FREE Consultation: Find the best tools for your next fundraising auction! Request a consultation with OneCause to see how we can take your auction to the next level!
We live in a digital world. We’re constantly turning to technology to make things more efficient each day, and charity auctions are no exception!
Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes are adding online charity auctions to their fundraising toolbelts. Why? Online auctions can help nonprofits raise a lot of money. After all, the chance to walk away with an amazing item while also supporting a worthy cause spurs more giving. Even better, online charity auction software makes giving easy.
But there’s a lot of steps leading up to giving your donors that irreplaceable feeling of being the highest bidder on a highly sought-after item. Charity auctions have a lot of moving parts. Between directing your team, building your guest list, marketing your event, procuring items, and hammering down logistics, you need the right software to support you while you support your mission.
Whether your online charity auction is a part of an in-person event or an entirely virtual campaign, you’ll want powerful technology to support your powerful fundraising efforts.
See how OneCause’s fundraising solutions can help your organization:
Planning the perfect auction doesn’t have to be a daunting task! In fact, with online charity auction software, your planning efforts are automated and centralized – saving your team time and hassle!
Don’t waste time transferring data, switching between platforms, or consulting various information sources. With OneCause, you can promote your auction, manage your items, sell tickets, and get the bids rolling in early and often.
With less time spent on planning your online auction, you can focus on the things that matter – engaging with your donors and fundraising for your mission.
Promoting your upcoming auction is essential for success. Having the right audience for your online charity auction can propel your organization above and beyond its fundraising goals and invigorate those working towards your mission.
Your main goal is to drive traffic to your charity auction website. With online auction technology, your supporters will easily be able to buy tickets, browse auction items, and begin setting up their bidder profile.
Get your supporters onto your site and into the fundraising groove by taking these essential steps to promoting your auction:
Online Charity Auction Tip: Make sure your donors are counting down the days until your online auction by building the suspense! When promoting your event, give guests a taste of what amazing auction items you have in store to get them anxiously awaiting your event.
Your online auction can only as successful as the quality of its auction items. Online auction software makes it easy by allowing you to track what member of your team is responsible for procuring an item, if the item has been picked up from its donor yet, and where the item is being stored before the event.
While there’s no secret formula to procuring the best auction items for your event, we can help you get started!
The best items for an online auction will appeal to your demographic. Think: What particular items would my donor base be excited about? When identifying the best items to procure, follow these top tips:
Online Charity Auction Tip: If your online auction is a virtual event, keep in mind not to procure anything too large, heavy, or fragile – or else your items might be too cumbersome to ship to the winners.
Think of registration as your supporters first impression about your event. You want it to go smoothly! The right online auction software will ensure that registration and ticketing are effortless for donors. The key benefits to OneCause ticketing solutions include:
Online Charity Auction Tip: Unlimited ticketing options brings unlimited customization. Use OneCause ticketing to offer various sponsorship levels, VIP ticket options, or simply a no-cost volunteer ticket. The sky’s the limit and your registration data is all in one place!
One of the smarted strategies you can implement in your online charity auction is pre-bidding. Pre-bidding allows you to jumpstart your fundraising, build excitement for your main event, and extend the life of your auction!
Follow these top tips to make sure you’re set up for success:
Online Charity Auction Tip: Pre-bidding will ensure a highly engaging (and highly profitable) online auction event. Digital and mobile tools have made it easier than ever to get your guests eager to bid and keep the excitement going all throughout the event.
For your donors, the giving experience plays a large factor in turning one-time donors into lifetime supporters. If your donors can give easily, they’re more likely to have a favorable opinion of your nonprofit and engage in the future.
Make sure you have the right software to manage your online charity auction. Without the right tools, you’ll risk losing out on your donors’ support.
The best technology allows you to easily register your guests, track their information, encourage online bidding early and often, and execute a flawless check-out experience.
Whether your online auction is in-person or virtual, a seamless registration process gets the event started off on the right foot.
Robust online auction software will simplify and streamline the entire registration process from start to finish. By using mobile technology, your organization can:
Online Charity Auction Tip: Easy event registration means easy check-in. An easy check-in process leaves your donors satisfied and allows more time for what truly matters – connecting to your mission and fundraising for your cause.
Have you ever heard the saying “what gets tracked, gets measured”? We’d like to put our own spin on that and say “what gets tracked, gets measured. And what gets measured gets results!”
When nonprofits focus on donor engagement, tracking and managing guest details in one central location is key. With OneCause, it’s easy!.
When a guest registers for your in-person or virtual event, they enter their contact information, and as they bid, their mobile bidding information auto-populates on their profile. Now your organization has access to bidders’:
Online Charity Auction Tip: The benefits of tracking these details is twofold. With all of this contact information at your fingertips, you can engage with your supporters long after the event is over! And, with a credit card on file and access to auction items one, the checkout process is seamless for your guests and your organization. (We’ll get to that later!)
