Your Prize Donation Worth More Than Cash

I’m having a great time putting together baskets.

Over the decades, I have watched Melody (my ex-husband’s sister, but for all intents and purposes, she’s my sister) give to relatives, friends and strangers without a flinch of regret. I have been blessed to be on the receiving end of her kindness and generosity for decades. It is with gratitude that I find a means to help her in her time of need.

I’m on social security disability. I make enough money to pay my bills, and I am doing whatever I can to help Ray. While I have given cash when the bucket has been passed around, spent money at another fundraiser, my limited resources are being depleted as well. I feel that my money would be better spent investing in prizes for the Chinese Auction.

For example, I spend $50 to create an appealing, enticing, desirable basket. 100 Guests come to the Chinese Auction. The tickets for this particular basket are $1 each. Some guests aren’t interested, some put one ticket into the bucket in front of it, and a few people want it enough to put multiple tickets into the bucket to increase their opportunity to take it home. By the time the bidding begins for the basket, there could be 100 or more tickets competing to be drawn.

Depending on the financial participation of the audience, the money that we spend to create prizes for the Chinese Auction can well exceed our investment.

We want each basket to attract multiple people. People who are at the auction know someone who is having a baby. Can you imagine how delighted they will be to see a great baby shower basket! And the one that you (and your friends) make is creative and filled to the brim with what every mom-to-be wants.

Mom’s will love the basket that is full of things to keep their toddler busy.

There’s a dad’s birthday coming up. I’m sure we’ll have a few men that show up, so make a manly theme. If you’re donating tools, what would you or your husband NOT want? A Dollar Tree tool box IS fine for many people, probably best for a house warming, or dorm kind of basket but if you want to make a really popular MAN basket, consider something that a man in your life appreciates.

You can donate ANYTHING!!!!

For example, you find your favorite toilet paper on sale. Donate a pack! I made a Pinterest board of examples below.


The basket theme can be “House Warming” and include cleaning products for the entire house. OR “Spotless Bathroom” and include a toilet brush and just bathroom cleaning products. OR “Dorm Room” and include whatever a college student might need.

The ideas don’t stop there! Toilet paper could go along with a shower curtain, matching bath towel, wash clothes, etc.

You don’t have to make the entire basket by yourself. You can ask friends, co-workers, family to contribute an item that goes along with the theme that you’ve chosen. Ask them to pick a theme.

It does NOT have to be store bought. Are you or a friend a crafter? Donate your crafted item(s). It doesn’t have to be an entire basket of YOUR crafted items, it can be a collection of yours and what other people have made.

Do you have a green thumb? Live plants are lovely.

My daughter and I were at a Chinese Auction and won a HUGE basket full of fresh vegetables. While it was obviously not professionally arranged, it was THOUGHTFULLY ARRANGED WITH LOVE.

While there will be popular items that almost everyone bids on, there will be baskets that like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree, there will be people who bid on it, simply out of hopes that they will have a good chance to win it because there’s only a few tickets in the “bucket”. Don’t despair if that basket is the one that you created – it’s the one that someone will be thrilled with – because they hear their number called.


I’m not a professional house cleaner, but I love to clean. I am donating 4 hours of house cleaning. I say 4 hours, because I’m pretty anal and can be more thorough than someone may require, and it’s difficult to stop me once I get started, so if I say 4 hours and end up doing 5 or 6 because I CHOSE to go beyond – I hope the winner will be pleasantly surprised.

Maybe you’re thing is car detailing! Be specific about what you are offering in your service, what days are usually best for you. Write down your terms and THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION!! Easy-peezy, right?

Did you buy a scarf last year that you will never wear? Donate it.

Do you have jewelry you loved when you bought it, but really? Donate it.

Stationery? Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Sympathy whatever cards? DONATE THEM!

Do you buy in bulk? It takes you forever to get through something? DONATE IT!

Do you have baskets? Pretty boxes? Donate them.

Candles, incense, perfume, oils, crystal, beads-DONATE!

A watch? DVD? CD? Board games? Cards?

Friend me on facebook. JoyfullyJanet