As your organization prepares for its next silent auction or virtual auction, you’ll have a lot of planning and organizing to do. To save your team’s time and streamline your efforts, you must equip your organization with the right tools for the job.
That’s where silent auction software comes in. With effective software, you can streamline the tasks needed to plan, manage, and execute your live or online auction. Plus, the right tools can drastically improve your supporters’ bidding experience and help you generate more long-term value.
Here’s a complete range of silent auction software and support tools that can take your event to the next level:
|Auction Planning||Streamlining Operations||Donor Management||Marketing & Tech|
|Charity Ace||Double the Donation||Salesforce||Cathexis Partners|
Read with us from the top or jump to the solutions that interest you most. We’ll also cover a few silent auction software FAQs and best practices for building a solid silent auction software toolkit. Let’s get started!
OneCause is the leading provider of silent auction software for nonprofits for in-person, virtual, or hybrid events. With a full range of mobile bidding, virtual fundraising, event management, and back-end analytics features, the OneCause platform is a game-changer for auction events of all types and sizes.
With this all-in-one toolkit, your organization can plan every element of your silent auction or virtual auction from start to finish. No matter if your donors are together online, in-person, or a mix of the two, OneCause has what you need to succeed including:
The OneCause platform also gives your in person or virtual auction attendees more options and methods to engage with your mission and fundraising than ever before. With bidding right on their smartphones, push notifications for their favorite items, and fixed-price purchases, it’s easier than ever to get involved.
This kind of positive, streamlined experience for bidders generates more engagement, bids, and revenue for your silent auction.
In 2020, virtual events became the new normal. The ability to engage donors from anywhere is a major benefit with OneCause technology, especially amid social distancing guidelines. Virtual fundraising allows you to offer brand new engagement opportunities to donors, keeping them excited to stay involved. Plus, virtual events like silent auctions are often more cost-effective than traditional in-person events.
Furthermore, by planning and managing your silent or online auction all in one digital location, you can improve nearly every aspect of the process before, during, and after your event.
Over the long-run, the OneCause platform of silent auction software helps you continually improve your events. With more engagement data (driven by more interactions with bidders), you can learn more about your performance and supporters. Then, use these insights to keep attracting, retaining, and growing support.
Explore these success stories to learn how organizations of all shapes and sizes have revolutionized their in-person and virtual fundraising with OneCause.
Contact OneCause to request a quote and tour the platform’s extensive features.
Auction Packages is designed for nonprofits that want to auction off amazing experiences risk-free. Your organization can choose from over 150 auction items and packages that are best suited to your fundraising goals. From there, you can reserve the auction items, offer them at your event, and then report on what sold so the winning bidders can redeem their packages.
Auction Packages offers a wide variety of auction items that will appeal to your bidders and boost your fundraising revenue. These include international travel, concerts and shows, golf, skiing, safaris, spa packages, and more. The best part? All of these are risk-free. Only pay for the packages on which you generate a profit.
As an auction item consignment service, packages from Auction Packages are free to offer at your silent auction. Learn more on their How It Works page.
Winspire is a top silent auction software solution that offers unforgettable auction packages you can offer at your event. Select from more than 200 unique experiences, offer them at your auction, and then tell Winspire how many times you sold each package so the winners can begin redeeming them.
Winspire offers a full staff of nonprofit fundraising and event professionals with extensive experience managing auctions. Your organization will be paired with a personal event consultant who will provide you with valuable advice on how to maximize your event’s revenue and make your auction a success.
As an auction item consignment service, packages from Winspire are free to offer at your silent auction. Learn more on their How It Works page.
Charity Ace provides a one-stop shop containing the most dependable and desirable consignment options across the industry for charities to easily and efficiently select.
The CharityACE team assesses your needs and takes a strategic approach to filling holes only when it makes the most sense for your event and audience. They ensure that your goals are met, your donors are happy, and your mission is supported.
As an auction item consignment service, Charity Ace provides a free consultation and analyzes your package strategy. Explore their item offerings here.
Note: If travel packages are a part of your silent or online auction’s item procurement strategy, make sure to look for providers that offer flexible scheduling policies.
This is essential if social distancing guidelines or travel restrictions are in place for your locale.
Boardable is a virtual board management platform for nonprofits. Amid the ongoing shift towards remote strategies both in terms of donor engagement and internal operations, ensuring your board has an effective way to communicate and collaborate is key.
With agenda building tools, meeting facilitation features, centralized document storage, task managers, and polling and voting tools, Boardable makes it easy to go virtual and stay productive. This is especially important when it comes to planning a virtual event, like an online auction.
Boardable’s features can empower your board members to take a more active role in planning and supporting your auction efforts without overwhelming them with multiple collaboration tools. Plus, Boardable’s features are all mobile-friendly, ensuring everyone can check-in and get involved from home and on-the-go.
Boardable’s virtual management tools start at $79/month, with larger packages available. Explore their website to learn more.
