Washington Open Elementary School

Auction Donation Tips

Donation Tips

Donation tips that keep on giving.


Washington Open parents have many jobs - one is to raise money to support our volunteer efforts and our teachers' needs in the classroom. Now more than ever, these funds are essential to create for our children the incredible experiences we all enjoy here at our school. Thank you in advance for making this one of your top priorities!

Here are some tips you might use:

Many companies enjoy helping employees and their families. Matching funds are often available. Contact your HR department. Do it now - many companies donate annually in the Spring!
Leave the cover letter and donation certificate with the manager at places you frequent. The more you leave, the more you get back!  Don't get frustrated - our success rate runs at about one donation for every ten requests. This is a great response!
Don't Forget:
  • restaurants
  • grocery stores
  • hair salons
  • Disneyland
  • wine shops
  • auto dealers (why not?)
  • gas stations!
  • dry cleaners
  • fast food joints
  • manicure shops
  • museums
  • kids attractions
  • bowling alleys
  • produce markets
  • miniature golf
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • luxury item stores
  • radio & TV stations (station tour, helicopter ride?)
  • movie theaters
  • Great America passes
  • Marine World tickets
  • KOA/camping fees
  • book or music stores
  • bakeries
Mail the cover letter and donation certificate to places you'd like to visit. Many will respond in order to attract business.
Email the cover letter and donation certificate to shop online sites. Several responded in the past.

What if I HATE asking for free stuff?

No problem! No worries! Put yourself out there! Put your craftiness, your Iron Chef ability, your handy skills, your penchant for gardening or your balloon twisting into animals expertise to use! We have received great donations in the past from families who contribute their time, talent, and materials in fun, unique ways. Get together with a couple of others to put on a bash or sponsor something! Check out the list below for ideas!

I want to contribute, but I'm just SO BUSY.

Cash is always good! Write big fat (or whatever feels right) checks to Washington Open and "thanks"! Open Scrip (scrip gift certificates) is also very helpful to the auction committee when fleshing out a basket or two, not to mention that it contributes to your 4th or 5th grader's field trip account.

Ideas that have worked in the Past*

  • Weekend get-aways
  • overnights anywhere
  • computers
  • television
  • appliances
  • TiVos
  • dinners: at restaurants, or that you cook
  • theme parties: Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo, Kids' Outings, Dads' Night Out
  • fine wine
  • sporting event tickets
  • housekeeping or cleaning services
  • quilts or other handmade items
  • children's classes (cooking, art, music)
  • massage or spa certificates
  • genuine antiques
  • chocolate baskets
  • coffee/tea baskets
  • craft parties with materials
  • childcare
  • theater/concert tickets
  • signed sports memorabilia
  • gift certificates from local businesses
*Please remember that items should be new, NIB (New In Box), never used, Open Box, unless it is artwork or an antique. This is not a White Elephant. We are not Goodwill, who might actually appreciate that food-stained high chair that Johnny only sat in once.