With longer bidding timeframes and larger bidding audiences, Online Auctions are a great way for nonprofit organizations to raise extra funds throughout the year. Whether this is your first Online Auction or your 100th, here are 10 Strategies from our fundraising experts to help your next virtual fundraiser be your best!
1 | Research what worked and plan your changes
If you’ve held an Online Auction in the past, take a look at that past activity and reports to help inform your decisions moving forward.
2 | Find the right time frame for your Online Auction
We find that spring and fall are the most popular fundraising times of the year.
Consider the length of your fundraiser as well. Keeping an Online Auction open for too long may result in a loss of interest, but a too-short bidding timeframe cuts down on participation. We recommend a three-week bidding timeframe for new Online Auctions; two weeks or less for returning ones.
3 | Spotlight your Online Auction sponsors
Just because you’re not having a gala, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost sponsorship potential! There are plenty of ways to showcase your sponsors in an Online Auction.
4 | Cultivate clear item categories
Item categories make site navigation easier for your audience. Make sure each item is listing in at least one informative category. Consider categories names such as:
We also recommend using a numbering system that is specific to each category. For example, all items in the “Food & Drink” category would be in a sequential numbering group (i.e. the 100s).
5 | Price your items for multiple demographics
Offer a range of price points to appeal to a larger audience. Each bidder will have a different wallet size, so try to include varying starting bids so that everyone can participate. This will help cultivate bidding competition!
6 | Make your Online Auction items pop
Spice up your item listings to increase interest in, and to better sell your auction items.
7 | Promote, promote, and then promote some more
Get the early word out about your Online Auction through as many channels as possible.
Make sure your Online Auction is highly visible and easy to navigate to from wherever you are posting or advertising it.
8 | Analyze audience trends and bid activity
Keep an eye on bid activity for all of your auction items. Towards the end of your auction, if there are items without bids, consider dropping starting bids 20–30%. With an Online Auction through Auction Frogs, you can take advantage of our Fire Sale feature and automate starting bid reduction by scheduling the price drop ahead of time!
Don’t forget, highlighting and featuring items without bids will draw more attention to them. Be sure to share them on social media, too!
9 | Establish clear payment and pickup instructions
90% of all questions asked by bidders are how to pay for items they have won and where to pick those items up. Make sure to establish these instructions clearly and early on so that participants feel comfortable and confident with the item claim process before they start bidding.
10 | Review your revenue and celebrate your success
After the auction is over, review winning all of the bids, item purchases, and monetary donations.
With these 10 Strategies, a great web-based fundraising platform, and a little bit of hard work, your next Online Auction will be a great success! Take a tour of Auction Frogs to get started with your next online fundraiser today!