Not sure how to determine your guest list for your upcoming silent auction? DonorSearch can help. DonorSearch specializes in prospect research for major donors. Their software incorporates a combination of philanthropic and wealth databases to determine both an individual’s capacity (ability) to give and their affinity (willingness) to give, as well.
Use DonorSearch to analyze your donor database and determine the donors most likely to take part in your auction and place larger bids. By leveraging their past charitable giving information, nonprofit involvement, business affiliations, real estate information, and more, DonorSearch can help you pinpoint the donors most likely to make a difference at your auction.
DonorSearch starts with proven philanthropy in order to provide more accurate, comprehensive, and actionable data to help nonprofits achieve better fundraising and outreach results. They understand that past giving to nonprofits is a much better indicator of future giving than wealth screening alone.
Request a demo or reach out to DonorSearch to discuss pricing for their wealth screening and prospect research software.
Marketsmart takes a data-driven approach to help you build stronger long-term relationships after events like silent and online auctions. Focused on major donor and legacy donor prospecting, their tools help you make the most of your auction efforts for years to come.
With this platform’s data analysis and outreach automation features, you can generate a 360-degree view of your big bidders. With these insights, you can dramatically strengthen your stewardship strategies and increase your chances of making successful asks down the line.
All of Marketsmart’s features prioritize the donor experience. By empowering donors to take action and reach out when they’re ready, you build stronger long-term relationships. Plus, after investing in planning a silent, live, or virtual auction, Marketsmart helps you cultivate your relationships with more efficiency and less manual effort, saving time all around.
Request a one-on-one Marketsmart demo to learn more about their software and pricing.
Double the Donation is a leading corporate philanthropy database and software provider for nonprofits. With their tools and wealth of data, your organization can grow your silent auction’s revenue well after the event ends.
Matching gift programs are one of the most underutilized but easily-obtained forms of corporate philanthropy. Double the Donation’s software allows donors and supporters to check their eligibility for a matched gift. Eligible supporters can ask for a match from their company for donations made to your organization during the event.
Aside from helping you raise more while following up with bidders after your silent auction, Double the Donation can strengthen your fundraising strategies over the long-run, too. With more insight into your donors’ employers, you can more effectively target match-eligible supporters with future campaigns, events, and outreach.
The Double the Donation premium plan, including customizable search tools to embed on your website and donation forms, is $499/year.
If you want to leverage the data you collect during your auction, it’s important to invest in CRM software. A constituent relationship manager (CRM) organizes all of the donor data you collect through donation forms, during events, and other engagement opportunities.
Virtuous is a top nonprofit CRM that is easy to use and offers smart analytics that suggest next steps (e.g., who to contact and when). The platform offers email integration and marketing automation, sending supporters updates on their personal donor journey with little extra effort from your organization.
Virtuous not only offers a responsive nonprofit CRM, but it also offers marketing automation solutions. Cultivate relationships with each auction event attendee by automating personalized communication with them and keeping them involved with your nonprofit beyond the event.
The Virtuous CRM platform and automation tools start at $350/month for 1,000 contacts and $700/month for 5,000 contacts. Explore their pricing page for more details and packages.
Bloomerang’s affordable donor management software helps you easily manage your auction guest information. Create segmented lists within your donor database so you can reach out to the appropriate donors who would be most interested in your event.
Bloomerang’s CRM software helps you better engage your donors and secure return guests at your future auctions. Build and send out marketing emails with built-in templates and receive detailed analytics on how they perform.
Bloomerang generates a generosity score for each of your constituents, which is based on philanthropic screening data from DonorSearch. Leverage Bloomerang’s giving summary to view this score and their past giving to your organization so you can focus on the right individuals for your auction guest list.
Bloomerang’s donor management platform offers tiered pricing depending on the number of records you’ll need. They also offer free and inexpensive options for smaller nonprofits, too.
Kindful is a CRM software solution that will allow all of your data from your auctions to flow into one place, giving you more time to focus on managing your constituents. From there, easily communicate with your attendees using personalized email templates.
Kindful’s communication tools will also help you continue cultivating your donor relationships after the event takes place. Plus, collecting data about your auction event now can provide insight into engagement metrics that can be leveraged for your next charity event.
Kindful’s software offers rich integrations, making it easier than ever to make sense of your donor data. With the platform, you’re able to view individual donor records and transactional history, as well as information about your fundraising efforts, in one central location. Choose a CRM that brings data clarity to build better relationships with your donors.
Kindful’s donor management tools are priced on a sliding scale depending on the number of contacts you’ll need to record. Explore their pricing page to learn more.
Salesforce is a top nonprofit CRM solution that allows you to cultivate life-long relationships with your supporters. Using their software for your auction, you can reach more guests, create stronger relationships with your supporters, engage your community, and streamline your internal processes.
You can customize Salesforce to meet all of your nonprofit’s individual needs, including a unified view of every interaction you have with your auction guests. You can then use this knowledge to boost your outreach, improve your donor management, and organize your event.
