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Did you know? Experts estimate 30 percent of auction events today utilize some form of mobile bidding. As donors get more comfortable using smartphones or tablets to text bids in a silent auction, mobile bidding is a more viable option for nonprofits than ever. To help you navigate a changing auction landscape, we sat down with Debby Roth-Bush, certified benefit auctioneer and Relationship Manager at mobile auction software provider Greater Giving. She shares the top benefits of using mobile bidding, plus 19 concrete tips to get the most out mobile bidding in your event. In part 1 of a 2-part series, we'll cover: Top 3 benefits of mobile bidding Find the right mobile bidding provider. Consider cell reception before signing off on a venue. Get more event sponsorships (branded charging stations, anyone?) Tell donors ahead of time Bundle items What items sell best 1. Is mobile bidding right for your event? 3 Benefits "Mobile bidding aims to help nonprofits raise more money every day through products like event software management, mobile bidding, fast payment collection and online donations," explains Roth-Bush. Indeed, auction software is a way for groups to solve a number of problems at their events. Here are the top 3 indicators that mobile and online bidding may be right for your event. Solves space constraints "A few years ago, I was at my son's school auction, bidding on the front row seat of the play in which he was scheduled to perform," recalls Roth-Bush. "I remember being excited for the item - but when I went to check on the bid sheet, I literally couldn't get through the crowd of people holding their drinks. "I didn't want to spill something or make a scene. In the end, I knew the organization lost a little bit of money because I couldn't physically get back to the auction." Silent auctions can get too crowded if the space isn't carefully optimized - and you want to remove any obstacles in the way of the donor's inclination to spend.
Charity auctions are consistently among the most popular and lucrative events nonprofits can host. While the basic rules of fundraising auctions have remained the same over the years, the format of these events is rapidly evolving, thanks to the advancement of auction technology. On the one hand, auction technology has made planning and executing charity auctions much easier for nonprofits. On the other, because it’s so specialized, many organizations are at a loss as to what exactly auction software does and how they can use it in practice. We regularly receive questions from fundraisers about auction technology, so we wanted to clear up some of the uncertainty. We teamed up with our friends at BidPal to create an expert comprehensive guide to auction technology. Today we'll cover: Online Auctions & Event Sites Online Auction Catalogs Online Ticketing Mobile Bidding: More Profitable Silent Auctions Mobile Bidding: Smoother Live Cash Appeals Auction Scoreboards and Fundraising Thermometers Read on to learn the basic functionalities of auction software, plus practical ways these tools can raise more at your next auction. 1. Online Auctions & Event Sites Online auctions are, simply put, digital silent auctions. While most charity auctions are limited to a single night and venue, online charity auctions allow organizations to open up their auctions to more donors for longer periods of time. They're typically paired with silent and live auctions to make the most of your marketing efforts. Plus, since there are fewer costs with an online event, they can be done with minimal risk or investment.
Are you and your smartphone connected at the hip? If so, you're not alone: about 7 in 10 Americans (and nearly 9 in 10 millenials) currently own a smartphone, and that figure is expected to rise dramatically in 2016. Whether shopping online or scanning to pay, mobile phones are increasingly replacing wallets as the easier, faster and more portable way to make financial transactions. For charitable organizations, this means it's more important than ever to incorporate mobile technologies into their outreach and fundraising strategies. In fact, in 2015, the number of individual donations made through mobile devices increased 45% from the year before. And annual events like Giving Tuesday are presenting nonprofits with unprecedented opportunities to combine social media campaigns with easy mobile giving, connecting more and more people to their causes.
Thanks to mobile technology and the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, Nonprofits can improve the way they manage both the process and success of their fundraising auctions. Mobile bidding is a paperless system for managing and running auction events and it enhances the experience for both guests and volunteers. There are a number of advantages to incorporating mobile bidding into your next event: 1. Less hassle When auctions use paper systems, donors have to be in the auction table area in order to view items and write down bids. With mobile bidding, donors can bid from their seats or wherever they happen to be in the room. This allows them to socialize with other guests and participate in the auction at the same time; and they don't have to push through crowds to make bids. 2. Convenient alerts When bids have to be made at the auction tables, donors are less likely to follow up later and continue participating, especially if they are having a good time socializing and mingling at your event. Mobile bidding allows you to send alerts to supporters' devices when they've been outbid, and donors can then place a new bid without having to leave their spot. This convenient feature encourages donors to keep bidding for the items they want when they've been outbid without having to rush back to find the item and bid sheet on the table in the silent auction area. 3. Simplify check in and check out At most auctions, donors have to spend time waiting in long lines in order to check in and out of the event. Mobile bidding allows guests to complete this process on their smartphone or tablet, which means no lines. Donors will have more time to enjoy your event, and you might even need fewer volunteers to help run your auction.