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Fundraising Ideas: Creating Gift Baskets for Silent Auctions and Raffles

Kathy is a freelance writer who loves volunteering in her free time. She has over 15 years of fundraising experience with local charities.

Gift baskets can be fun to create and help raise funds for your school or group.

Gift baskets can be fun to create and help raise funds for your school or group.

Fundraising for Schools and Non-Profit Groups

If your school or non-profit needs to raise funds, consider creating gift baskets for silent auctions and raffles. This is a fun activity for volunteers and can help raise much-needed funds for a variety of causes.

I've helped plan many fundraising events for local charities and organizations, and one of my favorite ways to help raise money at the event is to create gift baskets that can be raffled off or used in a silent auction. Gift baskets can be fun to put together, and it's easy to get people excited about the prospect of winning the baskets at the event.

Read on for some ideas for themed gift baskets that are easy to create and that can help make your next fundraising event more profitable.

Choose a Theme for Your Gift Basket

It's usually easier to build an attractive gift basket that will raise a significant amount of money if you choose a theme for your gift basket.

There's an almost endless amount of themes you can use. Just think of the different types of people that likely will be attending your event, and try to think of what they might like to do in their spare time. Also, remember that many people like to try to buy or win things that they can give as gifts to friends or family members.

Here are some gift basket theme ideas to get you started:

  • Family movie night
  • Gardening
  • Game night
  • Spa / pampering
  • A night out on the town
  • Baby shower
  • Summer fun
  • Gourmet food
  • Bookworm
  • Chocolate lovers
  • Sports fan
  • A day at the beach
  • Wine and cheese
  • Shop 'til you drop

Ideas for Themed Gift Baskets

Below you will find some suggestions for creating a few different types of themed gift baskets for your fundraiser. You can usually purchase most of these items at a low cost, Even better, you may also be able to get some or all of the items donated from local stores and businesses. Don't be afraid to ask your friends, family members, and co-workers if they have items they could donate. You might be surprised what they will come up with!

Family Movie Night Gift Basket

A family movie night gift basket is easy to make and will appeal to many people. This one's always a hit at events, because who doesn't like to watch movies?

Instead of using a basket for this one, start with a big bowl or fun container that can be used for popcorn.

Then add the ingredients for a fun family movie night, such as:

  • A few packages of popcorn or bags of kettle corn.
  • Popcorn seasoning.
  • Other theatre-style candy, such as large boxes or bags of licorice, sour candies, or M&Ms.
  • A couple of movies on DVD (Walmart usually has a good selection of DVDs available for as low as $5 per movie).
  • A movie review or trivia book.

If you want to increase the value of the basket, you can add in extras like movie passes for a local cinema, movie posters, coupons for free movie rentals, additional DVDs, an iTunes gift card, a cozy blanket, or a bottle of wine.

Gardener's gift basket, ready to be wrapped.

Gardener's gift basket, ready to be wrapped.

Green Thumb Gardener's Gift Basket

A gift basket full of gardening supplies can be a big hit, especially for events held in the spring and summer.

To make it interesting, use something that can be used in the garden for the container, such as a pail, flower pot, or planter.

Fill it with small gardening tools, flower bulbs, flower and vegetable seed packets, gardening books or magazines, garden gloves, hummingbird feeder, sunscreen, lip balm, and maybe a gift certificate to a local gardening center.

Sports Fan Gift Basket

This gift basket can be built around a specific sports team, or you can include a variety of different sporting equipment and gear from several different sports.

A gift basket built around a local sports team could include:

  • Tickets to a game.
  • A souvenir program or team trivia book.
  • A team baseball cap.
  • A team travel mug or water bottle.
  • A t-shirt or jersey.

Summer Fun Gift Basket

This is a great basket to include at events where there will be lots of kids or parents.

An ideal container for this one would be a small cooler or cooler bag.

Things to include in this type of basket would be passes to local attractions like zoos, water parks, amusement parks, and other kid-friendly attractions, a frisbee, skipping rope, sidewalk chalk, water balloons, a sprinkler, beach ball, water toys, sunscreen, reusable water bottles, and gift cards to local restaurants or an ice cream parlor.

Get Creative and Have Fun!

Creating gift baskets for raffles and silent auctions can be a fun and profitable way to help raise funds for your school or group. I hope these ideas helped get your creative juices flowing!

© 2013 Kathy Sima


Kristin Kaldahl on June 27, 2013:

Great idea for a hub!! My dog agility club has raffle gift baskets. They are so popular!!! The club sometimes, though, wraps the baskets and the items can't be seen well or handled. I love how your pictures and video show them unwrapped so that bidders or ticket holders can easily see and even touch what they are bidding on. Voted up and useful. :)

Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 09, 2013:

Thank you Eddy! I'm glad you found this helpful, and I do plan to write more on this subject. Wishing you continued success in your fundraising. All the best.

Eiddwen from Wales on April 02, 2013:

So interesting and very useful;here's to so many more to follow and I vote up and save for our fundraising events in connection the trust fund in my daughter's name ; this is in aid of our only children's hospice here in Wales;Ty hafan.

Here's wishing you a great day.