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FREE Demo: Find the best tools for your next fundraising auction! Test drive OneCause to see how we can take your auction to the next level!
Silent auction software is designed to help you with your charity auction event from start to finish, from tracking your procured items and selling customized ticket packages. It can facilitate communication with auction donors, and it includes engaging tools like mobile bidding apps.
Silent auction software streamlines planning and management so that your team can focus on what’s important: your cause. Choose the perfect nonprofit silent auction software so your organization can simplify the entire process and score more bids! Let’s walk through some fundamentals:
If your organization has never hosted its own auction event before, or if you’re looking to refine your nonprofit’s auction strategies, it all starts with using the right tools. Charity auction software can take your events to the next level, but only if you put in the time to learn more about it!
There’s a whole range of charity auction software out there for your organization to choose from as it creates its new auction event toolkit. Some types of software will be more useful or appropriate than others depending on the nature of the event you’re hosting. The primary types of auction software are:
Charity auction software suites, especially top-notch options, typically contain features that span across all three. Let’s walk through the specific features to look for in each type:
Auction and event fundraising software centralizes all efforts related to auction planning to help nonprofits more easily coordinate logistics and to give them a holistic view of their events. Depending on the vendor, it can be specific to auctions or generalized to all fundraising events. Its most important features include:
Check out the screenshot above for an example how charity auction software with event planning tools can boost your next auction project. This school used event fundraising solutions by OneCause to create an unforgettable experience and implement gorgeous marketing strategies, like their event homepage.
Learn more about OneCause auction and event fundraising software.
Online auction sites are the digital venues where nonprofits host online auctions. Along with supporting online bidding, these sites can be used in a number of other ways to promote and prepare for silent and live auctions. Auction sites can be managed by silent auction software, or they can be hosted on third-party websites. Look for these features:
Here’s another auction page that a school created in conjunction with OneCause online auction software. Here, the school can sell tickets and update their supporters easily on one page. A well-designed auction website is a powerful tool for your event!
Explore this example OneCause auction website.
Mobile bidding tools are a type of silent auction software that enables donors to browse and bid on auction items right from their smartphones. It provides organizations and auction participants with a convenient alternative to bid sheets. Top mobile bidding tools should include features like these:
Mobile bidding software is an extremely engaging option to offer your event guests. Keep them entertained and eager to compete for your top items all evening! Mobile bidding can also streamline the entire management process for you when used alongside the right fundraising event software.
Check out mobile bidding software from OneCause.
There are several major benefits to using charity auction software to plan and manage your auction event. If you’ve ever hosted an auction the old fashioned way, you can probably already imagine what some of these benefits are. Going digital streamlines the entire process from start to finish, making it easier for your team to meet its goals and helping your learn more for next time.
The benefits of using charity auction software fall into two main categories: planning benefits and management benefits.
The fundraising event planning process can become overwhelming for teams not ready to tackle it. This is especially true for events with as many moving parts as charity auctions! Thankfully, charity auction software can provide a major boost to your planning efforts. With the right tools you can:
Since it allows donors to access many facets of your event online, silent auction software makes participating in your auction more convenient. When guests can quickly purchase tickets anytime and automate bidding with their phones, you’re sure to see a bigger turnout and more bids! Plus, it simplifies the logistical headaches of planning; online check-in and up-to-date guest lists make planning a breeze.
Silent auction software can automate many tasks for your team, making planning your auction a much simpler process. Plus, since these activities are centralized, you won’t have to waste time transferring data or switching between platforms to consult various information sources. Check your guest list, item catalog, seating arrangements, and schedule all in one place with comprehensive software.
Software houses all event planning efforts under the same roof so they can talk to each other and provide your organization with a complete picture of your silent auction. Robust reporting and analytics features can give you additional insights so you can keep honing your event until it’s the best it can be. Learn more from your past events to continually host better, more effective auctions in the future.
