A favorite fund-raising event among charities is the silent auction. Often held in conjunction with a dinner or dance, silent auctions offer a relaxed and sociable approach to auctions.
Take note of the items that interest you and their starting values if you receive an auction catalog before the event. This will help you set a limit for your spending.
View the auction items at the event. The organizers provide a bid sheet for each item with a notation of its starting value.
Bid on an item by writing the amount you would like to bid and signing your name on the bid sheet.
Go back periodically to the items to see whether you've been outbid. As the auction period continues throughout the evening, more people sign bid sheets, and the prices increase.
Write a new amount if you're willing to increase the bid, and sign your name on the bid sheet again.
Wait for the closing of the sale to be announced by the evening's master of ceremonies either at the end of the auction period or at the end of the evening's events.
Be sure to keep checking the bid sheets for the items in which you're interested. Prices can increase rapidly. Remember that donations to charities are tax-deductible - charitable silent auctions are no exception. If you itemize on your individual tax return, you can deduct the amount of the event ticket and the price of the items that you purchase if they are greater than the fair market value of the goods and services you receive. You may also have a deduction for goods donated for auction.