Frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The Annual Auction is UUCF’s premiere fundraiser for the congregation’s operating fund. The 2016 Auction was a huge success, raising more than $50,000. The event gathers congregants to celebrate and bid on each others’ talents and treasures. The Auction consists of three types of bidding – online (before the event) and in silent and live auctions, during the event.

Browse these frequently asked questions to learn more about the Auction and how to play along. If you have additional questions, please contact Auction Co-chairs Meredith Carr and Karen Liggett, auction@uucf.org.

When is the Auction?
Mar. 4, 2017. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.; bidding starts at 6 p.m. The Online Auction starts on Fri., Feb. 17, and will close during the day on Mar. 4.

Where is the Auction held?
You can bid in the Online Auction from home, at the office or wherever you are. Auction night on Mar. 4 will take place In the UUCF Sanctuary.

Is child care provided?
Child care is provided in the Program Building, down the hill from the Sanctuary.

Why should I attend?
In addition to being the second most important fundraiser for the congregation each year, there will be great food and beverages and the Auction is a fantastic way to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. The dinners and events that people donate for bidding provide fellowship activities throughout the year and help make UUCF feel like the intimate spiritual home it has become for so many people.

What does it cost to attend the Auction?
$12 per person if paid by Mar. 2. Late registration is $15. The fee covers the costs involved in holding the Auction: food and the decorations. Child care is an additional fee ($10/child; maximum $50/family, including adult Auction tickets) to cover child care providers and entertainment for the children. These fees allow all of the proceeds from Auction donations to go directly toward supporting UUCF programs. We keep fees as low as possible so that even people who aren’t interested in bidding on lots of items can come and enjoy the camaraderie and revelry of the evening.

There’s no cost to participate in the Online Auction. Everyone at UUCF will automatically receive an email message telling them they can log on and begin bidding.

How do I pay for my ticket?
If you register online, you can pay via PayPal. You can also pay by cash or check at the Auction table in the Commons after worship services starting soon.

What will I find to bid on?
Items and services are donated by you and your fellow congregants. Past auctions have featured dinner parties, game nights, jewelry, artwork, themed gift baskets, vacation getaways, homemade baked goods, handyman services, hand-knit shawls, decorative vases, small plane flights, guided hikes, river tubing, music lessons, legal consultations, a sermon on your choice of theme, massage therapy gift certificates, dance lessons … The possibilities are bounded only by the imaginations of our congregants and the wealth of time, talents and treasures they draw on to make donations.

What kinds of donations make the most money for UUCF?
Dinners and events hosted by UUCF members and friends or vacation getaways tend to attract the highest bids because they encourage fellowship among congregants and help people get to know each other in fun settings.

How do I make my donations?
You may fill out a paper donation form after any service in the Commons or you may enter your donation online.

How do I get a ticket or register to participate in the Online Auction or attend Auction Night?
You may register/buy tickets by filling out a paper form after any service in the Commons or you may register online.

We are using a new system for online registration this year. Begin your online registration by entering your email address and follow the instructions. On Auction night, go to the pre-registered line at check-in to get your bidder number and bid stickers. You are then free to enjoy the food, drinks and begin bidding.

How do I pay the attendance fee?
We heartily encourage everyone planning to attend Auction Night to register for their bidder card in advance no later than Mar. 2. Advance registration is vital to enabling us to know the quantity of food and drinks we need to prepare so no one has to go hungry. Plus, lots of people registering for bid cards on Auction Night creates a long line out the door, which means you might be waiting in the cold until you can get in.

Why don’t I receive a ticket when I pay to attend the Auction?
To save paper and money, instead of tickets, we have a “Bidder Reservation Fee.” If you’ve pre-paid, your name is on the registration list and your bid card will be waiting for you when you check in at the door the night of the Auction. At that time, you’ll receive your bid number and your bid number stickers so you’ll be all set to bid on the treasures you desire.

How can I help if I can’t attend the Auction?
You can help by volunteering, donating items, events or services or participating in the Online Auction (an email will be sent in late February with details). We need lots of volunteers to complete tasks before and after the Auction. Plus, you don’t have to be left out of the bidding just because you can’t attend on Auction night. The Online Auction starts two weeks before Auction night, and spots are specifically reserved for online purchase. In addition, an item, dinner or event you donate allows you to be part of the hidden treasures of UUCF well after the Auction is over.

How else can I help with the Auction?

  • Donate
  • Volunteer
  • Invite a friend to attend (friends can register online before the event)
  • Attend, bid and have a great time

How do I participate in the Online Auction?
About two weeks before the Auction, everyone who has an email in the UUCF directory will receive an email from “UUCF Auction” that alerts them that the online Auction is opening and gives each person a password and link to log on. Once you log in the first time, you can reset the password to something you can remember more easily.

That email will give you pointers on how to bid in the Online Auction, including how to place an initial bid, how to set the system to automatically increase your bid up to an amount you determine and whether you can buy something outright (for a pretty high price, of course).

Can I win things in the Online Auction or only by bidding on Auction night?
All donations will be available to bid on in the Online Auction. Some you can win online; some you can’t.

All the highest bids online will transfer to the bid sheets on Auction Night. Bid high if you cannot make it to Auction Night as others could outbid you there (or get someone to be your proxy to bid for you on Auction Night; see below).

Your bidder ID in the Online Auction will be tied to the bidder number you get at UUCF on Auction Night.

Can someone bid for me on Auction night if I can’t make it?
Yes, you can designate someone to be your proxy. You will need to make sure this person is willing to do bidding for you, inform them of what your maximum bid amounts are, etc. And you need to inform the Auction Registration Chair who your proxy will be so that they can get your bid card for you on Auction Night.

I’m pretty sure I won something but someone else was listed as the winner.
Our team carefully reviews all bids and does its best to make sure the winners are accurately identified. We know there can be confusion sometimes, especially for dinner parties or other donations in which there are multiple “seats” available to win. Here are some key factors to remember if you absolutely must win an item:

  • Bid to win! If you bid the same amount as someone else on a dinner spot, a higher bidder may come in and scoop you both out of those spots.
  • Make sure you are bidding on the bid card you intended.
  • Win it online. If you want an item, bid high online. If it’s a dinner, many of them have spots reserved for online bidders.
  • Write legibly! We are helping with this problem by implementing bid number stickers for you to use on bid cards, but our data management team still has to be able to read your bid amount to be sure of the winner.
  • Pay close attention when bidding on items with lots of available winners. Some Auction events have more than 50 winners. This makes neatness and bidding to win even more critical.
  • A mistake might have been made. Sometimes mistakes can be corrected, sometimes they can’t. Please remember, we are a devoted team of volunteers who have spent hundreds of hours preparing for this one night. We’ll do our best, and we appreciate kindness and understanding.

What is Auction night like?
It is a fantastically good time. Click here to see photos from last year’s Auction. You’ll enjoy great food and drinks. You’ll have time to socialize and meet new friends as you walk around and look over all the items being offered during the Silent Auction. Later in the evening, everyone gathers as a professional auctioneer leads the Live Auction. Volunteers usually work during only a portion of the night, leaving time to have fun bidding and spending time connecting with others.