Auctions are a great way to enhance donations for any kind of fundraiser. From booster clubs to PTAs to dance troupes or youth sports teams, creative auction baskets ideas can drive competitive bidding and put more money into your organization’s coffers.
We collected 17 terrific auction basket ideas for you, and you can use these suggestions as a great jumping-off point to get your creative fires burning. These ideas are great for raffles and silent and live auctions, and we included some big-ticket options if you have the opportunity to go all out.
Home-Baked Auction Basket
Someone in your community has a famous cheesecake or cookie that would drum up some good-spirited friendly competition. Add a picnic blanket, forks, and plates for a tasty take-a-long treat.
Mega Candy Basket
Let your inner 9-year-old do the shopping for all the sugary snacks that make your mouth water. Grab a container to hold it all at the local dollar store, and someone is sure to bid on the perfect gift for their favorite young person.
Father’s Day Trip Basket
Give the dads a day out! Start with matching hats and shirts so they can stand out and find each other easily. Add a gift certificate for a meal or gather snacks. Get tickets for an activity such as concerts, 5K competitions, sports events, car shows, or a game night. Make it upscale and score them a limo ride or sweet rental car.
Chocolate Lover’s Basket
Who doesn’t love chocolate? For this auction basket idea, create a package with hot chocolate, cookie dough, cookie cutters, chocolate snacks, and a gift certificate for ice cream!
School Spirit Basket
Pack up your best school swag for a VIP experience! Include reserved front row seats to your school’s plays, concerts, and sporting events for an auction basket idea with low monetary investment and a huge value to the bidder.
Baby Shower Gift Basket
Pack a bassinet or laundry basket with diapers, cleaning wipes (of all kinds!), blankets, baby books, and outfits. For something extra special, include a getaway weekend for the parents to enjoy before the baby arrives.
Coffee Lover Auction Basket
Combine a variety of coffees from around the world in a wooden box or wicker basket. Add biscotti, chocolate-covered espresso beans, a coffee mug, and a French press to complete this caffeinated delight.
Movie Night Gift Basket
Pack a giant bowl with gift cards for movie rentals, a cozy blanket, popcorn, and snacks for the start of a great night. Add in some hot cocoa for a late-night treat in the winter, or go big with a movie projector for summer night movies from the pool!
Classroom Supplies Basket
One great auction basket idea is a basket full of teacher supplies. Crayola crayons, Ticonderoga pencils, facial tissues, hand sanitizer, dry erase markers, tape, sticky notes, desk snacks, and drinks are always helpful in the classroom.
Book Lover’s Basket
Pack earplugs, some bestselling books, a book-themed candle, bath salts, and a do not disturb sign for an auction basket idea all book lovers would go for. Add an e-reader or tickets to an event for a basket that wows!
Sports Night Basket Idea
Cheer on the local team with a tailgating kit. Provide tickets to the big game, parking vouchers, and spirit wear. Gather it all in a cooler or grill along with your favorite tailgating food and beverages. Add some chairs and a pop-up canopy to really get the party started!
Fill a tackle box with lures, hooks, bobbers, and a knife. Add a fishing rod and reel, folding chair, and a cooler for a fishing day out, sure to please.
Local Excursion Basket
Your area has lots of uniquely local experiences, so why not consider an auction basket idea focused on hometown flair? It could be horse riding or a cooking class, painting lessons, or theater. Create a passport of things to do and provide all the vouchers and tickets in a travel bag ready for local adventure.
Sports Auction Basket
Sports baskets are so great because they can be fun for people of all ages! These baskets can include balls, sports gear, memorabilia, tickets to games, movies, tailgating supplies, and more! Sports-themed gift baskets are great for silent auction fundraisers by athletic boosters because they can feature each team sport in the school.
DIY Spa Gift Basket
Bring on the self-care! Popular items in these auction baskets are facial masks, candles, bubble baths, aromatherapy scents, bath melts, foot scrubs, fluffy towels, robes, slippers, eye masks, and lotion, manicure sets, bath salts, and lip balm. These can even be organized in a cute tin complete with labels!
Pro-tip for the basket organizer—if you are collecting items from many people, you may need to separate items by scent and store them in separate tubs, so the scents don’t start mixing.
Food and Drink Basket
For a tasty auction basket idea, fill a wicker basket with coffee, hot cocoa, chocolate, cookies, crackers, cheese, meats—any yummy snack, you name it. Food and drink baskets can also be specialized like a Wine Gift Basket or an Ice Cream Toppings Basket.
Pet Care Basket
Everyone thinks their pet is the best, and everyone is right, of course! Pamper Fido or Fifi with toys, chews, grooming tools, shampoo, conditioner, treats, beds, blankets, clothes, leashes, books, stickers—the “paw-sibilities” are endless.
This is another great auction basket idea theme that can be separated by categories. A dog basket with chew toys, leashes, poo bags, maps to dog parks and local dog shops, and balls will be a hit.
Go for a cat-themed basket with feathers and toys and catnip all in a fancy litter box. An aquarium tank can be filled with items for fish or reptiles. A birdcage can be stocked with bird necessities.
A Few Auction Pro-Tips
If you are hosting a live auction, consider how much time is available when deciding on what auction basket ideas you’re planning to offer for bid. The longer time you have to allow potential donors to compete for the item of their choice, the higher your return. If you have too many items and a short time for bidding, you run the risk of low or no bids on some of your auction baskets. Timing is key!
What if you find yourself with an abundance of auction items? Present your lower-priced items as a “pre-game” silent auction and keep the higher-value items for the live auction to build excitement through the night.
With these auction basket ideas, you are well on your way to fundraising fun and success. Good luck and happy bidding!
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