Frequently Asked Questions About the Upcoming Auction Event
What is the auction?
The Alcott Elementary School Auction is an adults-only event open to the families of Alcott students and their guests. It is the largest single fundraiser undertaken by the Alcott PTSA in support of the school. It is a biennial event, meaning it is held every 2 years.
It will showcase items in both a silent and live auction, a raffle and dessert dash. The evening opens with a silent auction followed by an exquisite seated catered dinner and exciting live auction. The auction will occur during the dinner. After the dinner will be a "dessert dash" where you can bid on desserts by table. Reservations are required.
When will the auction catalog be available?
You will receive your auction catalog when you arrive that evening. Keep checking back here, on the website, for glimpses of some of the auction items.
What are the goals for the auction?
There are two goals for the Alcott Elementary School auction: 1. To meet the budget requirements of the Alcott PTSA. The money raised from the auction greatly benefits our school and children. It funds PTSA sponsored activities such as field trips, Nature Vision, accelerated reader, and much more. 2. To provide an opportunity for Alcott families to come together and celebrate our community, its importance in our children's lives and our common interest in the education of our children.
Who coordinates and organizes the auction?
The Alcott PTSA Auction Committee oversees the auction. Special sub-committees handle decorations, procuring auction items, accounting, and volunteers, etc. The combined effort of many parent volunteers is critical to make this important event a success. This year's auction chair is Annette Wolf email@example.com
Where does the money go?
The profits from the auction go directly to the Alcott PTSA, which funds many of the programs at Alcott. For more information about the PTSA budget, please go to our school website, and click on the PTSA section where you will find the budget.
This year, we will also “Fund a Need” for Alcott. During the live auction, we will ask families to consider donating to a very special project that will directly impact our children. Every cash donation for the fund a need program is a direct charitable donation. If your company offers a matching fund program, this would be a great time to take advantage of their offer. Check here for more details on this year's “Need”!
What should I wear?
Dress is cocktail attire, or business casual. This is whatever you would wear to a nice restaurant. Slacks and a collared shirt is appropriate for men. A dress, skirt or slacks would be appropriate for women. Feel free to dress up more formally if desired. Some people love to use the auction as an excuse to get dolled up and go out!
May I invite guests?
Yes, the more, the merrier. They just need to buy a ticket.
Do I need to have hundreds of dollars to enjoy myself?
No! There is always great food and beautiful art made by our kids to see. It is a super place to see old friends and meet new ones. Your child’s teachers or principal may be there, too. And, you can usually walk away with some good bargains. Items start selling between $10 and $20. Often, you will find items you may buy anyway: restaurant gift certificates, haircuts or sports camps for the kids.
Can a group of friends bid on one item together?
Yes! Forming a group is a great way to afford some parties, vacations, wine and other expensive items. However, we can only charge one bidder’s account, so designate one specific bidder and have other group members pay that bidder.
Can I pay with my credit card?
Yes, we will accept MasterCard and Visa.
What are teacher experiences?
These special items are donated by the teachers and usually include a fun day with a teacher including a favorite activity such as sports outings, movies, bowling, pizza or a special lunch.
How can I be sure to sit with my friends?
On your reply card, which will be sent home with your invitation, you can indicate up to 8 people you would like at your table.
How much are the auction night tickets?
Ticket prices are $60.00 each. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Look for your invitation to come home via kid mail in March.
How can I help or donate?
All contributions of money or items are most welcome and even the smallest job is of great importance in making the auction a success.
To volunteer your time, contact Annette Wolf.
To donate an item, visit our donation page. Please make sure it is new and still in all relevant packaging.
What if I want to bid, but I cannot make it to the auction?
You may place an absentee bid by contacting one of the Auction Chairs. In addition, you are always welcome to find a friend who is attending the auction and ask them to bid for you.
What if I do not win the items I bid on, but I still want to donate to the school on the night of the auction?
Bidding ends at different times for different categories during the silent auction. Once the bidding is closed for certain items you are interested in, you can switch your attention to other items of interest. Even if you don't win any item, you can still help by participating in the "Fund a Need" bidding that occurs during the live auction.
I would like to procure an item for the Auction, but I don't know where to start! Do you have any ideas?
Start with yourself. What can you donate? Start by asking your friends, neighbors and relatives. Clients and vendors are always a good source; they all want you to succeed. It's easier to ask others to help if you have already contributed yourself. Procurement forms and letters are available in a box inside the Alcott office.
I do know a lot of people, but I just don't feel right asking them for something. How do I approach them without imposing?
You are not imposing. Remember, your friends and associates want to help you. They just need to be shown how they can do that. Most people work for companies that donate on a regular basis as part of their philanthropic mission in the community. They just need to be shown where the need is. Make it easy for them by asking for something specific! You will be amazed at the success you will have when people can just give you what you ask for and not have to decide what would be appropriate. Most people will just say yes or offer an alternative idea. They may receive a tax deduction for their donation, and they may also appreciate the advertisement opportunity.
Some of the people I talk to don't really want to donate any tangible items. Should we take a cash donation?
Absolutely. Cash is always good. There are expenses for decorations, mailings and other "out of pocket" expenses. Cash underwriting is an excellent donation. Also, cash can be used to "purchase" or underwrite items for the auction that will sell for more than the underwriting value.
Some of the people I talk to want to know if they can write off their donation against their taxes. How do they do that?
They need to talk to their accountants. However, if they qualify, the "Fair Market Value" of an item is generally the amount taken as a write off. In most cases, the value is what the item would sell for in a store. In the case of items not available in stores, the amount the item sold for at the auction may possibly determine the value. Be sure to advise them to check with an accountant since all situations are different.