There are many ways to raise money for your cause, one of which is a celebrity autograph auction. These autograph auctions are usually made up of items signed by celebrities that are then auctioned off, either in person or on an online service such as eBay.

The Right Words. Explain your cause and ask for what you want… nicely! Letter writing is an art form. Simply scribbling three lines in pencil on notebook paper won’t do the trick. The more professional the appearance the better; typed on letterhead is best.

The Rotary Club of Ennis, Texas, used Contact Any Celebrity to get items from celebrities for an auction to raise money for various children’s charities. Their typed letter stated exactly what they were doing and why. The letter also listed their contact information clearly. Some representatives may need to verify that you are truly a nonprofit organization. It then stated exactly what they wanted: “We most humbly request your assistance in our efforts by requesting a personal item from you for the auction; if it’s signed, that will help even more.”

Autographed items came in from Troy Aikman, John Travolta, Rusty Wallace, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Richard Petty, Laura Davis, Dustin Hoffman, Gerald Ford, Jennifer Lopez, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Arnold Palmer, Susan Sarandon, Dakota Fanning and an autographed cap sent by Lee Trevino.

Persistence. You may have to ask more than once. Sending the first letter to explain what you’re doing and why is good. Sending the second letter as an update is a good idea too. One Contact Any Celebrity user’s first letter, while only two paragraphs long, really explained her cause and what she was looking for. It also set a deadline for items to be received. After a few weeks, she sent out another letter explaining that the deadline had been extended, and outlined the support she had already received. This ended up getting her even more items.

Patience. Celebrities don’t always respond in your expected timeframe. Getting started well in advance of your event is a good idea. Some of Contact Any Celebrity’s users have received responses as far out as one year after their initial letter. Amy Pratt from Plymouth, Indiana, wrote to more than 50 celebrities asking for autographs for a personal collection. “The photos came rolling in after a few weeks,” Pratt said. “The last one we got took over a year, but it’s a surprise each time [a new autograph] pops up.”

She received autographs and personal notes from Ben Stiller, John Travolta, Joe Theisman, Brooke Shields, Michael Jordan, Gale Sayers and Nolan Ryan to name a few.

Another amazing success came from Carolyn Penharlow from Vienna, Virginia for an auction for her son’s school. “I sent out almost 300 letters following the instructions on the website. I was astonished at the response. It was fun to go to the school mailbox every day. Everyone would ask what I got that day! We raised over $15,000 altogether and were thrilled.”

Penharlow’s organization received signed books from Henry Winkler, CDs from George Winston plus many photos from stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Cindy Crawford, and Dustin Hoffman.

There are many more Nonprofit Success Stories where these came from, and we hope Contact Any Celebrity can help with your fundraising efforts.