FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE SERVICE AUCTION?
The Service Auction is the largest fund-raising event for Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church. But just as importantly, it is a FUN-raiser. The events sold at the auction form the social hub of Northwoods.
WHO IS INVITED TO THE SERVICE AUCTION?
Everyone is invited — there is NO CHARGE for attending.
WHO DONATES THE ITEMS IN THE SERVICE AUCTION?
Items and services are donated by church members and friends, as well as local retailers
WHAT ITEMS ARE SOLD IN THE SERVICE AUCTION?
The items sold generally fall into 3 categories, and the emphasis is on SERVICE.
- SIGN-UPS – Signups are events hosted by Northwoods folks, sold at a set price per attendee. These events may be parties, classes, contests, or services.
- LIVE AUCTION – Highly coveted items or services are sold to the highest bidder at a live auction. Items may range from use of a vacation home to window washing to custom song writing.
- BASKETS – Donated goods or services may be sold by silent auction or live auction at the discretion of the Service Auction Committee.
WHAT IF I DON’T PLAN TO BUY ANYTHING AT THE SERVICE AUCTION?
You are encouraged to attend even if you don’t plan on buying anything. This event will be filled with fun, friends, and entertaining hosts! Don’t miss out.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR SERVICE AUCTION?
The 2021 Service Auction is the evening of SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6th. This is planned as a hybrid event. People can either attend in person or join on Zoom. A detailed schedule will appear in the catalogue to be released on October 29.
DO I NEED A TICKET TO ATTEND THE SERVICE AUCTION?
NO, but you do need to be assigned a bidder number before you can bid on any items, including sign-ups.
HOW DOES THE HYBRID THING WORK?
Only 50 people can attend the Service Auction in person. Others will join on Zoom from home, from a watch party, or from far across the country! No matter where you are, you must bid through a phone, tablet or computer.
WHAT IF I WANT TO ATTEND IN PERSON?
You must register via the link found on the church website and in the Beacon Bits by October 17 and indicate that you wish to attend in person. Attendees will be chosen by lottery and notified by October 20 that they have won a seat. Attendees will indicate their preference of table size (4,6, or 8-person). We will try to accommodate everyone’s preferences, but it might not be possible. Attendees will be assigned tables and notified who they will be joining. It is expected that people at the same table will organize food among themselves. There will be a waiting list in case lottery winners’ plans change and spots open up.
HOW DO I REGISTER FOR BIDDING?
We will use Auctria, an online auction site which has been used and approved by other UU churches. Everyone will need to register through this site in order to have a bidding number and get bids recorded. Links will be in the catalogue and you can register yourself or request that someone from the Service Auction Committee do so. People will be notified when it’s time to register/get registered on Auctria.
Note: If you are not planning to attend in person, you can register online up to and during the auction. If you do wish to attend in person, you must register with Northwoods by October 17 and register a second time through the auction website.
HOW CAN I SEE WHAT’S IN THOSE BASKETS?
This year we’re having two previews so you can check out the merchandise before you bid. In addition, those not attending in person will have a chance to take pictures in the photo booth and see the fabulous decorations. Previews will be held: 6-8 pm on Friday, November 5 and 9-11 Saturday, November 6.
WHAT SHALL I WEAR TO THE SERVICE AUCTION?
Some people choose to dress in a costume matching the theme. Some just dress casually. We encourage participants to get into the mood of the Service Auction and dress up, especially those attending at the church.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE SERVICE AUCTION MEETING?
– A sense of fun. This is the most fun you will have giving!
Your bidder number, memorized, printed or written down. Since all registration and bidding will be done online, you will get your bidder number once you register on the auction site. Please have this number ready to bid on items. Those attending in person will also have paddles with their numbers which they will find on their assigned tables.
Those attending in person will need to bring food and their beverage of choice. Water, ice and tea will be supplied at the church.
WHAT IF I CAN’T ATTEND BUT WANT TO BUY SOMETHING?
You will need to find a friend or other designated bidder to bid on your behalf. If you do not have anyone to bid for you, please contact the Service Auction Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to find a volunteer bidder for you. Note that bidding on silent auction items will begin early this year but will continue during the auction itself. Often sign-ups are still available for purchase after the event.
WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE THINGS I BUY?
Payment is due at the close of the Service Auction. You can follow the instructions on the auction website to pay.
WHAT ARE “SIGN-UPS”?
