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How To Run A Successful Quarter Auction Fundraiser

Looking to host a successful quarter auction fundraiser? This guide will show you how! From planning and promotion to tips for the big day, we've got you covered.

How To Run A Successful Quarter Auction Fundraiser

Quarter auctions put the fun back into fundraising. The... do back into donation. The woo back into whoopee. Okay, so we may have lost the thread a little bit there, but you get the idea!

Quarter auction fundraisers offer a unique and engaging way to raise money for your cause. But before you can enjoy the fruits of your auction labor, there's a little bit of planning that needs to go into making sure your quarter auction is a success.

The yay-factor of winning baskets filled with goodies, the sense of community, and the fun of socializing with friends while supporting a good cause all make quarter auctions an attractive fundraising option.

With a little bit of know-how, you can maximize your chances for a successful quarter auction fundraiser, and have a blast doing it! Let's take a look at what it takes.

What is a Quarter Auction Fundraiser?

Quarter Auction

Before we can get into the nitty-gritty of how to make your quarter auction fundraiser a success, let's first answer the question: what is a quarter auction exactly?

You won't need to go back to your high school economics class for this one, we promise. In short, a quarter auction is part raffle, part auction, and part fundraiser all rolled into one. It's a unique and fun way to support a cause while socializing and enjoying some friendly competition.

Here's a breakdown of how it works:

  • Guests arrive and receive a paddle with a number on it.

  • The paddles are used to bid on auction items by holding them up when the item's number is called.

  • Each paddle has a corresponding numbered chip which is placed into a drawing basket.

  • A few minutes before the auction begins, guests have the option to purchase a second paddle for another donation.

  • Once the auction begins, the host or one of the helpers will hold up the item that's up for bid and will reveal whether the item is a "one-quarter" or "two-quarter" bid.

  • If you would like to bid on the item, you will put one or two quarters (depending on what was announced) into the bucket per paddle that you wish to bid with. For example, if you have two paddles and want to bid with both of them to double your chances of winning, and the item is a "one-quarter" bid, then you would put .50 in the bucket and raise your paddles.

  • Once all of the quarters have been collected, the bucket is passed around and shaken so that all of the chips are mixed up. Then, one chip is drawn from the bucket, and the corresponding paddle number is called out. The person holding that paddle wins the auction item!

As you can see, not only is a quarter auction fundraiser a great way to raise money, but it's also a fun social event. Guests enjoy bidding on items, catching up with friends, and supporting a good cause, all at the same time.

How to Plan a Quarter Auction Fundraiser

Quarter Auction

Now that we know what a quarter auction fundraiser is, let's take a look at how to plan one. From setting a date to gathering donated items, there are a few key steps that you'll need to take in order to ensure that your fundraiser is a success.

Step 1 - Save the Date

One of the first things you'll need to do is set a date for your quarter action. Keep in mind that you'll want to give yourself enough time to plan and promote the event, so don't wait until the last minute! A good rule of thumb is to start planning your event 2-3 months in advance.

Step 2 - Choose a Venue

The next step is to choose a venue for your fundraiser. If you have a large enough space at your disposal, such as a school gymnasium or community center, that can work well. Otherwise, you may need to rent a space. Just be sure to choose a venue that is large enough to accommodate your expected number of guests, and that has enough tables and chairs for everyone.

Step 3 - Set a Budget

Once you have a date and venue secured, it's time to set a budget for your event. This will help you to determine how much money you'll need to raise and will also guide your fundraising efforts. When setting your budget, be sure to factor in the cost of renting a space (if necessary), purchasing supplies, and advertising/promoting your event.

Step 4 - Recruit Volunteers

Now that you have the logistics of your quarter auction fundraiser planned, it's time to start recruiting volunteers. This is an important step because you'll need a team of helpers in order to make your event a success.

Depending on the size of your event, you may need anywhere from 10-20 volunteers. It can be as easy as reaching out to friends, family members, and co-workers to see if they're interested in helping out. Just be sure to give them plenty of notice so that they can clear their schedules.

Step 5 - Gather Donations

The next step is to start gathering donations for your quarter action. This can be done in several ways, such as reaching out to local businesses, sending out donation request letters, or placing collection bins in high-traffic areas.

You can even use platforms like TheShareWay, an online-based donation platform, to solicit donations from businesses and individuals online. You'll receive a directory of donors offering food, beverages, auction and raffle items, and more. It's a great way to get businesses and individuals involved who might not be able to donate otherwise.

Step 6 - Determine the Value of Your Quarters

Got all your donations? Great! Now you want to determine the value of each quarter. You'll have to use your best judgment to decide how much each quarter is worth, but a good rule of thumb is $0.25-$0.50 per quarter. Nobody really likes losing, so try to keep the values on the lower end so that people don't feel like they're wasting their money if they don't win.

Step 7 - Purchase the Equipment

What do you need in order to run a successful quarter action?

Well, you'll need tables, chairs, and a bunch of paddles (at least two for each guest). You may also want to purchase buckets or other containers to hold the quarters, as well as a sound system so that everyone can hear the announcements. If you're renting a venue, be sure to ask if they have any of this equipment available for you to use.

Step 8 - Promote Your Event

With your date, venue, budget, volunteers, donations, and equipment all secured, it's time to start promoting your event! Generating interest and excitement for your fundraiser is key to ensuring its success.

There are many ways to promote your event, such as creating a Facebook event, distributing flyers, and reaching out to local media outlets. When in doubt, just get the word out any way you can!

Quarter Auction Basket Ideas

Quarter Auction Basket Ideas

When it comes to quarter auctions, one of the most important things is to have a great selection of items up for bid. After all, people are more likely to participate if there's something that they're interested in winning!

To help you get started, we've put together a list of quarter auction basket ideas that are sure to be a hit with your guests:

  • Gift cards to local restaurants or businesses
  • Tickets to a concert, sporting event, or movie
  • Gift baskets filled with goodies like wine, chocolate, or bath products
  • Home decor items like candles, picture frames, or vases
  • Electronics like gift cards for iTunes or Amazon, or Bluetooth speakers
  • Gift cards for a day of pampering at a spa or salon
  • And more!

How and Where to Secure Quarter Auction Items

It's not a quarter auction without some great prizes, so now it's time to start collecting items to be auctioned off! But where exactly do you find all of these quarter auction items?


Gift Cards to Popular Department Stores

Gift Baskets

Sports Teams



Amusement Parks

Here are the best places to look for quarter auction items:

We know that we already provided you with a few quarter auction basket ideas above, but we couldn't leave you hanging without giving you a few more! Check out our blog post; ''10 Fun Raffle Basket Ideas, and 87 Donation Request Links, for some additional concepts to get your creative juices flowing.

If you're ready to get out there and start asking for donations, TheShareWay can help. Sign up for free today and view our database of over 1000 donation companies. You won't have to worry about where to find quarter auction items anymore—we'll do the work for you!

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