Online Charity Auctions for Nonprofits
Ready to launch a fundraising or charity auction online?
Looking for a mobile bidding tool or text to bid function?
Get Started with the best free online charity auction platform available today.
Online charity auctions are a great way to raise money for your organization and community. Our fundraising auction websites make it so easy and make you look good. Best of all, there are no subscriptions or upfront fees with our auction software. Just sign up and start fundraising.
Our Online Fundraising Auction Features
Our fundraising auction suite provides online and mobile bidding software, so you can run online auctions and mobile bidding at your next live event. Text to bid functionality is included at no cost for US organizations. Our new auction platform is better than ever, with all of the features that clients requested.
- Add unlimited auction items and categories to your auction
- Establish a minimum bid increment
- Fundraising thermometer to track auction progress
- Live Stream video option (via YouTube Live, Twitch, Facebook Live or Vimeo) for virtual fundraising events
- Text to Give – supporters can text your unique keyword to get a link to bid
- Take online donations from supporters, in addition to bids
- Fair market value of auction items. This helps constituents to include auction donations in their tax deductions.
- Sponsor promotion via sponsor logos and links to website and social media
We offer two kinds of online auction bidding to suit your organization’s needs:
- English Bidding – This system of bidding requires that each bid must be higher than the last bid placed. Administrators add a bid increment, as well. This system keeps supporters engaged, as they must place each bid. Organizations usually raise more money with English bidding, so we recommend using English bidding.
- Proxy Bidding – This bidding system will automatically bid for users, up to a pre-specified amount. This proxy or auto-bidding system works similarly to eBay. This is a great option for constituents that want to set their maximum bid one time and let the auction bidding system do the rest.
Strategies for Success
Charity auctions are an established staple in nonprofit fundraising and development. The good news is that virtual and online charity auctions are easier to plan and host than traditional live events. Removing the logistics like selecting the right venue, catering, and entertainment frees up time for your auction committee to focus on the most important auction tasks like item procurement and marketing.
Let’s discuss some nonprofit fundraising strategies for successful auction planning.
Online Charity Auction Strategy 1: Start with a Strong Auction Committee
Planning a charity auction involves many moving parts, so don’t try to go it alone. Your development team can get help from volunteers and Board members. Auctions are fun events and many supporters will be interested in helping out.
You’ll need key people in these areas when forming your auction committee:
- Event Planning: If you’re hosting a live auction event, there are several event planning tasks to consider. Booking the venue, determining the menu or catering options, organizing auction day volunteers, and more.
- Item Procurement: You’ll need at least one individual or a small team to handle the procurement of auction items. Be sure to find people who are comfortable asking for donations for this role – as this is key to your auction’s success.
- Marketing: Marketing and PR are another vital part of your event’s success. Be sure that your marketing team considers online promotion like email campaigns and social media as well as traditional and community advertising.
Online Charity Auction Strategy 2: Keep the End Goal in Mind
When you are in the initial stages of planning your auction fundraiser, be sure to establish goals and objectives for the campaign. How much money do you want to raise? What outcomes or goals do you want from your auction? You don’t want to leave these to chance. If you’ve hosted an online or fundraising auction in the past, be sure to review what you learned. What worked and what didn’t? What have been your most popular auction items?
After the event, the first thing you’ll want to do is to review these goals and objectives and determine if you’ve accomplished what you’d hoped. Read more on evaluating the success of a fundraising event.
Online Charity Auction Strategy 3: Tailor Auction Items to Your Audience
Since most nonprofits look to donate items for charitable auctions, it’s tempting to throw anything that you can get donated up on your auction website. Sure your supporters love your mission, but the actual auction items that you are offering are the main draw for your auction fundraiser. The more you can tailor your auction items to your constituents, the more money you’ll raise.
Be sure to answer the following questions when putting together your auction catalog:
- Who are your constituents and target auction bidders?
- What are the hobbies and interests of your constituents?
- Are there items that bidders are spending money on that can be directed to your organization instead?
- What types of items can your average constituent afford to bid on?
- How much is your average constituent likely to spend?
Charity Auction Items that Sell
The auction item procurement process is one of the most important pieces of your auction’s success. Keep your audience and mind, and know what you want. The most popular charity auction items include:
- Travel packages and hotel stays
- Event tickets or backstage passes
- Gift baskets, including wine or beer packages
- Original artwork and jewelry
- Dinner gift certificates and fine dining experiences
- Electronics – TVs, computers, gaming consoles
- Subscriptions and services of all kinds
- Massages, manicures, or Spa packages
- Bricks or other named dedications to support your organization
While most organizations start with in-kind donations, you don’t want to limit the success of your fundraiser to only what you can get donated.
We offer amazing and one of a kind travel packages for your charity auctions. These packages will allow your organization to save valuable time for procuring those much sought after auction items. Our charity auction items are offered with no risk – if your reserve is not met, the items aren’t sold.
More Online Fundraising Auction Resources
We know that organizing a successful fundraising auction takes time and work. Because we believe in the work you do, we provide auction coordinators with a complete set of free resources to help make your online charity auction a success. All of these resources can be easily modified for your organization’s needs. These resources, along with our charity auction software are part of our commitment to helping nonprofit organizations run successful and profitable fundraising auctions.