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Charity Auction Lessons from a Princess

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

The most talked about hat at the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton sold at a charity auction for $132,000! While thousands balked at the hat, worn by Princess Beatrice, apparently the princess had a philanthropic plan up her sleeve. As an ambassador for Children in Crisis, the princess auctioned the hat, created by Phillip Treacy, on EBay and watched as the bids continued to rise over the ten-day bidding period. The proceeds will be split between Unicef and Children in Crisis, an organization her mother, Sarah Ferguson, helped found.

Princess Beatrice's Famous Hat (right)

Do you have a charity auction in mind for your organization? Are you planning the traditional and familiar, or will you add an unusual element to your event? Well, if we take the lessons learned from Princess Beatrice, here’s how to hold a successful auction:

1. Offer something unique,

2. Strike while the fire’s hot,

3. Get fabulous publicity

How did the princess respond to the winning bid? “I cannot believe the amazing response to the hat, it has its own personality, and I am so happy that we have raised the most incredible amount of money and can make an even bigger change for the lives of some of the most vulnerable children across the world. I am so lucky to be nearly finishing my university life and I know that this money will help make it possible for others to do the same,” Princess Beatrice said.