Silent Auction and Community: The Perks


    What does it mean to grow a community? As a co-founder of a nonprofit organization, I’ve thought a lot about that question. The follow-up questions are, how do I express my dreams and aspirations for the organization inclusively? How do I tell a story so that it motivates others to join and, yes, to donate? These are the questions I have had to answer and revisit consistently. I don’t intend to get it right all the time, and I recognize that as a new member of the nonprofit community, I have to give myself grace. That said, one aspect of this experience has felt natural and even fun.

    Silent Auction and Community: The Perks
    Silent Auction and Community: The Perks

    Our nonprofit has been raising funds for first-generation and immigrant students since 2019. Our primary funding source has been donations received at auctions and events. The events are great fun, but personally, the real excitement has been meeting small businesses for the first time, approaching friends with side hustles, and saying, “We’d love to partner with you.” Through the vehicle of silent auctions, we’ve been able to cross-promote hand-made jewelry, promote a new hot yoga studio, and offer things like salon products and services. My favorite email to write has been titled “Silent Auction Donor Setup,” where I ask my friends (new and long-time) to send me their high-resolution logos, short bios, and the value of their donation for auction.

    Silent Auction and Community: The Perks
    Silent Auction and Community: The Perks

    I know our auction will draw future business.

    Interacting with a new and potential client is more important than social media campaigns or email blasts. Whether the silent auction item is tangible or intangible, seeing a logo and reading a bio about a product or service in person pulls at the heartstrings. Attendees at fundraising events, by nature, join us with open hearts. They’ve seen our need and are prepared to invest in the goal, in our case, helping students get to college. By associating your brand and business with a great cause, you fill the philanthropic aspect of your business that so many of us look for when we purchase or invest in goods or services.

    From donating to an auction to meeting your client

    How it works: once your auction item is listed, folks bid! After the event, you get the goods or services to the auction item winner. This is where a real possibility exists to meet someone who could write you a Yelp review or submit content on your social media handles. Getting your name out there is one thing, meeting your new customer in person is a real bonus.

    Check out the 2023 Rosales Sisters’ silent auction today and bid! Our 2023 auction items include a hotel stay at Hotel Kimpton Enzo in San Francisco’s Japantown, tickets to MANÁ, and more. If you’re interested in joining our silent auction as a donor, please message us at

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    Olga Rosales Salinas is Managing Editor for San Francisco Bay Area Moms. As a freelance writer and journalist, her articles have been published nationally by Palabra, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Her debut collection of poetry and prose, La Llorona, was published by Birch Bench Press in August of 2021. Her monthly column "Thriving While Anxious" is featured @ Jumble & Flow. In 2019 her philanthropy and activism began with a non-profit benefiting first-generation and immigrant students, The Rosales Sisters' Scholarship. She has had spotlights in the following podcasts and radio stations; Los Sotelos Podcast, The Hive Poetry Collective, Walk the Talk Podcast, "Making a Difference with Sheetal Ohri" on Bolly 92.3 FM, and Roll Over Easy @BFFdotFM Radio.


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