Online auctions work because of their fun, competitive nature. On the day of your online auction, amp up the excitement!
Create an atmosphere that has energy and use a variety of communication strategies onsite to drive engagement and bids. OneCause makes it easy with texting capabilities, scoreboards, and countdown clocks.
With OneCause online charity auction software, you can send text message reminders straight to your guests’ phones. Send messages to your guests about:
Text messaging is the perfect feature for online auctions because it gets guests back on their mobile devices and back to bidding!
Use leaderboards and scoreboards to gamify your auction and get everyone focused on the goal of supporting your organization’s mission. Scoreboards spark healthy competition and make giving FUN!
Plus, donors love seeing the impact of their support. Give your guests real-time updates about how their support is making a difference. Remember – show, don’t tell.
Create a sense of urgency at your event by setting a countdown clock on your online auction site or on display at your event. They are another great way to build up the momentum as your auction ends, especially when used alongside text notifications in your mobile bidding tools
Show your guests that time is ticking, and they only have a small time left to make a BIG difference in their community.
Online Charity Auction Tip: If you want to take your online auction to the next level, make sure your online auction software has gamification capabilities. When you gamify giving you add the element of competition that drives up bids and can help you reach your fundraising goals.
Make sure your online auction ends on a high note for your organization and your guests. Instant check-out puts the cherry on top to a perfect event!
With online auction software, you can streamline this process.
Online Charity Auction Tip: Donors with a great experience at checkout are more likely to return for the same event next year and attend other fundraising galas for your organization. Tap into the power of online auction software to ensure things go smoothly.
In the nonprofit world, nothing is more important than maintaining a close relationship with your supporters. Finding new contributors is crucial, of course, but dedicating time to maintain a connection with your existing supporters is the key to long-term and reliable fundraising success.
The heart of any relationship is communication and consistency. When your nonprofit is consistent in its gratitude, outreach, and engagement, your supporter relationships will flourish.
When looking to engage with your charity auction attendees, make sure you have the right technology to do so – one that lets you recognize top donors, automate the thank-you process, and dive into post-event analytics.
One of the best parts about having all of your donor data in one central location is how easy post-event follow-up can be. After your event concludes, recognize your stand-out charity auction donors for the key role they played in making it a smashing success!
Make sure your follow up has these three key elements:
Online Charity Auction Tip: With extensive bidder profiles from each guest, online auction software makes it easy to identify stand-out donors from your event. You’ll be able to see how many times they bid, how many items they won, how many fixed items they purchased, and if they participated in the live appeal.
Two of the most powerful words in the nonprofit industry: thank you. Thanking your donors for their support is how you cultivate better relationships with your supporters and keep them engaged with your mission.
We understand that after an online auction is over, it’s easy to want to take a deep breath and say, “All done!” That is why OneCause online auction software automates the thank you process for you.
After guests check out, an email receipt with information about their winnings and a special thank you from your organization is sent.
But don’t forget that you should follow up with a more personalized thank you within 48 hours after the donation! Think of these thank you tactics:
Online Charity Auction Tip: By automating your thank-you process with online auction software, your organization has one less thing to worry about, and your donors always have the peace of mind knowing that their gift has been received and is making a difference.
The last, crucial best practice for any nonprofit – track your performance! After your online charity auction, gather your team and address these questions:
The good news is online auction software has your answers! OneCause’s robust online auction software allows you to generate a wide variety of reports that will give you detailed insights into your auction items and bidders.
When you learn more from your past events, you’re able to continually host better, more effective auctions in the future.
Online Charity Auction Tip: Software that keeps all event planning efforts under the same roof gives your organization a more complete picture of your auction. OneCause’s robust reporting and analytics features give you additional insights so you can keep honing your event until it’s the best it can be.
Ready to see the OneCause difference? We’ve compiled some of our top OneCause Success Stories to spark online auction inspiration!
PS 150, a small school in Manhattan put the ‘fearless’ in #FearlessFundraisers. They pulled off a move to virtual fundraising in 3 days with huge success. See how they brought school spirit to their supporters’ couches and created community online.
A small but mighty, two-person development team was able to put on a virtual appeal with BIG results. Read the full story to see how Minnesota Independence College & Community raised $300K in their virtual appeal.
The Cornerstone team knew that for their virtual event to be successful, the team needed to move fast, communicate often, and be authentic. Learn how the right technology and right strategy allowed this team to take their event virtual in only 24 hours!
MARR knew they needed to adjust their fundraising strategy to maximize engagement and drive more revenue. Read how transitioning from paper bid sheets to mobile bidding allowed MARR Inc. to TRIPLE their auction proceeds.