How Many Donation Forms?

How Many Donation Forms?

Can I fill out just a single donation form for a donation that will accommodate multiple buyers?

It depends.

  • The general rule is that if you are contributing multiple exact duplicates of an item, you can use a single donation form and specify multiple buyers.
  • If the items are not all exact duplicates, each item must be donated using a separate form.**

What does “exact duplicate” mean?  It refers to EVERYTHING – size, color, brand, event date, event time, delivery or pickup method.  If items aren’t exact duplicates in all of these respects, they have to be put onto separate donation forms.  (Contact the auction team for further clarification.)

The meaning of “exact duplicate” might be best explained using examples:

Tangible items

  • You have three absolutely identical necklaces – style, size, color, and so forth.  You want to sell to three buyers.  This is done by submitting a single donation form (maximum buyers: 3).
  • You have three necklaces, identical except for the colors.  If the goal is to sell individual necklaces to three buyers (rather than selling one buyer a package of three necklaces), you’d need to submit three donation forms, one for each necklace.  However, if buyers don’t get to pick the color (“colors vary – seller will select the color“), you can do it with one form.
  • You have a number of t-shirts that are identical, except that they are different sizes: four are size S, two are M, three are L and ten are XL.  Your goal is to sell them all.  You’d need to submit four separate donation forms, one for each size level, and with maximum buyers of four (size S), two (M), three (L) and ten (XL).


  • You’re donating a series of two movie nights.  Each movie night has a different movie that occurs on its own date, and you want people to buy your movies separately, rather than offering them together as a two-night event.  You can accommodate ten buyers in your home.  Required: two donation forms, one for each movie night (maximum ten buyers per night).  (FYI, movie nights are popular with buyers, and most of them are sold this way.)
  • You’re selling two movie nights, each identical (the same movie, the same refreshments, the same timing) — except for the date.  You have a limit of ten buyers per date.  Two donation forms, one for each date.

Food items and other things that have multiple methods of delivery

  • You want to sell your famous apple pies at the auction.  You offer three pies to be custom-made at a date to be determined by the buyer’s desires and your availability.  Single donation form.
  • You have a favorite cookie recipe and want to offer made-to-order cookie batches to two buyers and a batch freshly made on auction night to a third buyer.  The cookies and the quantities being sold to each buyer are identical.  Nevertheless, you need to submit two forms, because of the difference in how the cookies will be provided.  One would specify the batch being made to order and have a maximum of two buyers, the other would specify picking the item up at the auction and would have a maximum of one buyer.

Exceptions to the rule (in these seldom-seen kinds of situations, you can get away with a single donation form.):

  • You have a number of t-shirts that are identical, except that they are different sizes: four are size S, two are M, three are L and ten are XL.   You want to sell two of the shirts, and allow the buyers to pick up the shirt they prefer from the inventory.  In this example, you can submit a single donation form (maximum buyers: 2) with the comment that folks can choose the size they prefer.   Be careful with this option, though – if you decide you want to have three buyers and they all pick size M, you won’t have enough inventory, so you’d need to put something in your description about quantity limits, describing how buyers can request a size, and a comment like “first come, first served.”  (And the fact that the Auction doesn’t give reimbursements in this kind of situation.)
  • You’re selling two movie nights, with a limit of ten buyers.  The limit of ten applies to the event in aggregate – you’re willing to have all ten buyers go to the first movie night, all ten to the second, or some to one and some to the other.  Single donation form.  (This approach can engender confusion, so we recommend avoiding it.)
  • You’re selling ONE movie night, and want the buyers, to collectively choose between two specific dates.  This is done using a single donation form.  (We don’t recommend this approach, either, for a number of reasons, but if you want to do it, only one donation form is required.)

In essence, these last three examples are donations which, to the auction team, are of identical items.  (For example, in the t-shirt example, each offered item, from the perspective of the auction process, is “t-shirt, size unspecified” rather than “t-shirt, size M” or “t-shirt, size S.”)  The buyers purchase the generic item, and then make choices that are external to the auction process.

Please feel free to contact the Auction Team if you have any questions about how to submit your donation.  We’re here to help!

** When you submit your auction item, you’ll receive a link to the donation form with your donor and contact information already entered. It’s a time-saver when you have to fill out multiple forms!