FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE SERVICE AUCTION?
The Service Auction is, after the pledge drive, 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?
All items/services sold at the Service Auction are donated by Northwoods members and friends.
WHAT ITEMS ARE SOLD IN THE SERVICE AUCTION?
The items sold in the Service Auction generally fall into 3 categories, and the emphasis is on SERVICE. 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. BASKETS - Donated goods or services may be sold by silent auction, raffle, or door prizes rather than 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?
For 2020, the Service Auction is the evening of SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7th. We encourage you to grab yourself some dinner and log in to hang out with us beginning at 6:00 p.m. We will release the catalog and a detailed schedule on or before November 5.
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. Since we cannot get required information in person, please fill out a registration form under the event page prior to attending the event. Registration will remain open during and after the event, but you cannot bid on any items until a member of the committee has processed your registration and assigned you a bidder number (which may not be available close to or during event). Please register as soon as possible so that you don't miss out on any items!
WHAT SHALL I WEAR TO THE SERVICE AUCTION?
There is no dress code. Some people choose to dress in costume matching the theme. Some just dress casually. Do what makes you feel most comfortable. We encourage all participants to get into the mood of Service Auction and dress up, even though we are convening virtually this year. Whether you come in costume, activewear, business wear or pajamas is up to you. Just come join the fun.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE SERVICE AUCTION ZOOM MEETING?
- A sense of fun. This is the most fun you will have giving!
-Your bidder number, memorized, printed or written down. Since this is a virtual event, we will be sending bidder numbers out via email notifications. Please have this number ready to to go bid on items.
WHAT IF I CAN’T ATTEND BUT WANT TO BUY SOMETHING?
If you plan to bid on live auction items, you will need to find a friend, family member, or other designated bidder attend the event on your behalf. Otherwise, check the website, Facebook group, or your email for information to bid on silent auction items or sign-up for parties. If you do not have anyone to bid for you, please contact the Service Auction Committee at and we will try to find a volunteer bidder for you.
WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE THINGS I BUY?
Payment is due at the close of the Service Auction. Due to the virtual nature of the event, we will be sending a link to the Northwoods donations page at the close of Service Auction with directions on how to pay.
WHAT ARE “SIGN-UPS”?
Sign-ups are events - parties, classes, services - that are hosted by Northwoods members/friends or Northwoods groups at their expense. The sign-ups 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 CHECK OUT AND PAY?
At the end of the evening, total your purchases. Using the Northwoods Donations page on the website, enter the total under the Service Auction designation and be sure to enter your bidder number where prompted. To pay via cash or check, please email the Service Auction Committee at with your intent to pay by cash or check, then make arrangements to submit your payment to the office.
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 "2020 Contracts" page of this website. Please use a separate contract for each donation. 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. A list of ideas can be found on the "2020 Contracts" page of this website. We also will be hosting brainstorming sessions to help people keep this year's Service Auction pandemic friendly. Check pack for updates on these events or follow us at Facebook.com/NUUCServiceAuction.
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 or raffle items. 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 50+ 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?
At this time, Northwoods is not accepting reservations to use the church facilities. Please reach out to the Service Auction Committee at 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOES SERVICE AUCTION USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR COMMUNICATION?
YES, we have a (recently re-activated) Facebook page -- NUUC Service Auction. After the auction, we hope this page can be used to let people know of signups with open spaces. If you can’t attend an event you have signed up for, we hope you will post the availability here. We are learning; please be patient or better yet, volunteer to help us!
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT IS NOT ANSWERED HERE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You have several options. You can email members of the Service Auction Committee at email@example.com, you can post a question in the Service Auction Facebook Group or you can use the "Contact Us" form on the Home Page.