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How to Host a Successful Online Auction for Nonprofits

How to Host a Successful Online Auction for Nonprofits

Posted on September 3, 2021
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Charity auctions have been a great way to raise money for schools, campaigns, and nonprofits. After all, who doesn’t like to take home an aesthetic piece while also doing good with that money? Fundraising events focus on auctions because they have been a proven success model to raise the money desired. While previously, fundraising auctions were restricted by location, online fundraising has risen an opportunity for nonprofits to expand their reach.

As the rest of the world moves towards a virtual world, nonprofits need to adapt to this as well. A virtual charity auction may be a fantastic method to raise funds while also cultivating community. Bidding may be extended by adding additional goods or timed bidding to keep people engaged. There’s no need to resort to the trouble and expense of putting up a venue when there are lots of software choices with promotion, administration, and engagement capabilities.

You may have seen online fundraising auctions for other organizations. However, if you’ve never participated in an online fundraising auction before, it might be intimidating.
We have curated a list to help you run a fundraising auction online.

10 Tips to Run a Fundraising Auction Online

1. Decide the Right Type of Virtual Auction

The first step is to decide what type of auction it will be. You must know the different types of auctions so that you pick the right one for your non-profit. The two types of auctions are:

Silent Auction

This type of auction offers longevity to your fundraiser. This is a more hands-off approach, it does allow you to significantly expand your reach and encourage a diverse range of supporters to participate.

Guests will have access to your online inventory of available auction goods for a silent auction. Then they’ll be encouraged to look through the items at their leisure and bid on the ones that pique their interest. Because these virtual auctions are longer, you’ll need the right tools to keep participants engaged when it’s necessary.

Live Auction

One of the most fascinating online fundraising events you can conduct is a virtual live auction. You may have already hosted (or attended) a similar event in person. Bring this idea with live streaming technologies to the virtual world! All participants must connect to your live-streaming platform at a set time if you pick this sort of virtual auction. Then, in real-time, your auctioneer will be aired to the participants’ screens.

2. Decide the Auction Items

Choosing auction goods is difficult because you need to know which things will elicit the most enthusiasm from the contributors. Finding an object that is not materialistic is a wonderful idea. Because experimental products are difficult to find in stores, they are best sold at auction. Donors give because they want to make a difference. They are more interested in the emotional component of a bid item than the physical aspect. This connection can be made using experiential goods. Day tours, vacation trips, and visits to the location where your organization is working are all examples.

3. Promote Your Event

Take to social media if you want your online auction to be a success. Promote it on all platforms where you already have a following. Don’t forget to follow up with emails, newsletters, and maybe even internet advertising. It’s a good idea to use a blend of targeted invites and a broad-based mass marketing approach. This way, your loyal contributors and other supporters will receive a tailored message urging them to come, while others in your support network will learn about your event and decide to attend. It’s a win-win situation.

4. Decide the Rules of Auction

Before you start promoting, you should write down all the rules and regulations regarding pre, during, and post-auction events. You should include rules about auction items, bidding process, deliveries, payment terms, bidding rights, etc. It is also here that you mention the purpose of the auction and the buyer’s rights.

5. Payment Method and When they Can Pay

You are conducting a fundraiser because you want to raise money for a cause, therefore, having a clear document detailing payment instruments and their terms and conditions is a must. This document should also include by when they can transfer the money, any additional charges applied, and other things related to money.

6. Create A-Team

It takes a team to put on a successful fundraising event. A dedicated auction committee for the project may make a big impact and make things easier. Create a single center to simplify communications while arranging an auction because there are so many moving pieces. The committee can then be subdivided into the event, procurement, marketing, and operations subcommittees.

7. Be Creative (Build Suspense)

It’s critical to keep people busy and entertained, whether you’re holding an online or live auction. An uninteresting event might sap the motivation to participate in anything worthwhile, such as fundraising. Looking out methods to make everyone pleased at the end of the event is one approach to achieve this.

Aside from bidding, there are a few more things you may do to enhance the auction event. Remember that not all bidders will be able to purchase the thing they like, so offering them alternative ways to participate can be entertaining.

8. Keep Everyone Motivated

Planning an auction takes time and effort. Your auction team might lose track and get demotivated throughout the process. For it to not happen, make sure that the morale is high throughout the planning process, as well as after the event. Regardless of it was successful or not, remember the effort and appreciate it.

9. Create a Virtual Catalogue

Your online auction catalog is perhaps your most effective marketing instrument. After all, it’s a virtual window into your auction. Your catalog allows event attendees and other potential visitors to browse your products and decide whether or not they want to join. You might make your catalog available to the whole public ahead of time, or you could limit the sneak look to those who have already registered and paid for their tickets. The latter can be a fantastic way to encourage pre-registration by offering a special “early bird” chance.

10. Choose the Right Software

Online charity auction software allows you to organize a fundraiser from the convenience of your own home or workplace. Adopting a suite of specialist auction software is a must when it comes to preparing your forthcoming virtual auctions. With so many alternatives to select from, it’s important to remember to consider the most important aspects. Here are our top 3 recommendations:

  • iConnectX is a prominent technology company that helps organizations and companies thrive in their fundraising efforts. iConnectX has robust fundraising solutions ranging from online auctions to event tickets and Text-To-Give and Donations. They also offer Live Software support, CRM input, a live event monitoring page an auto-bid. iConnectX is the perfect choice for your online fundraising auction, with reasonable rates and a team of specialists at your disposal.
  • BiddingOwl is an auction management system that manages silent, live, and online auctions from beginning to end. Mobile bidding is also available during your event, as well as specialized fundraising help and fully integrated credit card processing.
  • ClickBid was established in 2002. Hybrid events assist schools and organizations in raising cash. You may host silent, live, lottery, and fundraising events from donor mobile devices using their live auction and live video services.

Virtual auctions can take a lot of time and work to arrange, especially if it’s your first one, but the payoff can be huge! With the additional fundraising income and improved interaction with your charity supporters, you may be asking why you didn’t use this technique sooner.

Connect with the IConnectX team to get started with your online fundraising auction.