Auction Donations

You can personally donate auction items, recruit friends and family to contribute donations, or request donations from the business community. We know that the challenge of asking for donations may seem daunting; however, with a little creativity, persistence and perhaps your adorable child in tow, that neighborhood restaurant may donate a gift certificate or your uncle may agree to lend out his Tahoe house for the week!

Think of the type of items you would be interested in bidding on at the auction. Chances are that others are interested in those same items. What do you and your family enjoy doing on the weekends? What events have you been to that were particularly memorable? Try soliciting donations that build memories.

Here are a few popular donations from previous years. Don’t hesitate to ask the Gala Chair or Gala Committee for additional ideas.

  • Tickets to Disneyland for 4 people for a weekend
  • Gift certificate to a local restaurant
  • Chinese dumpling making class for 6 in the donor’s home
  • Special bottles and cases of wine
  • A home in Lake Tahoe that sleeps 6 for one week
  • 25,000 airline miles (1 domestic ticket)
  • Tickets to sporting events (Giants, 49ers, etc.)
  • Tapas and wine for 12 in the donor’s home
  • Children’s tea party for eight children in the donor’s home

Some of our most successful donations are events created and executed by CIS families such as themed dinner parties, child-oriented parties, or game nights hosted by other CIS families. We always like to have at least one community event per CIS class. So, if you’re inclined to host CIS friends, children and families, go for it!

Please take a moment to let the Gala Committee know which business you have approached and their responses. We don’t want to solicit the same business multiple times.
Approach businesses where you are a regular customer (your favorite neighborhood restaurants, your longtime salon, etc.) Places where you spent money will be more inclined to contribute.
Many businesses, even small storefronts, have a charitable donations budget, strategy, and a staff member responsible for managing donations.
Rarely will a request catch a business off guard. They may say no, but no business will be surprised or offended by a polite request.
When providing examples of donations, start big and work your way down!
Let businesses know that supporting our auction is essentially free advertising.

Good luck and have fun. The success of the auction relies on our parent community and these donations are the key to our success.

If you have any questions about any of the forms below, please contact the Gala Committee at

This page was last updated on August 20, 2019