We know big fundraisers are ALL about unlocking the funding: you want your attendees to donate to your cause so you can make a difference. But don’t let your focus on the money distract you from the details: attendees who are having a great time at a seamlessly organized event are likely to give more because they’re enjoying themselves and are confident in your competency! One of the best ways to make sure every detail of your event and guest experience is properly taken care of is by partnering with experienced groups who take care of those details for you.

LIFE Event Staffing is an agency specializing in providing on-demand staffing and services through their mobile app. Their fully insured and skilled personnel establish relationships with your team while ensuring your technology platform runs smoothly. Auctria helps with the rest of the details, from tracking bids to accepting donations. With partners like LIFE Event Staffing and Auctria working beside you, you’re sure to unlock the giving! Let’s walk through a few expert tips to help you organize a successful auction fundraiser.

We’ve got you covered Plan to Run to Close. Start with your Plan: set up your organization details, build a website, and start pushing your event on social media. Add your donors and items to the site so potential attendees can keep an eye on which items they’re most excited for – you can even connect payment methods to your site to make collecting bid payments painlessly easy. Choosing a silent auction? Check out our Silent Auction Bid Sheets! Bid sheets are the most cumbersome part of running a silent auction – and when bidders can’t place fast bids, you lose out on income. Our bid sheets are clean and easy to use so you don’t have to stress about using a clunky word document or spreadsheet. You have 4 options:

  1. Basic blank bid sheet: Print and you’re on your way.
  2. Customized bid sheets: Set your starting bid and print with bid increments
  3. Bid sheets plus display pages: Pair the bid sheet with more info and get more bids.
  4. Mobile bidding: Ditch the bid sheets entirely and let a system handle it!

Blank bid sheets will give you the least structure and complexity – mobile bidding will accommodate both greater structure and complexity! If you’re offering unique or higher value goods and services as auction items, or are auctioning keepsakes and other priceless items, then a more structured and complex bid system is recommended.

If you’re really looking to level up your event, check out our proven guidelines for Mobile Bidding. Mobile bidding allows your attendees to bid faster and more frequently so that you can raise more money for your cause, and can work for in-person OR online events. Our full guide will help you decide if mobile bidding is the right choice for you and your event, but here are the main details to consider: mobile bidding means committing to an online auction even if the event is in-person, so you’ll need to use an auction software, upload your auction items, share access with your bidders, and decide how long you want the auction to run for. At an in-person event, silent auction bid sheets can be replaced with mobile bidding, but you’ll need to ensure your venue has good wifi or mobile service availability. You may also want to consider adding text integration that notifies your bidders when they’ve been out-bid.

Mobile, online auctions can be very successful for fundraisers that are spread out over time or space. However, many bids are placed but never re-bid because the silent auction is in a static location or over an extended period. Participants that placed bids at the beginning of the event may not be on location at the close of the event or become distracted and forget to keep an eye on the item they want. Utilizing a mobile app or text messages to notify bidders that they have been outbid can encourage rebids; additionally, allowing bidders to set max bids that automatically increase their bid when someone bids above them keeps the prices climbing, encouraging better income for you and your cause!

Then it’s time to Run the event: share your website with attendees so bidders, donors, and ticket buyers can register, bid, buy, and donate all through your site. Auction software can help you manage your auction items, from tickets to raffle prizes, and allows your entire team access to everything they need to run the event. Keep everyone up to date on the latest organizational changes or item updates so that your team and LIFE Event staff can flex on the fly, keeping the event running smoothly no matter what happens the day of! You’ll be able to track items, bids, and more with software – you can even manage check ins and check outs to keep everything running as smoothly as possible during the event. Additionally, a well-built website with good auction software will provide safe and secure credit card processing for your attendees so they’re comfortable sharing their payment details with you. Software can manage self-checkout, batch checkouts, Google Pay, and Apple Pay to make it as easy as possible for every attendee.

Finally, it’s time to Close out strong. Record final bids and paddle raise donations, send out statements with a payment link, and collect your final payments and donates with ease. Remember, making sure your event runs smoothly is the best way to ensure you’re unlocking all the funding. Hopefully this guide has helped you start to consider some of the big decisions you’ll need to make as you begin planning your auction. Auctions can be a great addition to a wide variety of fundraising events and are highly effective at engaging your community and raising money for your cause. Whether you choose an in-person auction that leverages the energy and excitement of live bidding to raise funds or you go for an online auction that allows for wide participation and engagement, taking the time to prepare properly for the logistics of your auction ahead of time will smooth out any potential kinks in the plan and keep your event running smoothly and the money flowing as participants bid. There are lots of further resources available to help you iron out the details of your auction but we are confident that even addressing the tips we’ve included here will help get you off on the right foot as you begin planning. Good luck and happy fundraising!

Ready to get the ball rolling on your auction planning? CLICK HERE to get your FREE Auctria Demo today!

Special thanks to Laurie Hochman from Auctria for the expert advice.

If you would like to watch our ‘Meet our Partners’ episode featuring Laurie herself, please click here: https://youtu.be/G684FEZfgVs

You can also watch a webinar recorded recently highlighting some quick tips for on-site staff – with Auctria, Lauren Batterby and Christian Scott from LIFE Event Staffing: https://youtu.be/fHiWM6CxWpc

For more details, offers, and to truly harness the power of professionals in your next fundraiser, reach out to LIFE Event Staffing. Here’s to successful events and unforgettable experiences!