Whether or not you utilize a mobile bidding provider for the silent auction, bid cards are imperative for the two interactive portions of the night: the live auction and special appeal. These fundraising heavy-hitters rely on momentum, peer pressure and emotion, all of which are best evoked through the use of bid cards.
The feeling of physically raising a card high in the air is a powerful memory that will stick in your donors’ minds long after the event ends.
The trick is to have a well-designed bid card that makes the most of valuable real estate.
Today we're excited to launch our latest resource: the free Live Auction Bid Card templates! The templates feature space for auction rules, auction item images and descriptions, nonprofit and event logos, and of course, big bid numbers. The files are fully customizable on Microsoft Word and easy to send to your printer for printing on heavy card stock.
What makes a successful bid card?
Below are the top 5 characteristics of successful bid cards.
Bid cards are announced by the auctioneer to both publicly thank the donor and keep them accountable for their pledge. The most important quality of bid cards is having numbers large enough to be quickly read at a distance.
Three characteristics of a readable font:
- Font size: Letters need to be at least 3 inches tall ( ≈ 300px and up).
- Font style: Sans serif tends to be easiest to read. Make sure the font makes it easy to distinguish 1s and 7s, for example.
- Font color: Black on white paper.
Use a full-size sheet of sturdy card stock (8.5”x11”) so the bid card doesn’t get creased, folded or ripped during the event. One common weight used for bid cards is 110-lb.
3. Features sponsor names/logos.
Bid cards are a great opportunity to give top event sponsors, item donors and underwriters some extra love. After all, every single person in your audience is going to have one of these waiting at their table or at the check-in desk, so this adds major value to a sponsorship.
For help getting auction items underwritten, see “Send Your Donors to Bermuda for Free: Beginner's Guide to Underwriting”.
Our templates feature the bid number on one side and live auction items on the other.
You want the cards to look sleek and professional, so if you’re including images like logos and live auction items, print at least the side with auction items in color. That said, there’s no need to add handles to make a paddle, which saves time and money.
Bid cards can show donor names and seat assignment information in an upper corner (you can type names out on each bid card using mail merge, or print out labels and stick them manually onto each card). In our bid card example, we've made the most of limited space by including auction rules, disclaimers, payment information, your charitable tax ID, the agenda and more.
As you already know - it's crunch time for fundraising events!
To save time, we created a bid card template for Microsoft Word. Easily customize the auction rules, logos and more to fit your event. Then, once you have all the guest information ready in an Excel spreadsheet, use the Mail Merge function to spit out bid cards with bid card numbers and matching donor and table information.
Click below to download the free resource plus step-by-step tutorial.