So You’ve Decided to Host an Online Auction…

By Charity Fundraising - December 4th, 2012

These days it seems that everything is either online or has some kind of techy online counterpart and today’s non-profit auctions are no different.  One of the latest and greatest fundraising strategies for non-profits is to host an online auction.  When your fundraising committee decides to experiment for the first time with an online auction, you may be concerned about how your guests will react to a new concept.  Fundraising specialist, Michael Gordon explains the pros and cons of hosting an online auction as opposed to a traditional live or silent auction.

The Pro’s:

  • Online bidding is convenient.  Bidders can choose to bid 24 hours a day at their convenience.  They can receive bid alerts and check the status of the bidding whenever they choose.
  • During live events there are also many interruptions like other guests, entertainment and food that can distract bidders and cause them to lose focus on the status of their bids and the items they really want.
  • If your fundraising committee chooses, online bidding can provide an opportunity for the public to engage in the auction and support your cause.
  • A cost effective alternative to hosting a live event is to online-only auction save on all of the expenses that are incurred hosting live events.
  • Many non-profits market their events using their website, email marketing and social media.  Hosting an online auction when using these marketing methods allows prospects to learn about your event and bid in one stop.

The Con’s:

  • Technology has glitches. Everyone has different kinds of technology at their fingertips and technical issues may arise that may disappoint your prospective bidders.
  • Silent and Live auctions hosted in a traditional format provide guests with an opportunity to mingle and interact with other supporters.  Many guests look forward to live events as networking opportunities or a night out.
  • Sometimes guests do not welcome the idea of being outbid by someone that is not present in the room at the event.
  • Despite the wide acceptance of the internet and mobile devices, there are still groups of individuals that have not embraced technology.  If your prospective guests are older, they may be less likely to accept an invitation to an online auction.

An online auction is a fun and exciting new fundraising idea and should be considered as a part of any non-profit auction event strategy.  It can engage charity supporters outside of the event to participate and bid on items even if they can’t attend the auction.  If you would like assistance from the professionals at Charity Fundraising when planning your next live or silent auction, we’d love to help.  We also have plenty of fundraising ideas to assist you with online auctions and mobile bidding.  Contact our professionals today at (201) 840-8777 to discuss fundraising ideas for your non-profit group.  Charity Fundraising serves over 2,000 non-profits worldwide by providing fundraising ideas and items to help them exceed all of their fundraising goals.

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