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Art Auction

Number of People: 8-15

Budget: $15


The Art Auction was started to boost funds in the Ginny Levine Grant Fund. People are encouraged to donate items of art, crafts, or services that conferees then bid on in a silent auction format. The bidding is fast and furious at the end if you have done your job right, for you are responsible for whipping people up into a frenzy of spirited bidding. In the past, the auction is over at 6:00 p.m. sharp Thursday night, leaving you time to make a list of successful bidders, from whom you will extract the promised amount before they walk away with their treasures. You will need several people during the week and 6 people on Thursday night to help with the collection process. Line these people up early!

Some will need to make a bid sheet with : item number, description, name of donor and lines for bids (include name and $ amount). It is helpful to make these 2-up, so they take up less room. Print at least 100 bid sheets ahead of time and make sure you have the ability to print more as needed. Use the business center printer for extras.

It is helpful to have 1 person logging in and numbering the items as they come in. This information was given to a second person who enters it into an excel spreadsheet (keeping track of item #, item description, donor and suggested value). If no one bought a lap top, use the business center but keep the information on a jump drive.

Make a check out sheet. This sheet would have the following information: Bidder name, 4-5 lines for items that they won (include room for item number and winning bid amount). Line for special projects donation. Line for total. After that, have boxes for cash/ check/ credit card. While people are waiting in line to check out, you could have volunteers help them fill out the form (don't forget the special projects line!) and then add it up for them. The form is then left with the check out person. This form will give the spreadsheet person enough information to fill out the rest of the spreadsheet.

Two people should then audit the spreadsheet, either on island or when they get home (using the spreadsheets and check out sheets).

The artistic volunteers should keep grouping items (ie by jewelry, wearable art, etc) and then creatively display them the last 24 hours before the auction ends.

It is helpful having one person writing announcements. You need to announce early in the week that as many donations of art & services as possible are needed. You should also announce during the week that there are items to bid on, when enough pieces are there to make it worth the visit. This system gives the conferees more time to review the offerings and make bids. After the "show" is hung in Newton or Marshman, you need to encourage people to loosen their wallets for a very good cause. Remind them that this is a fundraiser and is not the appropriate time to be nice to someone. Make announcements at social hour since that is a good time for them to migrate next door and check it out. Have people bring nice artwork out to happy hour to encourage bidding. It has been helpful to talk to social hour people. Recently, they have started happy hour early, so people could start bidding early. It is also helpful NOT to have clams and mussels the same night, as it competes time-wise.

Often there is a bidding frenzy in the last few seconds as people try to be last on the list before it is taken down. You may want to consider flagging a few contested items that are obviously going this way and run a quick live auction for them after the silent auction closes.

In 2015 we tested credit cards. People paying by credit card were encouraged to 'round up' to cover the cost of the service fee. About 25% of people chose to pay by credit card. You will have to find someone to donate their CC account to have this in future years.

In 2015 Gene and Nancy bought out a large star. The conference created a mosaic art piece on the star. The conferees each 'bid' on the item and then the item was donated to Star (and hung in Newton Center). Most people bid $50 and it was added to their total. This money is where the 'special projects' line of the check out sheet would go.

Do not use Numbers in place of Names. Contributors like to know who is bidding on their items. Bidders like to know who is opposing them.

Checks are made out to All Star 2.

Someone will need to bring the 'bank'. This will be $30 in one's, and $70 in fives. This will be used for those that like to pay with cash. Have 2 people count it together and put a note in the bank that saying who supplied the initial $100. After the auction is over, have 2 people count out the $100 bank and give it to the initial donor - the rest will be counted and deposited at the front desk. Checks will need to be counted and deposited too. After you count it, the front desk will re-count it and put it in an envelope. Label the envelope 'all star 2 art auction' and have it put in the all star 2 envelope in the safe. Do not rely on Star having enough 1's for the bank-bring your own.

Have someone bring a jump drive to store the spreadsheet info.

Needed (you will be reimbursed if you present receipts, unless you are willing to donate these supplies):

  • labels for paintings
  • push pins and/or thumb tacks
  • putty for hanging things on walls
  • bid slips
  • notebook/tablet to keep track of donations and high bidders
  • money for the 'bank' - $30 in 1's, $70 in 5's****do not forget this****
  • 30-40 pens and pencils (pencil sharpener)***do not forget this****
  • string to hang pencils from
  • wire or string to hang artwork *****do not forget this****
  • colored paper
  • paper for signs
  • sign-up sheets
  • small hammer
  • tape
  • calculators for check out or ask people to bring their phones

(keep a list of items that are leftover. These can be stored over the winter but the following year's art auction person needs to know what is there so they don't have to go and rebuy everything).

You are also responsible for collecting the money bid on art items. Get your assistants to help. Frequent announcements at meal times and, if necessary, a list of name posted by the Starboard is an effective way of getting people to pay up. Don’t let people pick up their purchases until they have paid.

Special notes: If someone brings multiple items (ie cd's, calendars, note cards) ask the donor for a dollar amount they want to see them sold for. If they bought 5 cd's, make the bid sheet 5 lines long and 'X' out the remaining lines. Keep the items behind the check out desk and give them out once the person has bought them.

If someone donates an item like decorating name tags, ask them to collect the money when they do the art work. The amount can be turned in all at once and doesn't need to be put on the check out sheet.