When you are planning a fundraising event, a great and fun way to raise a lot of money is to hold an auction. You can choose whether or not you want to run a live auction, silent auction or an online auction. You should ideally start planning your auction 3-6 months prior to your fundraising event. This is primarily because it will require you to solicit friends, families, colleagues and other people in your network for auction items as well as setting up displays for the items at the event.
Regardless of the type of auction you have, you should attempt to get items donated so that all the proceeds will go towards the cause. Companies offer great packages on consignment for auctions so if you don’t sell the item there is no risk! Restaurant gift certificates, travel packages, and exclusive event tickets are some examples of hot auction items.
An online auction has proven to be more successful than a live or silent auction because people are usually too busy socializing during the event and do not always have a chance to see and bid on items. Today it is fast, simple and easy to set up an online auction where people bid on items online. Donors can easily post online a picture and description of the goods or services they are donating.
With an online auction, the entire system is automated. You can receive email notifications every time a bid is made allowing you continuously keep track. You can start collecting bids prior to the event and can even set a “Buy It Now” price, so goods or services can be purchased before the end of the auction. By choosing to have an online auction, you will also have the ability to accept payment easily and conveniently with a credit card.
Advantages of online auctions:
- More time: guests can take time to familiarize themselves with the items being auctioned as they can view them and their descriptions online prior to the event.
- More money: with the ability to provide a longer time period to make bids, it can increase the overall amount you can get for the item.
- More items to donate: can pledge items hassle free online.
- More convenient: no longer will you need to follow-up or chase people to pay as all items can be paid for online with a credit card.
- More sales: The products and services being offered can be promoted using social media and broadcast emails can be sent out when there are new items up for auction which will encourage people to go check it out. You can also charge more for items as can offer a “Buy It Now” higher price.
- More exposure for donors: more publicity and exposure to those who donate items that are featured online for the auction.
Even if you choose to hold a physical auction at your event, you can still exhibit the items online prior to the event. Knowing in advance what is being offered and what items are of interest will motivate the bidder to keep watching and pledging more money to make sure they get the items they desire! Whether online, offline or both, an auction is a fun and easy money-maker that is always enjoyed by guests!