United Way of South Central Idaho Shakes up their Online Auction with a Grand Prize Drawing


United Way of South Central Idaho partners with local programs and leverages resources for members of the community to improve lives and create long lasting positive change. Focused on quality education, financial stability, and good health, United Way of South Central Idaho is one of 1,800 United Ways around the world. Donations for the nonprofit funnel into a variety of local initiatives. 

Sonya Haines, Director of Resource Development, is always on the lookout for unique fundraising platforms to support their philanthropic efforts. She first heard about Auction Frogs at a conference and has since seen them at various fundraising events around the valley. Sonya was even a bidder at a few different auctions and recognized the potential in working with Auction Frogs’ Online Auction platform. 

“Not only is Auction Frogs connected with a lot of our nonprofit partners in the area already, but they are really taking our event to the next level,” says Sonya. “Everything is being tracked — from registered users, to purchases and transactions.” But before Sonya saw success, she faced a challenge, specifically with the planned giveaway.  

Sonya’s typical event planning task list includes securing a raffle license, creating physical tickets, reserving a venue, coordinating an in person event, and wrapping it all up with a comprehensive audit. However, the pandemic (and need for social distancing) has made it necessary to think outside the box. While working with the Idaho Lottery Commission to set up the giveaway, they suggested that Auction Frogs may be able to find an alternative solution to the complicated setup usually used for live event raffles. 

“I didn’t have an army of volunteers this year and would have had to be in many different locations at one time, send out countless emails, and make hundreds of calls to sell tickets and promote our fundraising opportunities since everything was so ‘static’ when COVID hit. It didn’t take long for us to contact Auction Frogs because I needed something more digital, scalable, and manageable — with simplicity,” says Sonya. “And now that we’re doing it, we’re able to say that it’s so easy and that it is possible.”

Auction Frogs partnered with Sonya to heavily research and gather information on complicated logistics and Idaho State laws to choose the best solution for the organization’s giveaway. What they found was that a prize drawing best satisfied United Way of South Central Idaho’s needs, and they didn’t hesitate to begin building a digital campaign, which was then shared on social media with easy-to-follow instructions and links to their Online Auction. United Way also encouraged people to share, like, and follow along not only to donate, but to earn entries to the grand prize drawing. 

How does the drawing work? It’s simple! Every time someone registers for the Online Auction through Auction Frogs’ custom hosted event page, they automatically get one entry to the drawing. There is no bidding or purchase necessary. Sponsors who refer people to the drawing are entered to win additional prizes. And no one has hesitated to register. The grand prize drawing is a piece of land in Buhl, Idaho with geothermal water and a view of the Snake River Canyon!

United Way of South Central Idaho’s 2020 fundraising event has proven to be a uniquely rewarding experience for Sonya. The digital platform provided by Auction Frogs (along with their team of event and auction experts) provided the flexibility and responsiveness Sonya’s team needed to make the event a success. Auction Frogs never turns down a challenge and is constantly brainstorming new ideas to make Online Auctions more compelling and engaging. 

“Typically, I have to do everything: the set up, buying the software, understanding all the components, and more,” explains Sonya. “With Auction Frogs, they pretty much did everything for me and notified me when it was ready to go. We would review, test things out, and we have already received registrations for the drawing in the first week.”

After finding a simple solution for a not so simple obstacle, United Way of South Central Idaho has upped their fundraising game with an engaging Online Auction and Virtual Event

If you have any questions about items specific to your auction, or you plan on hosting an event and are looking for support from an expert team, please reach out. We are always willing to chat via phone at 208-321-5515 or email to sales@auctionfrogs.org.