When planning a charity auction, there are several moving parts to keep track of: your venue, item procurement, guest registration, guest management, and more. Whether you’re running a silent auction or a live event, these moving parts are important and need to be carefully monitored.
So, how can you best oversee the planning process and the event itself?
Mobile bidding and auction software has grown in popularity among charity auction events. With this software, you can streamline your event planning process from start to finish and make it easier for people to bid. But before we dive into the specifics, let’s define mobile bidding.
What is mobile bidding?
Mobile bidding is a paperless bidding method that allows guests to place bids straight from their phones. The software simplifies all aspects of your live and silent auctions, your event planning and management, ticketing, and other needs. It can add engagement to the event as well.
There are many ways mobile bidding can help boost your revenue and streamline everything at your charity auction. In this article, we’ll focus on the following areas where that can happen:
- Item Procurement
- Guest Experience
Are you ready to take a closer look at the ways mobile bidding can help you reach your fundraising goals? Let’s get started!
1. Manage item procurement.
Your auction starts with item procurement. Procuring the right items that will appeal to your donors and drive up bids is important, but you also need an effective way to track these items as they are obtained.
Your mobile bidding and auction software can help you:
- Generate solicitation letters.
- Track the status of an item you’re procuring.
- Customize starting bids for these items.
- Automatically assign package numbers.
- Group items together.
When you have a streamlined system of procuring items, you’ll be able to focus more time on finding the items that will raise the most revenue for your cause. And you certainly understand the value of having more time!
Choose items that appeal to your bidders so they’re inclined to bid more and more. If you’re looking for some awesome charity auction item ideas, check out this list.
2. Enhance the guest experience.
Part of bringing in revenue from a charity auction means ensuring your guests have a positive experience. After all, bidders are more likely to engage if they’re having a good time!
But this doesn’t just refer to the overall event. Your mobile bidding software can help you streamline and automate processes that would otherwise have to be done manually. These include:
- Selling tickets and managing RSVPs online
- Assigning tables to guests
- Offering ticket packages to donors and sponsors
- Accepting additional donations
- Emailing receipts
Even more than this, you can make your check-in, check-out, and payment processes go much smoother. Swipe credit cards, easily check people in and out on their phones, and eliminate long lines at the event with your auction software.
The better the experience is for your guests, the better your results will be. Raise more by making it easy to register, check in and out, and pay at the conclusion of the auction.
3. Encourage friendly competition.
What better way to drive up bids than with a little friendly competition? Mobile bidding software can help you achieve this. Create a platform for competitive fundraising by recognizing your donors and adding more ways to get involved.
For example, your charity auction software will help you:
- Send outbid notifications to your guests.
- Sell raffle tickets as an addition to the event.
- Showcase current bids at the event.
- Highlight your donation progress.
By keeping your bidders in the loop and showcasing where you fall within your fundraising goal, you’ll inspire them to step up and help you achieve the number you’re aiming for. Keep the momentum going with highlighted progress, outbid notifications, and add-ons that your guests can take part in.
4. Increase the number of people who can participate.
One of the most impactful features of mobile bidding software that can impact your fundraising goal for your charity auction is accessibility.
Because the system is used from each individual’s mobile device, this implies you can theoretically bid from anywhere—and this is true! Mobile bidding software expands your attendance beyond a single room and helps you reach even further.
For example, you can:
- Allow people to bid even if they’re not present at the event. During your live or silent auction, for example, remote participants can place bids from their phones. More bidders means more revenue! Including remote bidders can have a huge impact on your results.
- Start the bidding ahead of time. Get your guests in the mood and excited for the event by opening up bidding a few days ahead of time. This will jumpstart their engagement and help you raise even more.
Mobile bidding software is quite user-friendly and easy to explain, if needed, so incorporating the software makes it simple to expand your guest list and include individuals from all over who want to participate and contribute to your cause.
5. Use helpful analytics.
Analytics are especially important for your event planners and outreach staff. They can use the data your mobile bidding software collects to determine trends and personalize their outreach.
Let’s say you’re looking at a list of your top bidders from your charity auction after the fact. You can use the data collected and stored in the software to determine how many major donors or annual fund donors are also coming to your auctions. Rather than conjecturing, you know based on pure data whether there is a crossover.
As another example, you can identify major donors who haven’t RSVP’d for your auction beforehand (thanks to the online RSVP capabilities) and have someone in your outreach department reach out to them and personally invite them to the event. Not only will this increase your chances of raising more from these major donors’ bids, but it will help you further shape your personalized relationship with them.
Conclusion: Determine if mobile bidding software is right for your nonprofit.
Now that you understand the ways mobile bidding software can help you increase your revenue, it’s time to take a closer look at whether or not the software is right for your nonprofit. Asking yourself the right questions can help guide you toward the right decision.
Consider the following:
- How do donors experience our charity auctions now? Are there long lines, overwhelmed volunteers, and frustrated waiting bidders throughout your event? If this is a recurring theme at your events, you may consider streamlining it with auction software.
- How has our planning process worked out so far? Do you need to spend a lot of time transferring data or switching between platforms to consult a variety of information sources? If so, you may benefit from a central solution that allows you to check your guest list, item catalog, seating arrangements, and more in one place.
- How have our charity auctions been performing? Do you have enough data from your past events to go off of when planning your future ones? If not, you may benefit from robust and actionable performance insights with mobile bidding software. If you’d like to be able to extend your outreach to more participants from afar, this is also a reason to invest in the software.
- Have we been satisfied with the amount we’ve raised in the past? Do you feel there’s room for improvement when it comes to your fundraising numbers? Charity auction software can provide for additional donation avenues, such as fixed-price items like t-shirts and swag bags. Boost your donation revenue with simple add-ons like these.
Making an investment in mobile bidding software can be worth it based on the revenue boost you receive. If you’ve decided to take the plunge, your next step will involve choosing the best platform for your nonprofit. Be sure to do your research and find a solution that offers the features you need.
Learn even more about running a charity auction here!
Running a charity auction doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal. Streamline your planning process and bring in more revenue with mobile bidding and auction software. From there, you’ll set your event up for success and get even closer to achieving your mission!
Kelly Velasquez-Hague, guest author, brings over 20 years of fundraising, nonprofit management, and sales/marketing experience to her role as the Director of Content Marketing for OneCause. As a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Kelly manages all of the company’s content strategy and execution. She is passionate about empowering great missions and loves that her current role allows her to continue to help nonprofits reach new donors and raise more funds for their cause.