October 5, 2015
High-tech fundraising auctions have become mainstream. Powered by mobile technology, nonprofit organizations are doing away with their clipboards and bid sheets and transforming their events into exciting, engaging, and successful fundraising opportunities.
As far as silent auctions go, there are many technology providers for you to choose from. Catering to both small and large-scale organizations, they provide a reliable and secure platform that will help you streamline the auction process and ultimately, increase sales.
GiveSmart, BidPal, Greater Giving and BiddingForGood are some of the larger companies that offer text to bid (TTB) services for silent auctions. A big advantage in moving to a TTB platform is the ability to instantly track how much money has been raised. You can also easily spot items that haven’t received bids, and communicate directly with your visitors via text messages pre, during and post the event. Once the auction closes, it takes under ten minutes to run receipts for your winners. No more angry looks from your guests as you are trying to organize who won what and how much they owe!
Some things to consider when choosing a TTB:
- Your attendees – are they tech savvy, or do they prefer personal interaction? Most TTB companies provide event staff that can help guests bid if they prefer. Keep in mind that while additional help may add to your expenses, not having staff there to help guests bid could cost you more in the end.
- Your venue – is your event in an airplane hangar, a hotel ballroom, or a private residence, where cell service is spotty or weak? Make sure the venue has a strong signal and that your vendor can provide a booster if needed.
- Your CRM or member management software – to minimize manual entry make sure to check what types of files your TTB company can accept. In some instances, you can upload attendee information prior to the event so registration for the silent auction is quick and easy.
I have personally worked with all four of the largest TTB companies and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. One thing was true with all of them; the event attendees loved the platform and the charity raised 12%-15% more over the previous year’s total. So get on board and get more bids!