What is a Silent Auction?

You’ve most likely heard of a silent auction before. Maybe you’ve even participated in one. Even if you are familiar with silent auctions, there still may be some areas you are unclear about. So, we’re here to answer two important questions: what is a silent auction? and how does a silent auction work?

What Are Silent Auctions?


Silent auctions are fundraising events that are usually hosted by a specific organization to raise money for a certain cause. As the name suggests, they are a type of auction that involve individuals bidding on items. However, unlike live auctions, the bidding process is entirely “silent,” meaning there is no auctioneer and your bids are semi-private. Usually, the items up for auction are donated, so all of the proceeds from the event go toward the specific cause the organization is supporting. Silent auctions often coincide with other events like galas as well.

How Do Silent Auctions Work?


Silent auctions work by having participants bid on items, experiences, and packages––like shoes, cooking classes, tickets to sporting events, and more. The bidding can be done on pieces of paper accompanying a specific item, or digitally with bidding software or apps.


There are also certain silent auction rules that ensure the event runs smoothly and is conducted in a fair manner. Some of these rules include:


  • The auction has a set time frame and there can be no more bids after the ending time
  • Final bids must be made by a certain time, usually within a few minutes of the auction end time
  • There are often minimum bid requirements that involve having to bid a certain amount for an item
  • There are also requirements for bid increments, which means increasing the bid by a certain amount
  • Whether bidders will be allowed to alter or withdraw their bids 


Many nonprofit organizations and charities host silent auctions in order to fund their critical work. These events are usually significant fundraisers that these organizations rely on to continue carrying out their missions.

 On April 30th, we hosted the Golden Glow Gala: 70’s Style in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Balloon Fiesta. The Golden Glow Gala included a silent and live auction, a costume contest, and live music and dancing! Our gala events are great ways to support the museum and celebrate with the ballooning community. For more information on our events and next year’s gala, visit our signature events page!


The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation proudly raises awareness, involvement, and funds for the Balloon Museum. Our goal is to uplift the Museum through project collaboration, and shared information and resources. 


The Balloon Museum Foundation also holds special events during The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year. The Museum also offers educational programs for children and adults—like S.T.E.A.M. Nights at the Balloon Museum—that offer science presentations and activities. You can also find out more about the Fiesta and how you can support our efforts by becoming a member, donating, volunteering, or purchasing a wall tile today!

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