As we eagerly prepare for the very first Wilderness Volunteers Online Auction, here are answers to some good questions we’ve heard. We need your help to make it a successful event!

How does it work, what’s the timing? The auction occurs in three phases: receiving auction items (now through Feb 26th), live bidding (Feb 27th-Mar 14th), and winning something really cool for a great price in support of a great cause…but you gotta bid to have a chance!

What kinds of items are we looking for? Darn near anything related to: outdoor gear and products, guide services of all kinds, home and condo stays, clothing, spa & massage services, lodging, event tickets, art of all kinds, books, restaurant meals, gift certificates of all kinds….We’re looking for new items, preferably still in original packaging.

How do I donate an item to be auctioned? The slick way to donate something is to fill out this donation form. The form asks you for some basic information about the item; its value, how the winner claims it, shipping, and including a function to upload a photo and logo for display on the auction site.

What happens on Feb 27th? Once we’ve got all the items loaded onto the auction site, we’ll send an initial email blast opening the auction, followed by a series of emails as we move into the last days, hours and minutes. We’ll also make announcements and make links available through the WV Facebook page, the WV Blog, and any other means available. And we want you to help us spread the word through all your channels too.

Who can bid, how do I bid, when does it end? Anybody can bid who has a credit card registered on the auction site, although we will still take check payment. We’ll place links to the auction website in all our announcements. Once registered, you’ll be issued instructions and personal ID to enter the secure bid site, and once there while the auction is live (ends throughout the day on Mar 14th) you can monitor and strategically bid on any item right up until the clock stops!

Who’s our audience, who’s doing the bidding? Our audience includes our trip participants, trip leaders, supporters, agency personnel, and all who enjoy the outdoors. We are entering our 13th year of organizing service projects and have a loyal following of fit, active outdoor adventurers who engage in a variety of outdoor pursuits including backpacking, camping, hiking, climbing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, cycling, road-tripping and traveling abroad.

Is there an event I have to attend? No. An online auction is much like other auctions, only all the bidding is conducted on a website in real time over a period of two weeks, Feb 27-Mar 14. We chose to do an online auction because the Wilderness Volunteers’ family is so geographically broad-based, our supporters literally live all over the country. We don’t even have a physical office, as our staff work from their homes!

How do I claim the item I won? Most items will be listed with their claim information, so you’ll know before you bid. Depending on the item (mainly size and fragility), you may receive the item by mail, shipped by the donor, or shipped by Wilderness Volunteers.

Where does the money go? Funds raised through the Wilderness Volunteers Online Auction are used in support of our mission to organize and promote volunteer service to America’s wild lands.