Annual Auction FAQs

1. Why does TDS have an auction?

The auction is one of the primary fundraising initiatives for the year, and it is essential to the success of Triangle Day School. Proceeds raised from the event – which, in the past, have exceeded $100,000 — go directly into TDS’ operating budget. These funds help maintain our rich curriculum, extensive student services, and exceptional staff. The auction is also a fun way to spend an evening socializing with other members of the TDS community!

2. When and where is the auction?

Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 6:30-10:00pm at Bay 7 at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham. 

3. How much is admission, and what is included?

A ticket is $100 per person until January 1st, 2019, which includes passed hors d’oeuvres, a full open-bar, and a buffet dinner with dessert. Additional ticket options include purchasing teacher sponsorships and other sponsorships at various levels.

4. Sponsor a Teacher? Aren't their tickets complimentary?

Yes, faculty and staff attend the auction at no charge; however, we pay for their tickets out of the auction budget. By sponsoring a teacher, you help offset those expenses so that more of the auction proceeds can directly benefit the school. Go to if you wish to Sponsor a Teacher.

5. How do I tell you who I want to sit with at the auction?

After you purchase tickets, please email with your seating requests.  Due to the venue, we are able to accommodate a maximum of 10 guests per table.  If there are any questions when we are working on table assignments, we will contact you for clarification.

6. What kinds of items are up for bid?

There will be a range of items to bid on including services, getaways, physical goods, school-associated items and experiences. We also have \Teacher Experiences. Our Silent Auction catalog has items in all price points, from $20 on up. There’s something for every budget — you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time and help the school!

7. Is there a catalog of items up for bid?

Yes – you will be able to view the catalog of auction items on closer to the day of the event. In the meantime, we have last year’s catalog available for viewing, which will give you an idea of what items are typically up for bid.

Silent Auction items will also be set up on table displays at the event as well, allowing you the opportunity to see them up close and in person when you arrive for the cocktail hour.

8. How does the auction work?

The Auction consists of a Silent Auction, a Live Auction, and a live Fund-A-Cause round of bidding.  The Silent Auction is conducted via BidPal.  In the days before the event, you will receive a text with instructions on how to bid using your mobile device.

The Live Auction is conducted by a surprise guest auctioneer.  This is where the night gets fun, and sometimes a little crazy — in a good way! Items generally included in the Live Auction are a combination of unique opportunities, school/classroom/teacher experiences, getaways and anything else that’s spectacular.

Once all bidding is concluded, you will be know which items you won via BidPal on your mobile device – please collect them before you leave!

9. What is the Fund-A-Cause?

Each year, the Head of School designates a particular area of need for the school, and donations to the Fund-A-Cause are earmarked specifically for these projects and items. The Fund-A-Cause is an integral component of the live auction, with donors raising their paddles in support of a specific initiative.

Stay tuned for details for the 2019 Fund-A-Cause.

10. Tell me about these “Teacher Experiences” I keep hearing about!

Each year, our amazing faculty and administrative staff offer up fantastic outings and experiences to share with one or more TDS students. These are some of the most popular items offered each year. Some are organized by a group of faculty/staff for a larger group of students and are the highlight of the Live Auction. Other experiences will be part of the Silent Auction, available for bid via the mobile app. More details coming soon!

11. How and when do I pay for the goods & services I purchase?

All Auction attendees can pay up to 2 weeks following the auction by sending a check to the school; for current TDS families, any bills outstanding after 2 weeks will be billed to your TADS account. When both the silent and live auctions are closed, the Bidpal app will show you a list of items purchased and your total for the evening.  All items from both the Silent and Live Auctions will be available for pick-up at the end of the evening – please don’t leave without them!

13. Do I have to buy something at the auction?

No! We hope you do, but your ticket price fully covers the cost of the evening.

14. Will people know what I’m buying and/or how much I’m spending?

All Silent Auction bidding is done via BidPal; the winning bid amount will be displayed on the app, but it is not publicly associated with a name. For the Live Auction and Fund-A-Cause, your name and bid amount may be displayed that evening.

If you would like to anonymously donate money towards the auction, you may do so prior to the event by sending a check to the TDS office.

15. How does TDS acquire items for the auction?

A team of parent volunteers solicits local and national businesses for donations. Of course, there are always things we would love to be able to offer that we are unable to source through our corporate donors, and so we ask TDS families to consider donating items as well. If you aren’t sure what to donate or would like some suggestions, please visit the Auction Donation Wish List  where you can sign up to provide an item we wish to offer for sale but have not yet acquired. A cash donation is always welcome, too, as it allows us to purchase the missing pieces for some of our packages. To donate an item, please fill out the Auction Donation Form.

16. Can I donate tickets to a sporting event/show if the date is prior to the auction?

Absolutely!  Contact Sharon Myers in the TDS office –

17. What should I wear?

For 2019, the theme is Casino Royale!  Dress to impress, or with a James Bond character in mind if you want!  When in doubt, cocktail attire.

18. Can I bring my friends if they do not have children attending Triangle Day School?

YES! All are welcome! The auction is a social, fun event for all our guests, and we need buyers to make it a financial success — the more the merrier.

19. How much of what I spend for the auction is tax deductible?

Admission tickets to the auction cover the actual cost of your food and drink at the event and are not tax deductible.

Donations (of items and cash) to the event are USUALLY tax deductible.

In terms of “won” auction items: if you pay more for an item than the stated value of the item, any amount over the stated value MAY be tax deductible.

As always, please consult your personal tax advisor or accountant for advice on what may be deductible in your particular situation.

20. Do you need volunteers for the auction?

The TDS Auction is planned and staffed entirely by volunteers. If you’d like to help, we have an array of opportunities to put you to work, encompassing everything from acquisitions to class projects to set-up and breakdown. Some tasks can be done from home with a phone and a computer, while others involve a number of meetings. Each job provides a wonderful opportunity to become more integrated with the TDS community through meeting and working with other parents, all towards a common goal of providing exceptional education for our children. Please contact co-chairs co-chairs Andi Neely, Tasha Seyler, or Kelly Travis if you are interested in assisting with this year’s auction.