How to Host an Art Auction at Your School

My family recently moved to a different school district. At the new school, they have much different ways of fund raising for the school. I have been very excited about all of the different methods that this school uses to raise money. However, one way excited me more than any other. The kindergarten classes held an art auction. This was not an auction of kindergartners art projects. However it was something very different, and so much better!

I walked into the school gym to discover that each teacher had their own table. Each table was filled with art projects that the class completed together. These were not just finger paints and molded clay either!

Here are some suggestions for items that your class can make for an art auction.

1. A quilt – I saw that at least one teacher had made a quilt with her class. All of the students had decorated squares of fabric and then the teacher had either sewn them together herself, or had someone sew them together. It was a beautiful quilt, and I am sure whomever had the winning bid will treasure it forever!

2. Outdoor furniture – Several teachers tables had outdoor furniture sitting by them. My son’s teacher had a beautiful bench. The children had all put their hand prints on the seat of the bench in all different colors. The child’s names were written in small print by the teacher next to their hand prints. It really turned out beautifully. I know that this item went for well over $100. I also saw children’s outdoor table and chair sets that were decorated by the children in beautiful ways. I also saw one indoor child’s desk that was also decorated by the class.

3. Tote bags – I saw several tables with tote bags. My son’s class also decorated a tote bag. This tote bag was so cute! The children used their finger prints to make little frogs. Their names were written next to their frog. This happens to be the item that I won from the auction!

4. Containers – I saw a variety of containers decorated by the children. I saw small wooden trash cans that you use in a child’s room or in an office. The trash cans decorated with flowers and bugs, and many other things. You could also do this same thing for bowls, pen and pencil holders, cups, and plates.

5. Photographs and other Wall Art – One of the cutest items that was at each table was photographs. The photographs were of the entire class either smiling, or all making funny faces, or in some other silly way. Then the photos were frames in very nice frames with a matte. On the matte each child int he class had written their name. There were also items like key holders that would be hung on the wall, and shelves.

The key to holding an art auction is creativity. The teachers have to use their creative side in order to make this work. Each table needs to have different items that are different and original. Another key to having this type of fund raiser is parent involvement. If parents in your school district are extremely involved, then this will go beautifully for your school. However if parents in your school district are not as involved, then this fund raiser could go one of two ways. It could help the parents to become more involved, by showing them that the school is taking a different approach. However, there could be a very low turn out and some of the items may not sell because of lack of parents involved in the event.

This event can be successful for more than just kindergarten. It can be a big hit for any elementary grade. It can also be a hit with older grades, however, in the older grades you may be able to actually use the student’s art work as the auction pieces. On into high school you could do this with photography classes and wood shop classes.

As you can see, this creative fund raiser is a wonderful way to teach and motivate children. It is also a great way to raise money for your school. At our school the kindergarten art auction raised money for just the kindergarten classes. You could take this approach, or you could make it a school wide event and raise money for the entire school.

Step out of the box, and take a creative approach to fund raising. I am sure you will not be disappointed.

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