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Silent Auction Bidding Sheet Template & Guide

Author: Adie M.

Silent auctions are a popular fundraising type amongst charity organizations. And donors love them, too! They’re mysterious, fun, and an opportunity to bring in lots of revenue for your cause. When planning a silent auction event, there will be tons of things to take care of like bid items, a venue, catering, and more. 

Silent auction bid sheets are just as important to put on your checklist. They help you track bids and proceeds as well as keep your event organized. 

Below we’ll show you how to compile reliable bidding sheets for silent auctions that you can use over and over again. We’ve included a template that you copy and paste into any document format for your convenience.

What Is A Silent Auction Bid Sheet?

A silent auction bid sheet is a document where participants write down their bids. Other guests can see the auction progress by reading the input of previous bidders. This lets them track the bidding and know how much to put in for a higher bid.

Event organizers can also use bid sheets to track bidding progress. Moreover, it’s an organizational tool that supports data collection. If you don’t have a digital bidding system, silent auction bid sheets document your revenue for the night, the bidders, and other important details.

How To Structure A Silent Auction Bid Sheet

List & Describe The Bid Item

At the top of your silent auction bid sheet, it’s a good idea to share information about the bid item. You can use the item's true name if it helps to identify the value of the bid item. For example, imagine you’re auctioning off a well-known artwork like the Mona Lisa – it would be enough to use its name as a title to attract bidders. 

However, you’re also welcome to get creative and use persuasive names that make bid items feel unique and attractive.

You should also include a description of the item, focusing on its unique features. Why should participants bid on it? Think of this description as a brief sales pitch to convince bidders they want to bet their money on that item.

Include The Item Value

Research the monetary value of your auction items and share them on your bid sheet. Seeing the fair market value gives bidders more context about the item and influences their bidding choice. It can show them that the bid piece is worth their money.

This is a field you especially want to include if you have high-value or costly auction items. It may not serve you to include the value for low-cost items as bidders may take this as a cue to bid low amounts.

Include Donor Name

Another piece of information about the item that you can communicate is the name of the item’s donor. Share this on your silent auction bidding sheet if the donor is open to it. This is a gesture of recognition and thanks, and celebration for their support.

Set Bidding Guidelines

You can’t go through every item and announce the specifics of how participants can bid on them. Include bidding guidelines in your bid sheet instead. Essential bidding instructions to add are:

  • The starting bid: The lowest amount a bidder can place. Bidders must match the starting price or put down an amount higher than it.
  • Bid increments: The lowest amount by which a follow-up bid must be increased. For example, if the starting bid is $50 and you set bid increments at $10, the second bid cannot be lower than $60. This prevents people from upping previous bids by small amounts like $1 just to win.

Auction gavel

Add A Buy-It-Now Price

Some people can’t take the anticipation of waiting. They want to know they have a guaranteed win. The Buy-It-Now-Price is the ticket to a given win. If someone pays this price, bidding stops and they win the item.

It’s important to make your instant win price higher than your item value and significantly higher than the starting bid. Think about the ideal amount you would like to get for that item. You don’t want to stop at too low a price when there is a chance of getting higher bids.

Request Bidder Details

Your form needs to have space for bidders to write their information so you know who placed bids. You also need these details to contact and identify the winner. Bidder details to include are:

  • The bidder number or name: This information makes tracking participants easier. Link each bidder number to a contact at signup or beforehand so you can contact them afterwards.
  • Contacts: If you haven’t pre-linked bidder numbers to their contacts, you will need to add a field for them to write their contact details.

Include Your Branding & Other Company Details

A final element you can add to your silent auction bid sheet is your company information. At the top of the document, insert your nonprofit’s name, logo, and slogan. This is an elevated touch that speaks more to branding and can be a simple way to create brand recall in your bidders.

You can also include the event name and date, primarily for your archiving and organization.

Silent Auction Bid Sheet Template

Here is a silent auction sheet template you can adapt to various events:


[Insert company name & logo here]


Event name:




Item information:

Item Name:

Item Number:

Item Value:

Item Donor:


Bidding Instructions:

Starting Bid: $
Minimum Increase: $
Buy-It-Now Price: $

Bid Number

Bidder Name


Bid Amount


silent auction bid sheet


A silent auction bid sheet is a vital tool for running a successful fundraiser. It helps you manage important bidder details, track revenue, and monitor bid progress throughout the event. It can also work as a method of encouraging increased bids if you use the item information and bid guidelines cleverly. 

Bidders can also learn more about the auction item and keep an eye on their desired prize.

Want to digitize this process for easier data management and bid tracking? You can use our smart auction software made with nonprofit fundraising in mind.