The Difference with High-School Auctions

16 Apr 2014 By Roger Devine

My son (my only child) is a High-School Freshman this year. Which means that this is the first year that I was On The Team for a HS auction. It went pretty well, but the differences between this auction and say, the elementary and middle-school auctions I’ve chaired or worked were pretty interesting.

I had discussed many of these differences with customers over the years, but going through it made me think that perhaps it would be worth discussing here, to provide some insight for others as to the big differences. If you have something to contribute, please help fill in the gaps in the comments.

This was an auction put on by, and raising money for, many different organizations: the PTA, the school Foundation, and over twenty different sports teams & clubs.

Of course, there had to be a lead entity - to hold the merchant account, collect all of the funds, and provide the tax-deductions to guests. In our case, the PTA took point. This did not mean that all of the core team members had to (or did) come from the PTA; just that the PTA was the “sponsoring organization.” This was a decision that had been made primarily on the basis of the logistics of money-handling, insurance, and history - for our school, the PTA was the logical choice. But I can imagine situations where another group would take the lead - even the school itself.

Related to this diverse base of beneficiaries and team members: Coordination was an imperative, and our fabulous co-chairs had a strong set of rules each group needed to follow regarding procurement, raffle ticket sales, and more. And in the days immediately following the event (which we are in as I type this), there is a very organized process for accounting for the funds raised - which groups were responsible for raising how much, and how to charge costs equitably.

I’ll continue this discussion in another post (probably tomorrow), but would welcome feedback from all of you.