Auction Solicitation Script

Sample RIS Script for asking for an Auction Donation

Often times we neglect asking for a gift card/donation because we are at a loss for words. Knowing what to say and choosing a good time to approach a manager often time is the difference between success and failure. Please read the following “script” to get an idea how your solicitation conversation can proceed. Keep in mind that managers often have very little time in their day and it is best to do this during off peak business hours. Make sure you ask for something specific and if you do not get an immediate donation or a rejection, be prepared to follow up- ask “when would be a better time to discuss this?”

Sample overview introduction:
“Thank you (manager’s name) for taking time out of your busy day. I will be brief. (If you patronize the business frequently make mention of this fact so they are aware you are a good customer).

I am a volunteer for a cancer foundation, the Rein in Sarcoma Foundation. You may be unfamiliar with sarcoma cancers as are many people which is why I am here today. While a rare cancer among adults (about 2% of all cancers) sarcoma cancers are the third most common cancer among children and young adults. Because it is so rare, it is often misdiagnosed, with devastating results.

Each July we hold an event which is both an opportunity for patients and their families to build community and meet each other while holding one of our major fund raising initiatives. We have a wonderful silent auction and I am here today to ask for your help by donating (mention what you want).

I have an event flier which gives you more details but want to be respectful of your time. Can I count on (name of business) for a donation?”


  • Keep it short, keep it simple.
  • Give them time to process and respond.
  • Make sure you have a Gift in Kind form with you, the event flier and
  • If you need to follow up, ask when is the best time for us to talk again.
  • Get their name, phone number and email or business card.

That’s all there is to it. Practice saying this a few times, personalize it as needed and before long you will become so adept at it- you’ll look forward to opportunities to ask.