How to Get Celebrities to Donate Silent Auction Items

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A celebrity item at your silent auction can be a significant draw. Not only will it likely garner high bids but it will also draw press coverage to the event. Celebrities are often willing to donate items to silent auctions, provided the auction raises money for a good cause. Even if the auction is not benefiting a particular charity but rather raising money for a noteworthy organization, such as a school or after-school program, celebrities may be interested in donating.

Determine the type of items you would like celebrities to donate. You'll be more likely to get items that require little of the celebrity such as an autographed photograph or DVD. Items such as lunch with the celebrity will garner higher bids but will be harder to procure.

Make a list of celebrities that you would like to have donate. Don't aim for superstars only. Include many moderate to low-level celebrities on your list as they will be easier to contact.

Contact the celebrity's agent or manager. You can find this information via IMDbPro or WhoRepresents. Most celebrities don't list their phone numbers or email addresses publicly so you will have to go through their representation.

Send the agent or manager a letter asking for the item donation. Include details on the silent auction, including the group it will benefit. List a few other people or companies that have already agreed to donate to the auction.

Offer a few options for donation items. Rather than only asking for one specific thing, outline a few suggestions, ranging from small to larger items. If the celebrity does not want to be deeply involved, it gives a lesser option so you can still get some item out of it.

Include all your contact information in the letter. Make it as easy as possible for the celebrity's representation to get in contact with you. List your phone number and email address. If you have a website or flier for the silent auction, include that with your letter.

Call the celebrity's agent or manager to follow up, approximately one to two weeks after you send the letter. Explain the purpose of the auction again and gently ask if a decision has been reached on a donation. Be polite and respectful in your inquiry.


  • Never be rude or inconsiderate if you are denied a donation. Such behavior will only ensure you will never receive a donation in the future.


  • If you received a donation, send the celebrity a thank you note following the auction. It's important that donors feel appreciated.

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  • Marty Melville/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images