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Five Tips for a More successful Charity/Non-profit Auction

Five Tips for a More successful Charity/Non-profit Auction

Posted on April 12, 2023
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Auctions are fun and can often bring not only new money into your organization, but also new donors and supporters. Auctions are a proven method for nonprofit fundraising.

During the pandemic, fund raising transitioned to online auctions, which is one method for holding an auction and one that can help you with. We have the online platform and tools to make your online auction a huge success. But now that restrictions are largely lifted, live, in-person auctions are back.

Here are five ideas and tips on how to improve the auction experience for everyone.

  1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives:

    Before you begin planning your charity auction, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives. Determine how much money you want to raise, who r your target audience is, and what types of items you want to auction off. Having a clear plan in place will help you stay focused and ensure that you are working towards a specific goal.

  1. Make the Event Fun and Engaging:

    To keep attendees engaged and interested in the auction, make sure the whole auction event is fun and entertaining. Consider adding music, games (for kids, so their parents can engage in the auction), and interactive activities to keep the energy level high.

    Also, consider offering food and drinks to keep attendees comfortable and happy. Also, think about drafting some local artists or athletes from professional or big college teams (ask them when their sport is NOT in season) to participate as an auction caller or experience gift (i.e. have the athlete appear at a party and give a short talk, or a local actor/singer to perform at auction and offer a performance at a private event as one of the things to bid on).

    If the auction is online, it can be even easier to get athletes, retired athletes or performers to appear because they never have to leave their homes.

  1. Offer a Variety of Items:

    Offering a variety of items at your auction will appeal to a broader range of bidders. Consider auctioning off items such as experiences, vacations, gift certificates, and unique memorabilia (i.e. signed sports team item). Additionally, consider adding a silent auction or raffle to offer a wider range of items and pricing options.

  2. Provide Ample Information:

    Providing ample information about the items being auctioned off can help generate interest and increase bidding. If the auction is online only, make sure to provide detailed descriptions and photos of the items, as well as information about their value and significance. This will help bidders make informed decisions and feel more confident about their bids. If items are, for example, signed sports items, ask the athlete to make a short simple video to go with the items. The video can be shot with a smartphone or through If an item is a week vacation at a donor’s summer home, for example, ask the donor to make a short video of the property.

  3. Thank Donors and Bidders:

    After the auction is over, it’s important to thank donors and bidders for their support. Consider sending out personalized thank you notes or hosting a post-auction event to express your gratitude. Showing your appreciation can help build strong relationships with supporters and encourage them to continue supporting your cause in the future.

Online and in-person auctions for non-profits are a tried-and-true method of raising funds and engaging with donors in a fun, interesting way. Our auction software makes it easy and efficient.