silent Auction Gift Basket

A spa auction basket could work well in an event that hosts women. Start with a certificate to a local popular spa and embellish with a few items to dress it up.

  • Spa robe
  • Cute flip flops
  • Spa gift certificate
  • Nail polish
  • Lotion
  • Pedicure kit
  • Magazines
  • Cute spa bag/purse

Golf Lovers Silent Auction Basket for Golf Enthusiasts

Create a basket with passes to local golf courses, golf items and accessories. Basket items could include:

  • Golf tees
  • Balls
  • Soft cooler
  • Oversized umbrella
  • Club covers
  • Autographed items
  • Golf passes to local courses
  • Tournament tickets
  • Sunglasses
  • Golf glove
  • Visor
  • Hat

Jewelry Silent Auction Basket

Save high-ticket jewelry pieces for a live auction, but unique costume jewelry or mommy-and-me jewelry sets are excellent for most silent auctions.

  • Bracelets
  • Charms
  • Earrings
  • Necklaces
  • Jewelry cleaner
  • Travel cases
  • Jewelry box

Parents' Night Out Gift Basket

Take restaurant gift certificates and combine them into a theme that would make any parents' night out a dream. If it is a school fundraiser, check to see if a popular teacher would donate babysitting services for the night or check with local groups that offer parents' nights out.

Local Fun Silent Auction Basket

Make a basket of regional books and local gift cards to allow the buyer to explore the local area.

  • Gift cards to local venues/restaurants
  • Park pass
  • Museum passes
  • Hiking book
  • Family regional book
  • Disposable camera
  • Photo book

Yoga Gift Basket

A yoga basket is a unique basket theme. Items you could include in your basket are:

  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga DVD
  • Yoga books
  • Starter kit
  • Gift card to local yoga studio
  • Relaxation CDs

The Joke's on You Silent Auction Prank Basket

This basket of pranks is a hit for families with young boys. It is a perfect silent auction item for schools, clubs, or boys' sport events.

  • Bug-in-an-icecube
  • Plastic insects
  • Whoopie cushion
  • Shock pens
  • Dirty soap
  • Joke book
  • Handshake buzzer

Garden Gift Basket

Green thumb gift baskets work well for springtime auctions.

  • Seeds
  • Plants
  • Garden tools
  • Gift card to garden center
  • Gardening books
  • Garden caddy
  • Gardening gloves

Learn Your Lessons

Ever wanted to take piano lessons or become better at tennis? Many establishments will offer gift certificates for a free lesson at their place of business. This is one where you will need to know your audience. An auction basket for music lessons may go over very well at a school, while a series of tennis lessons may work better at a country club. Combine the gift certificate with a small basket or item to make it stand out. For example, include a small basket of balls and accessories with a tennis lesson auction item.

  • Music lessons
  • Tennis lessons
  • All-star sports lesson
  • Golf lessons with a golf pro
  • Craft lessons
  • Cooking lessons

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I'm a Chocoholic

Fill this basket with chocolate galore! This is a fantastic option near Valentine's Day or Christmas where the basket can double as a gift.

  • Fine chocolates
  • Cookbooks
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate kits
  • International chocolate varieties
  • Gift card to local bakery

Magic Silent Auction Basket

A magician's basket works well for school silent auctions or events that attract adults with children. It is an affordable and popular auction item. Ask local magic stores for gift card donations or items in exchange for advertising to round out the basket.

  • Deck of cards
  • Magic paraphernalia
  • Melissa & Doug magic set
  • Book of magic tricks

Young Sports Fan Silent Auction Basket

Fill a basket with fun sports items for boys (or girls). You can target it to toddlers with plastic and soft sports equipment or an older age with more performance-based sports equipment. Pick a specific sport or mix-and-match. Top it off with a gift card to a local sporting good store or tickets to a local sporting event.

  • Football
  • Baseball bat, glove, and ball
  • Hockey stick
  • Hacky sak
  • Basketball
  • Fact books
  • Indoor sport items such as an over-the-door basketball hoop

Throwback Gift Basket: Back in Time with Your Favorite Treats from Your Favorite Decade

Were you a child of the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, or '80s? Do you miss that favorite candy or soft drink? These retro throwback gift baskets are full of decades of fun!

Pizza Maker Silent Auction Basket

Pizza is something the entire family can enjoy together. Layer your basket with a children's pizza kit, cookbook, pans, pizza cutter and sauce. Round it off with a gift certificate for a local kitchen store or grocery store to complete this fun basket.

Melissa & Doug Basket: Fun Fake Food for Little Chefs

High quality Melissa & Doug wooden toys are keepsakes. Their incredible craftsmanship and unique design capture the imaginations of children. They have wooden sandwich making sets, wooden pizza making sets, wooden cookies, and wooden fruit. Pick a theme-based assortment, such as a group of food products.

Beer Making Basket: Make Your Own Beer

For hobbyists that love beer, a beer making kit would make a great gift. Keep costs low and simple on this one. No home breweries are starting here, you just want to draw in those who have an interest and keep your audience broad. Include mixes, ingredients, a beer brewing jug, beer brew books, and a certificate to a local beer barn (in the event their brew goes south!).

Sew Crafty Basket

Put together gift certificates from craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Joanne's Fabric with a themed craft item to create a craft lover's dream. Your theme could be do-it-yourself thank you cards or make-your-own wreaths.

  • Sewing machine
  • Patterns
  • Craft how-to books
  • Material, beads, special papers, or other craft-related items

Young Children's Classics Silent Auction Gift Basket

Create a basket full of children's classics that will bring a lifetime of memories.

  1. Dr. Seuss books
  2. Nursery rhymes
  3. Soft books
  4. Shel Silverstein
  5. Beatrix Potter
  6. Eric Carle

Puppy Love Silent Auction Gift Basket

Appeal to dog lovers with an auction gift basket that makes their dog the crown prince.

  • Treats
  • Dog toys
  • Dog bed
  • Bowl
  • Fashion
  • Pet store gift card
  • Pet books
  • Gift certificate to local dog groomer

Scrapbook Silent Auction Basket

A school, child care center, or other family-centered organization can have success with a scrapbook gift basket. Stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and even Walmart offer an array of unique designer scrapbook papers and accessories. A few ideas include:

  • Keepsake scrapbook
  • Scrap paper
  • Paper punches
  • Stickers
  • Carrying bag/organizer
  • Photo organizer

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Spice of Life Gift Basket

Compile a basket of unique spices, spice racks, and cookbooks. Create a basket with unique hard-to-find spices and delicacies.

Coffee Lovers Auction Basket

Coffee is a hot commodity in many households. Homes with bare kitchen counters and condiment-heavy refrigerators still grace a coffee maker. A basket with unique coffees, syrups, and maybe even a Keurig will be a bit hit at silent auctions.

  • Keurig Single Cup Home Brewing System
  • Coffee flavors
  • Syrups
  • Starbucks gift cards
  • Mugs

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    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the prize ideas:)

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      RobGrawberger 6 years ago

      Some great ideas here. Will use them for our next fundraising event.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 6 years ago from US

      I love these ideas for a silent auction basket; esp. the yoga one.

      Blessed by a squid angel;)

    • fluffyclouds profile image

      fluffyclouds 6 years ago

      Great ideas! A new favorite!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      Great ideas. Thanks for all you do to help charities learn to fundraise. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome ideas! Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Franksterk: What he said!

      Great ideas and thanks for your wonderful contributions to help fundraise for good causes!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for these ideas. Great list!!

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 5 years ago

      I'm doing a post on my Lyme Disease blog to help people put together fundraisers and will add this. THank you for a great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome ideas! Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for these ideas. Great share!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much - really neat ideas!

    • GOT LM profile image

      GOT LM 5 years ago

      Nice work.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Excellent ideas! I'm helping build a house for our local Habitat for Humanity Women Build Project and we could probably have a silent auction as a way to earn money. I'm going to present this at our next meeting! Squid Liked and Blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for your suggestions. Very helpful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great ideas!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful ideas!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love the Yoga basket suggestion!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love the dog lovers suggestion! Wonderful ideas here!

    • ResearchAddict profile image

      ResearchAddict 4 years ago

      Love the magic gift basket! Great idea!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very helpful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the very interesting and helpful ideas

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I'm baaaack! I am using this as a guide to put together a basket for a raffle for our Women Build (Habitat for Humanity) team. We're building a house...all women!...in our town this July/August and are trying to raise money to help with the costs. I'm either going to go with the "family night" idea or the "regional fun" idea. We're in tourist country here in Minnesota so that might be the best choice. Thanks for so many great suggestions!!

    • profile image

      karen-painter-560 4 years ago

      Great ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Really great ideas for a Rett Syndrome Golf Charity I am working in the Fall. Thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for the ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you so much! excellent ideas thanks so much for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing!

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 4 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens. Our local elementary has an auction every spring, even though they do very well, fresh ideas for baskets are always welcome and I will be using some of your ideas this spring. Pinned and Blessed by a squid angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a huge help for our silent auction. Trying to make some sense of all the scattered donations. Now we can group things together and streamline a bit. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I stubbled on your site by accident but LOVE IT! I have bookmarked it and will return often. Thank you for all the great ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome ideas! I was given a task to find ideas for the school fall fundraiser, but I'm new as a room parent for my daughter's class and I had no idea where to start ! Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Loved your informative ideas... I am stuggling to get participation from our 4th grade parents.... 3 rooms of approx. 30 students and not one family stepped up to help me with our 4th grade basket for our upcoming Auction. I know times are tough (I have been out of work for 4 years now) but this should be a time to pull together for our students. Thank you for your information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the many ideas. We have lots of gift card donations for our events, but I just couldn't wrap my brain around how to present them. Your ideas will help a lot.

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 4 years ago

      Our annual fundraiser is already rearing its ugly head and these lists will be a great help! Thanks for putting them together.

    • profile image

      philipcott 4 years ago

      Useful lense

    • csk305 profile image

      csk305 4 years ago

      Feedback is golden and you deserve it. This was very nicely done. So many great ideas. Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was looking for new ideas for an annual event we host and I got them...thanks!

    • profile image

      mschief18th 4 years ago

      awesome ideas. Thank you!

    • profile image

      BrendanSanlatte 4 years ago

      Those are some awesome ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice lens with lots of good ideas

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am planning a craft show/silent basket auction for my local FCCLA chapter and I absolutely love these ideas! So many themes I could never have thought up on my own. Thank you so much!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Raena Chammartin! Great ideas! Thanks for posting!

    • abigailsavenue profile image

      abigailsavenue 4 years ago

      I work on at least two silent auctions every year for a nonprofit and I plan to use some of your ideas and will share this page with my committee members. Thanks!!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      These are some excellent suggestions! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • ZackBromberg profile image

      ZackBromberg 4 years ago

      I've got a silent auction at my workplace in December. Those ideas are gold!

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      some fantastic ideas here! Thanks

    • profile image

      raellevitt 4 years ago

      Some very nice tricks here,, Interesting stuff.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for all the awesome ideas, very creative

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      awesome ideas thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Appreciate your ideas greatly!

    • profile image

      rwknotts 4 years ago

      The only things missing in the Beach basket was some Carolina beach music maybe some JIM QUICK / COASTLINE BAND -BAND OF OZ

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I can Not say how many wonderful ideas I got from this !! thank you so much from assistance league of Mobile and the children thank you too

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Loved your ideas! Great job putting this together thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My vet and groomer always give me a gift certificate for a pet basket.

    • craig57 lm profile image

      craig57 lm 4 years ago

      A great lens, thanks for sharing the information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      catwell2 4 years ago

      Nice lens with a lot of great ideas. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This page is so helpful, I'll use a lot of the basket ideas. THANKS!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome ideas! I will most def be using several of them, thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you thank you! Just what I was looking for!

    • makorip lm profile image

      makorip lm 4 years ago

      Have done the silent auction thing from both sides. You provided some really good donation ideas.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love the idea of themed Silent Auctions. We have held many a Silent Auction but never thought to keep it with a theme. Good idea

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Well covered :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Awesome ideas

    • Claudia Mathews profile image

      Claudia Mathews 2 years ago

      You have included some very unique basket ideas. I used to make gift baskets and sell them in a few local stores. I should get back into it and suggest a silent auction event like this for a non profit group I'm involved in.

    • profile image

      Terisa Kimmins 4 months ago

      Awesome ideas for silent auction. I didn't know where to begin and I googled ideas for silent auction and ran across soapboxie.

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Terry Kinney 3 months ago

      I have not done a basket for a silent auction before and love your A to Z tips for baskets - well done and thank you!

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