Sign-ups are events – parties, classes, services – hosted by Northwoods members/friends or Northwoods groups at their expense. These are generally sold at a fixed price per attendee. Northwoods receives all of the proceeds from the sales. For example: Bill’s hobby is geocaching so he offers a 3 hour class on geocaching for 10 people. Bill organizes the event and buys any snacks etc. Ten people sign up for Bill’s class @ $10 each. Northwoods makes $100, and Bill pays for the snacks and event costs, if any. Anyone may host an event with virtually any theme. Past offerings have included wine tastings, nature walks, murder mystery dinners, scrabble tournaments, cooking classes, art tours and beer making — just to name a few. Events may be intended for adults, families, or children. NOTE: Events sold as signups are not considered Northwoods events, but private parties of the host. Hosts will make every effort to hold the event as described, however, life changes, and occasionally our plans do as well. Neither Northwoods nor the host is responsible for refunding your contribution to Northwoods.
ARE ALL SIGN-UPS IN-PERSON EVENTS?
NO! Each host will provide in their contract the ways that they are keeping their offerings pandemic friendly, whether it’s a smaller event, outdoor event, semi-virtual or completely virtual event. Each host is also being required to list how they will fulfill their contracts even if gathering restrictions get stricter again. All of this information will be included in the catalog so that you know which events you are comfortable attending. Please DO NOT sign up for an event for which you are not comfortable with the parameters laid out by the hosts.
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF MY FINAL P.O.?
After the auction (within 2-4 weeks), you will receive an email confirming what you purchased and paid for. Any discrepancies will be noted, and instructions for handling them will be given. This confirmation email will include the dates and contact information for services and events you purchased. The email will be your final receipt.
HOW DO I MAKE A DONATION?
Donations of goods or services may be made by filling out a contract under the “2021 Contracts” through links on the Northwoods website, Beacon Bits and Facebook page. Please use a separate contract for each donation. There are two forms: one for sign-ups such as parties, another for donated items. We use the word “contract” to emphasize that you are making a commitment to perform a specific service; please remember that it is your responsibility to do so. It is your responsibility as a donor to see that the contract is fulfilled. .Please complete the contract blanks fully. Be creative with your descriptions – you are selling your service or event.
WHAT SHOULD I DONATE?
The Service Auction Committee is glad to help with ideas. They will be at a table outside the building before and after church throughout October. You can see what kinds of things have been offered by checking out the 2020 Catalogue. But don’t delay. Baskets must be complete by October 17 and all contracts must be in by October 24. This will enable us to get the catalogue out a week before the auction.
IS MY DONATION TOO SMALL?
Tell us about it and we can do something with it. A batch of cookies, a bottle of wine, a $10 gift card or one hour of child care — can be combined with other donations to make great gift baskets. Also, remember this is a SERVICE auction. We really want your time. Can you sit for pets, wash cars, pull weeds, fix computers, wrap packages, decorate cupcakes, paint, deliver dinner . . . You have something to donate! Do it!
HOW WILL I KNOW WHO SIGNED UP FOR MY PARTY OR BOUGHT MY SERVICE?
Within 2-4 weeks after the auction, you will receive an email providing you with the contact information for all buyers. Please retain this information. If you do not receive your email, please contact the Service Auction Committee at email@example.com for another copy.
WHY DO YOU WANT ME TO SET A DATE FOR MY EVENT?
Experience! If you choose not to set a date two things happen. First, people are more reluctant to sign up for your event. Second, finding a date when all of the people (or even most) who signed up are available becomes difficult. Setting a date up front eliminates a lot of frustration.
CAN I HAVE MY EVENT ON THE SAME DAY AS ANOTHER EVENT?
There is no rule against it. With many events to schedule and an already busy church calendar, there will be conflicts. HOWEVER, please take into consideration the type and size of event you are hosting in comparison to potential conflicts.
I AM WILLING TO HOST AN EVENT BUT I DON’T HAVE ROOM AT MY HOME. WHAT CAN I DO?
Some Northwoods facilities are available. However, you would need to reserve space through the church website. Please reach out to the Service Auction Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help you find a way to host your event virtually or help you find some resources for free or low cost event rentals. You might also consider using outdoor venues, such as local parks. Many have covered pavilions that can be reserved. Consider finding a co-host. Consider a smaller event (they count too!) — perhaps dinner for 4, or a class for 2.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I SIGN UP AND CAN’T ATTEND A SIGN-UP EVENT?
If you are unable to attend an event you may offer (or sell) your place to another person. However, please inform the host if you do so.
HOW WILL I GET MY BASKETS AND PHYSICAL ITEMS THAT I WIN OR BUY AT SERVICE AUCTION?
After the close of Service Auction, a member of the Service Auction Committee will email you to arrange pick-up (from the church) or drop-off (on your porch) of your items.
DO YOU NEED VOLUNTEERS?
Always. We have jobs — big and small. Just contact us at email@example.com.
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT IS NOT ANSWERED HERE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You can email members of the Service Auction Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the sign up table at church.
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