Cathy’s Top 10 Silent Auction Items

06/19/2019 by Rebecca Toews

Did you know… more than $1 billion in gift cards each year are unused! Of the $130 billion spent in 2016, many of these are not redeemed. In fact, of those surveyed for this blog, 63% have had three or more gift cards in their possession for more than a year. 85% of gift cards are used within 30 days.

Here’s how the other 15% can be put to good use!

The Gala for Bridging is Friday, October 11th at Hilton Minneapolis. The Gala is Bridging brings together more than 500 generous supporters and community leaders to help thousands of people get a fresh start.

In 2018, we raised more than $560,000 to help FURNISH HOMES WITH HOPE, a huge factor in that success are our exciting live and silent auctions. That means you have the opportunity to help create this event into a truly exciting experience filled with items gala guests look forward to bidding on ever year.

We are currently seeking live and silent auction donations for the 2019 Gala!

We’re not just looking for gift cards– The type of items we look to include in the auctions might surprise you! Check out this list of Top 10 Auction Items. Some things you haven’t even thought of might just be a wonderful donation to our auction and would help greatly support our mission. Is there something not on this list you think we should include? Let us know, or better yet, send us a donation and your item could take “center stage” for a thrilling evening!

Cathy’s Top 10 List of Auction Donations

  1. Restaurant gift certificates – What restaurants do you frequent? Have you received one for a gift that you aren’t likely to use? Would the chef host a dinner at the restaurant? Or would the chef come to cook dinner in someone’s home?
  2. Wine and wine collections, or bottles of fine liquor. Do you have any vintage or special wines you’d be willing to donate? Do you frequently buy from a vintner who might donate a case? Wine and spirits are consistently some of our best-selling auction items.
  3. Vacation getaways and hotel stays. Do you have a lake home, cabin, ski chalet or timeshare that someone would enjoy? Do you have a connection at a local or chain hotel? Staycations and getaways are always a hit at any auction.
  4. Sporting event tickets or sports memorabilia – especially VIP boxes that bidders would not otherwise be able to access. Do you have season tickets that you could you offer up one or more pair? Could you get something special, like an autographed ball or a meet and greet with an athlete
  5. Entertainment tickets (concerts, theater, symphony, opera, ballet) – especially when these events tend to sell out. Are you a subscriber to, or on the board of, a local entertainment venue? Could you get tickets for unique experiences … behind-the-scenes tour… lunch with the director… a performance?
  6. Personal services performed by you, your company, or your board – these may be a party hosted by your board and 10 friends at the board president’s house, monthly baked goods delivered by someone who is a phenomenal pastry chef, a few hours with a personal organizer or a certificate good for 4 hours of IT support from your IT specialist. Get creative! Your donation can be something as simple as a gift certificate to your business or an invitation to share lunch with you.
  7. Unique experiences – perhaps lunch with a respected person, behind-the-scenes with a local broadcaster, or a ride on a traffic helicopter, Do you know of a unique experience for kids they can share with their friends for a birthday party, like a day on the farm, a bowling party, etc.
  8. Once-in-a-lifetime experiences —the dinner for 8 cooked by a celebrity chef in your own home… the box seats for the World Series… the opportunity to conduct the symphony. There are also experiences for children such as meeting their favorite pro athlete, Policeman/Fireman for a Day, etc.
  9. What hobbies and interests do you have? How about an afternoon on your private boat? A special guided fishing experience? Two hours on your private jet? Handmade jewelry or creative artwork?
  10. Themed-Baskets or Outings – combine similar-type items into super baskets such as themed-baskets such as coffee or wine baskets, craft beer tours, zoo excursion, spa day, Italian-themed food and cookery baskets, etc.

Get creative!

We are always looking for fun and unique things and are open to suggestions! By donating you will highlight your business and/or showcase your commitment to our community, and of course, most importantly, you will help advance Bridging’s mission and bring hope to so many people. Thank you for considering how you can help. Our gala success would not be possible without your help!

For more info on donating to our live and silent auction, contact Development and Special Events Coordinator Cathy Berg at or 952-460-1017.

Donate Help bridge the gap between those who have and those who have not

Whether it’s $1.00 or $1 million, it all makes an impact on our mission! All donations are tax-deductible and are a vital part of our life-enhancing work.