Wrangling all those moving parts on the day of your charity auction can be a serious challenge. Having a gameplan in place is essential for making the most of your auction and ensuring your guests enjoy the evening! Charity auction software provides you with the big picture of your event, helping your team more effectively manage each aspect. This translates into a number of major benefits:
With auction sites and mobile bidding, all bidding takes place online. That means that even donors who can’t make it to your auction can still participate. Having more participants will naturally make your silent auction more profitable, since there will be more people to provide funding! Plus, a larger pool of competition among bidders can create exciting bid wars over your top auction items!
Since many tasks are automated and run through the same platform, silent auction software can simplify your event execution, too. In particular, mobile bidding takes care of most of the item checkout process (the most involved auction logistic if you’re using bid sheets). Easily prepare ahead of time by generating a real-time list of winners, and even begin the check-out process before the event is over.
Silent auction software enables organizations to provide guests with additional donation avenues (for example, donation portals and fixed price items like t-shirts and swag bags), helping them raise more money. In fact, all of the benefits we’ve discussed in this section result in more profitable events! By organizing nearly every aspect of your event, auction software can significantly boost your donation intake.
Any new fundraising tool is an important investment for your team. After all, fundraising is the lifeblood of a nonprofit organization. This means it’s crucial that you take the time to carefully weigh your options whenever you’re in the market for new software.
This is especially true for charity auction software. Charity auctions are complex events with the potential to raise a lot of support for your organization, meaning your software vendor needs to be an effective partner for the whole process. Remember these best practices:
When it comes to silent auction and event fundraising software, purchasing a cloud-based model (one that can be accessed via a web browser) is crucial. Using cloud-based software enables you to access all of the data and capabilities you need at the venue.
Plus, if there are multiple team members working on the auction, cloud-based software makes coordination among staff and volunteers easier.
For-profit auction software and nonprofit auction software possess a very different set of features.
For-profit software was designed for companies who run specialized auctions on a frequent basis. Nonprofit auction software, on the other hand, was built to address the specific needs of fundraising auctions. Be sure to choose a vendor who specializes in nonprofit auction software to ensure you’ll have the right capabilities.
Alongside of selling software solutions, many vendors offer event support services to help nonprofits get their software set up and utilize it to its full potential. If this is your first time using silent auction software or hosting a large event, you may want to opt for a vendor with onsite event support.
Not to mention, all nonprofits should be working with vendors who provide timely IT support, in case any technical issues ever arise.
Does your organization host a large number of silent auctions and fundraising events, or is your silent auction a one time or once a year occurrence?
Anticipate your event planning needs to make sure that you’re purchasing a software solution that can grow with you. If you’re planning on hosting multiple events a year, you’ll need to work with software that enables you to plan more than one event annually.
The right charity auction software can take your events to the next level, but how can you be sure you’re finding the best solution out there? This can be particularly tricky if you’ve never hosted an auction before. There are a few standout features to look for in top-notch auction software:
Features like these are often taken for granted, but they can have a huge impact on the success of your charity auction. Your software should fully support your event at any scale as well as provide plenty of customization options and marketing tools. Carefully weigh your options, but remember that the ideal solution will offer comprehensive support and the flexibility to adapt your tools to events of any size.
OneCause is a powerful choice for silent, live, and mobile auctions. Our software supports an unlimited number of events annually, providing your organization with one convenient place for managing all of your event fundraising needs.
OneCause pioneered mobile bidding. That means we have unparalleled experience in supporting nonprofits with their software and developing this solution into a powerful tool that can maximize silent auction bids.
OneCause supports integrations with a wide range of nonprofit CRMs. With seamless integrations, collecting auction data in your donor profiles has never been easier!
OneCause has partnerships with many other auction services. We can help you procure amazing items, find an auctioneer, staff your event, and more to bring your silent auction to the next level!
Ready to start your search for charity auction software? Refer to the best practices and features in this article as you compare your options, and be sure to continue your research with a few additional auction resources: