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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.

Drop Off Depot Week:  TBD. 


We’re grateful and appreciative of all efforts made by our families!  

The following are some FAQ regarding DOD:

  • WHAT IS DROP OFF DEPOT? A week in which families can drop off individual donations that can be used for either Silent (or Live, depending on the donation, but mainly Silent). These donations are not associated with donations connected to classroom projects. They get dropped off on the morning before school or after school the entire week.
  • WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF ITEMS DONATED DURING LAST YEAR’S DOD? Last year we had gift cards (these can be purchased from the script table), spa items, surf lessons, vacation homes, cooking lessons, photography session, themed birthday parties - basically anything that you think we can use to create a package. Be creative! This is a great time to donate a tin and offer to bake cookies once a month for x amount of months, etc
  • WHY IS DOD SO EARLY? DOD ends on Oct 5th and on Oct 6th, the auction committee will gather to "package" items together. After that, we will have less than 2 weeks to ask the community for other items and accept straggling donations. The last week of October, we're writing up the booklet and trying to ensure all packages are solid. Then, we're getting the Auction book approved and making edits. The current hope & plan is that we'll have the book out to everyone a week before Auction (don't hold me to this - all this REALLY depends on the community's support during DOD week). It's actually a VERY tight, as you consider when to give your donation, please take into account all the background work that is happening. We'll accept all donations, at any time, but in order to REALLY get more bang for your buck on your donations - the earlier we get them (Drop off Depot week) the better for everyone. 
  • IF I HAVE QUESTIONS, WHO CAN I ASK? Your Auction rep! Or anyone from the Auction Committee. We're all happy & willing to help!