Use this flirty fundraiser to score your squad some serious cash.
by Kelsey Buller
Not only does this fab fundraising idea raise some serious cash, it also honors senior athletes of the season and involves the entire school in a wildly funny, memorable time.
• At a Glance: Host a date auction where students can bid on participating senior male athletes for fun activities.
• Profitability Potential: $2,000.
• Initial Squad Investment: $50.
• Fee Structure: Sell advance tickets for $3 to $5. Students can bid on athletes for a variety of prices.
• Lead-Time Required: Three weeks.
The initial step is find a location—an auditorium with a stage or a large gym with a PA system will do the trick. Three weeks before the actual auction, start gathering up senior athletes to participate—all sports are welcome! These senior volunteers can be “bid on” individually, or they can team up with friends to be auctioned as a group. Each volunteer or groups of volunteers should choose a deed they’ll do for the winning bidder. Some suggestions of deeds seniors can offer are a super-sudsy car wash and wax, a class escort and book carrier for the day, or a personal chauffer for a girls’ night out.
Once you have your lineup of seniors, start creating eye-catching signs to hang around the school to get students interested in the event. Create a Facebook event, contact the school newspaper or make announcements on the PA system to inform students.
A week before the auction, sell tickets for $3 and increase the price to $5 for day-of purchases—this will encourage students to buy early and get hyped for the event. Don’t forget to designate a fast-talking, super-spirited cheerleader to be auctioneer—if the crowd is pumped up, the moolah will be movin’!
A couple days before the auction, make bidding paddles for audience members. If you’re expecting a large turnout or are on a budget, be simple—glue two 5-inch-in-diameter pieces of construction paper on either side of a Popsicle stick, leaving about 4 inches of the stick at the bottom for a handle. Mark each with a unique number and make sure the numbers are bold so that they can be visible from a distance.
Strut Your Stuff
Once the details are straightened out, use your cheer skills to coach the senior volunteers. The volunteers need to bring it the day of the auction, so encourage them to perform a dance number, show off a talent or woo the crowd with their swagger. Athletes need to work it onstage so they can bring in the big bucks! It’s a good idea to run a dress rehearsal beforehand. Not only will this calm any volunteers’ nerves, but you’ll also familiarize yourself with the music and performances, which will prove helpful if you experience any problems on game day.
Have the participants pick a song to walk out to, but make sure a computer savvy squad member burns a CD of these jams before the auction—there’s nothing like technical difficulties to kill the mood.
Helpful hints to remember when the big day has arrived:
• Make sure the PA system is working and the music’s set up with the songs in the same order as the volunteer lineup.
• Make sure the auctioneer’s pumped and ready to go, as they’ll act as the ‘MC’ and be integral in making the auction successful and entertaining.
• Have squad members positioned at key entranceways to take tickets and pass out bidding paddles to each attendee as they arrive.
• Make a list of all volunteers and their activities being auctioning off in the order that they’ll take the stage.
• Start the bidding for individual volunteers at $5 to $10, depending on the volunteer’s act, deed and the reaction of the crowd.
• For groups of volunteers, raise the initial bid price to $10.
• Use those cheer skills to pump up the crowd. If things start getting dull, have rehearsed skits and jokes ready to go to raise audience spirits. You can even improvise and have a squad member show off that perfect tumbling pass or a show-stopping toe touch.
During the event, designate a cheerleader to collect money from the winning bidders. For potential newspaper or yearbook coverage of the auction, have your squad’s shutterbug snap some pictures, and if you take videos, post them to YouTube.
Directly afterwards, have the winning bidders meet with the volunteers to discuss details of their prize. Later, as a friendly gesture, send thank-you notes to all volunteer athletes who participated and treat them to dinner—after all, your senior volunteers are a huge part of this fab fundraiser.
Moolah and Memories
If everything goes as planned, not only will this light-hearted auction raise some serious cash for your squad, it’ll totes be the talk of the school. Students who didn’t buy tickets to attend will be begging your squad to organize this ah-mazing auction again, next year! So what’re you waiting for? Start planning your school’s date auction ASAP! It’s a great way to involve other sports, meet new people and have a cheer-tastic time, while refilling your piggy bank.