What Makes A Great Donation?
The Gala Committee
- Gift Certificates (Min. Value $50) - Restaurants, Retailers, Spa & Salon Services, Gym Memberships
- Children’s classes, birthday parties & summer camps - Dance, Tumbling, Music, Chess, Soccer, Art, etc.
- Tickets, VIP access, and Unique Experiences - Do you have season tickets or box seats? Do you know: a photographer? a chef/restaurant owner? a celebrity? a TV or theatre producer to create a unique experience?
- Fashion Items - Do you know a jewelry or bag designer? fashion boutique owner? Ask them to donate amazing designer goods
- Classes or Private Lessons - Do you know: a music teacher? yoga instructor? massage therapist? trainer? Ask them to donate their time & expertise to Spruce!
- Travel miles, Trips or weekend getaways - Do you or a friend have extra miles to spare? Do you have a summer or winter house to offer for a week or weekend? Are you taking a short trip over break - Ask your hotel for a donation for a weekend getaway!
- Own a business or have a special talent? Donate your time and expertise. Every donation helps generate bids that support our school.
- Ask local merchants you often patron to donate -- Many merchants welcome the opportunity to give to their community and valued patrons. See Merchant Solicitations below.
- Ask friends with ties to businesses that would love to reach our community by providing a tax free donation.
- Do not purchase items for the auction.
- Donation forms and items are requested 4 weeks prior to the Gala date for early promotion and an ample bidding period. It takes time for contacts to respond and may require a friendly follow up. Volunteers process up to 300 items as they come. Please help ease management of donations over the next few months.
- Drop off donation items and forms in the PTA Auction Mailbox in the main office for processing.
- Bring your auction donation form and explain what the Spruce Street School is and why we host an auction: "Spruce Street is a PreK-8th grade public school. The PTA raises money for our children’s enrichment programs, professional development for our teachers and upgrades to our school - costs that are otherwise not covered by the DOE. The PTA specifically sponsors the Librarian, School Wide Foreign Language, Dance programs, new musical instruments and continued education for our teachers."
- If you have personal relationships with businesses, you have a far higher rate of success. If you know the proprietor or staff, don’t be shy about asking for contributions!
- Some merchants plan their annual budget to include tax-deductible donations. They may contribute if their yearly quota has not been reached. If we do not ask them to donate, another school or organization will. The beginning of the calendar year is when many merchants have donation money available - tap this resource before it runs dry!
- Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The only way to get a donation is to ask!
- Capitalize on familiarity. You will get close to 100% success with merchants you know and frequent. Also, face-to-face solicitations yield higher rates of success than mail or phone solicitation – make it fun and go with a friend. If you do use mail, be sure to FOLLOW-UP with a phone call!
- Make sure you speak with someone who can make a decision. If the manager or decision-maker isn’t present, find out when they will be available and try again.
- Help the donor fill out the auction donation forms on the spot or encourage them to donate directly online. If they ask you to leave the form to be filled out and mailed later, be sure to FOLLOW-UP!
- Thank the merchant equally whether or not they donate, and whether their donation is $50 or $200. They will be more likely to donate next year if their experience with you is pleasant. If they do donate, make yourself a note to send a post-auction thank you and tell them how successful the auction was with their support.
The Gala Committee