Fundraising Campaign Ideas To Create A Successful Online Auction Or Prize Draw

Fundraising Campaign Ideas To Create A Successful Online Auction Or Prize Draw offers charities a platform to sell incredible items and money-cant-buy experiences to the public. It gives people from across the world an alternative and exciting way to donate to charity. We have identified 5 main types of fundraising campaign listings, that you should utilise in order to get amazing prizes which should raise lots of money for your cause!

Money Cant-Buy Items

Visitors to the site return each month because they are looking for an item or experience they cant find anywhere else. The items don’t have to be expensive per say, just exclusive. The chance to buy rare memorabilia, VIP tickets, or backstage access to a sporting event is naturally going to attract a lot more attention than something that can be bought on the high-street.

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The charity Good Chance auctioned off 2 tickets to Elton Johns annual Oscars Party, including First Class return flights and 5* accommodation in Los Angeles. The auction was a huge success and raised 10,000 for the charity. Including a luxury hotel and flights made the experience whole, but the fact that this is an invite-only event that you cannot generally buy tickets for, made it a truly standout prize. It was an opportunity to rub shoulders with A-List Hollywood stars and truly money-cant-buy!

Internal Resources

Assess what you have within your organisation that people would be interested in. Do any of your team have celebrity friends or luxury villas in remote parts of the world? Dinner with a renowned CEO may be appealing if they are able to share industry tips and tricks, or you might be able to offer someone a place on an excursion with your cause, to help build houses in a Third World country. Steer clear of auctioning internships, as you may find people do not react well, as it can be seen as paying to work, when it should be vice versa. If your company has access to a private box at music events or tournaments, you could auction off VIP tickets as these types of prizes are hugely popular!

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The Evening Standard held a Christmas campaign in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital back in 2015 on The newspaper auctioned off the chance to have lunch with its then editor, Sarah Sands. The auction raised a whopping 10,000 for that experience alone, which was especially great as the prize was free and easy to organise!

Celebrity Ambassadors

A lot of charities now have official celebrity ambassadors that commit to supporting their cause. Celebrities can quickly generate a buzz and garner lots of exposure, but the most important part here is to create an experience that wont take up too much time out of their already busy schedules. Since launching back in 2015, memorabilia has been a popular and easy way for charities to raise funds, but a meet and greet with the latest boy band heart throb is going to really amplify the exposure of your campaign and raise you a lot of money. Just remember, its important that the celebrity helps promote the prize to their audience too!

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This Spring, the South African Youth Education for Sustainability (SA-Yes) ran a prize draw to win a 30-minute Skype call with actress Gillian Anderson. Entries to the prize draw were only 5 but SA-YES were able to raise over 10,000. The campaign had all the key factors of a successful prize draw; Gillian has a huge, almost cult-like following, she continuously promoted the prize draw throughout the campaign to her followers on social media and the 5 entry point made the experience accessible to all. Gillian was able to take the call from anywhere in the world, which meant the experience did not take up too much of her time and also meant anyone worldwide could enter and win!

National Charity Campaigns

If your organisation runs an annual campaign, then online auctions and prize draws are a great way to engage your audience and fundraise in a new and inventive way, not only in the build-up to as well as during your event.

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This year, Givergy hosted Comic Reliefs Red Nose Day campaign to help them raise a record-breaking 76 million. The campaign was a great success and Comic Relief raised over a 380,000 through alone. Although the main aim of the TV show is to drive people to donate, either over the phone or through text, Comic Relief realised the need to offer an alternative way to engage new and existing supporters. They were able to utilise their many A-list supporters in order to create incredible prizes which made the auction hugely successful. Comic Relief also held a number of prize draws which were just 5 to enter, so that their campaign allowed people with a range of incomes the ability to support their cause and participate!

Holiday-Tied Themes

Our final suggestion is to try and offer a prize that is timely. Its an excellent way to capitalize on those that are looking for Christmas or Valentines Day gifts, as well as events like Easter and Remembrance Sunday. Remember that the prize will need to be listed on the site for a few weeks prier to the holiday, and if its promoted as a gift for a specific day (like Christmas) you’ll need to allow enough time post-campaign for the prize to be sent out and delivered to the winner in time!

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UNICEF auctioned off tickets to see Robbie Williams in concert on New Year’s Eve. The prize was appealing not only to Robbie fans, but also for those that were looking for an exciting and different way to bring in the new year. The experience included a host of other benefits, widening its appeal, like dinner at a top London restaurant, and overnight stay in a luxury hotel, as well as hospitality throughout the night. The auction ended a few days prior to New Years Eve so that Unicef were able to send tickets to the winner and allow plenty of time for those that lost out on the auction to come up with alternative plans. After a bidding war in the final few minutes the experience sold for over 2,000!

As a round-up, here are our top tips to uncover the best fundraising campaign listing ideas:

  • Find items or experiences that cant be bought anywhere else
  • Use the resources that you have available to you and are free
  • Celebrity experiences are proven to raise the most money
  • Shake up an already successful campaign by adding an online auction or prize draw
  • People look for unusual gifts at Christmas, Valentines and Easter so make sure your listing is appealing at these times!

The most important tip of all to take away, is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Don’t be afraid to ask for support from your key donors, or celebrity ambassadors, or ask those with a big network to share your campaign far and wide! has had many success stories and we hope that your charity can be one of the next! If you have items or experiences that you think would be suitable to list on, please get in touch or download the campaign ideas document below, to get more inspiration.


Ben Crook

Ben Crook

Chief Operating Officer

Ben is at the forefront of every project in Givergy, listing and actioning constant improvements across the business. With over a decade of experience in the charity and events sector he brings a deep understanding of what the fundraising industry needs to operate effectively and efficiently.