Salesforce offers the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), which gets organizations up and running on the platform by addressing the highest priority needs of nonprofits. Build deep relationships with your donors using a system built for nonprofits so you can keep up with your auction attendee data and spend the time where it matters most: raising funds for your mission.
The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack is free to adopt for most organizations. However, the implementation and customization process can become quite expensive. This option is recommended primarily for larger organizations.
Bonfire is a merchandise fundraising platform that helps organizations fundraise online and order custom printed materials directly. Specializing in t-shirts, Bonfire provides top-quality merchandise that you can brand to your organization and auction off during your event.
Catch your auction attendees’ eyes with well-designed apparel that will serve two purposes: raising money for your organization, and also spreading awareness for your cause when individuals walk around wearing your merchandise!
Using Bonfire, you can create high-quality apparel using your own design or by choosing from their library of thousands of free fonts and graphics. Create a unique design in record time and display a popular set of auction items at your event.
For nonprofits using Bonfire to create and sell merchandise, your organizations receive all the proceeds from sales. Check out their nonprofit fundraising page to learn more.
Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that can help you market your auction. Use their all-in-one platform to target supporters who would be most likely to attend your auction event and make sure they receive the information they need.
Gather all of your attendance data in one place so you can stay organized. Then, leverage guided targeting so you can send the right message to the right individuals at the right time.
Using Mailchimp, you can understand what your audience likes, collect data about your contacts, and turn this into action. Promote your auction across several channels, including email, social media, and more.
Mailchimp is free to start using to promote your silent auction. However, tiered paid packages offer more advanced features and support for larger organizations.
GivingMail offers a range of direct mail marketing and fundraising tools for organizations of all shapes and sizes. When hosting a charity auction, reaching and engaging wide audiences is key for success.
With this powerful web-to-print direct mail platform, you can spread the word about your upcoming event and drastically boost engagement with your auction even before it’s time to start bidding.
GivingMail makes it easier than ever to engage with supporters offline and get your audience’s attention by breaking through the digital clutter. All you have to do is upload your mailing list (or rent one of theirs!) along with your fundraising letter template, and their team will do the rest!
GivingMail’s dedicated marketing and fundraising features make it a great silent auction software platform for promoting events and boosting excitement beforehand.
This online auction marketing software offers affordable direct mail packages starting at only $99 for your first 100 pieces. After that, additional mailings can be sent for $1 each.
While not a software platform, Cathexis Partners is a nonprofit technology consulting firm with tons of experience supporting live, silent, and online auctions.
Their team can support your software implementation efforts, web design and custom development, and data management strategies. Each of these elements is critical for the success of an auction, especially larger live or virtual events.
Cathexis Partners specializes in filling the gaps in your toolkit that you might not even realize are there. Without a solid tech plan in place before, during, and after your silent auction, you risk derailing efforts or not generating as much long-term value as possible.
As a consulting firm, pricing for Cathexis Partners’ services will vary depending on the specifics of your project. Contact them to discuss your needs and request a proposal.
Powerful missions need powerful fundraising software! The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. Take a look at this versatile all-in-one fundraising software that meets the expectations of today’s donor, supporting any event, in-person, virtual, or hybrid.
|What is silent auction software?||Silent auction software offers guests the ultimate auction experience. In general, using dedicated auction software that includes features to support mobile bidding, registration, and marketing will be the best option for your organization. One that integrates with your CRM will be even better!|
|Why use silent auction software?||Silent auction software tools are a necessity for charity auctions of any kind. The ability to bid from a smartphone has completely changed how silent auctions can be planned and managed. Plus, they provide huge fundraising benefits by keep guests more engaged for the whole auction.|
|Who uses silent auction software?||Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes use silent auction software. To determine which tools are right for you, it's important to look at your budget and your fundraising goals. Then you can determine what technology is important for your organization to have.|
|What are the benefits of using virtual event and auction software?||There are a few major benefits to building out your charity auction toolkit, including streamlined planning, a wider reach, simplified logistics, more engagement data, improved bidder experience, and increased revenue.|
Choosing the right auction software for your nonprofit can make a huge difference for your events down the line. But if you’re new to planning silent or online auctions, how do you get started?
Here’s a quick guide to cover what an effective auction toolkit should contain, plus the features to look for long-term success.
For any organization, there are a few foundational pieces of software that you’ll need to conduct a modern silent or virtual auction. These include:
When building your first auction software toolkit, start by covering your bases. Without these essentials, planning, managing, and promoting your auction will become much more logistically complicated. The list of software providers above features tools that cover each of these categories, plus extras like prospect research and merchandising platforms that help you raise even more.
When considering any type of silent auction software or event support tool, ask these questions:
For more information and tips on building your silent auction toolkit, check out our complete silent auction planning guide.
Choosing the right solutions for your toolkit can help make your auction a success. Looking for more information about running an auction? Check out the additional resources below: