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Amplifying Your Auction: How Online and Mobile Bidding Can Transform Your Silent Auction


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The silent auction, whether it's for a school or a nonprofit, has expanded outside of just the auction room and can now reach all different audiences before, during, and after the live event.

The silent auction, whether it's for a school or a nonprofit, has expanded outside of just the auction room and can now reach all different audiences before, during, and after the live event.

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  • PA- Since this is the only duo tone we use, it feels a bit out of context. I’d like to see the images in full color since that’s what we are doing with the rest of the images.More collage of an image a la the website – look at those stock photos
  • If it’s all about raising money then there are some very specific things you can do. Many of you probably use a range of fundraising tactics and strategies. We’re all about fundraising auctions. In our world, the more people who come and bid in your auction, the more money you will raise…. This is why amplification is so important. And it’s the reason why bringing your fundraising online can be so powerful. We’re primarily here to talk about Mobile Bidding at your live events but many of you took the first step with us by bringing your auction online. Whether your auction lives just online or is part of your gala and you are inviting your gala attendees to bid using their smart phones, you are now able to expand and amplify your fundraising efforts.
  • Ok. So let’s illustrate what we mean by amplification. So at the center of your event are the people that actually come to your gala. But not everyone can come. So there is your broader community of supporters. Maybe it’s the parent at home with a sick kid or the person who is away on a business trip. Or the loyal alumni of your organization who moved away but still wants to support you. The next ring out is their networks. Remember this auction is living online so we have all the great sharing tools that the internet allows. And then the last ring and probably the biggest is the community of charitable shoppers that BiddingForGood has cultivated over the last 10 years. Explain. So now…. I’m going to ask you all to do a math problem with me.. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down how many folks you expect to attend your next gala or event. If you don’t have one planned, that’s fine, just pick a number that sounds good to you.Next put down a number that equals your larger community. Maybe it’s the size of your database of your email list. Ok. So here is where the math gets tricky.. Multiplication. So let’s imagine that all of those people are wiliing to share something about your auction. Maybe it’s the details about the event or the fabulous items that you have pulled into your catalog.
  • So let’s talk for a minute about the traditional silent auction. Many of you have run events and you know that there are some innate challenges with the traditional silent auction. Working your way through a large room with a number of auctions can be a challenge.Seeing all of the items, fighting the crowd, deciding what you want to bid on can be a bit of a challenge when there is a lot of other things going on. There are all of the distractions of the party.
  • Many events have a lot of distractions- the entertainment, the crowd, the mingling… all of this can detract from the auction.
  • And then there is the awkward ending. One of the challenges of the silent auction with clipboards and bid sheets is that it is a challenge to know when you have been outbid. When someone is really eager to win an item, they may lurk over the bid sheet. And when the auction ends, once in a while, things can come to blows. So those are some of the challenges…. Now let’s look at what is possible with the new mobile bidding auction.
  • So here is how this works. You build your auction and we create a unique URL where the auction lives online. When you invite people to your auction home page, there are a number of things you can do on the page. You can promote your items, your event, sell tickets, preview items and show auction progress. Sponsorships are a way many organizations are raising additional dollars and you can highlight them on your auction page.
  • Your guests can buy their tickets, browse your auction at their convenience and even begin bidding.
  • We’re going to get a glimpse of the leaderboard a bit later when we kick off our fantasy auction. It’s a wonderful way to keep your guests engaged in the auction.
  • Of course it is really important to keep your bidders engaged with the auction and bidding. Here are three ways that our platform encourages bidding.Outbid AlertsPlacing a Max BidBid Extension
  • Because our system captures all of the bidding activity, including who the winning bidders are, we are able to award items at the close of the auction. Your guests will get a message on their phone that they have won items. The system generated a report for you of winning bidders. They come to the checkout table, receive their receipt and their items and are on their way. Example of the client who said they would never go back.
  • This should be no surprise to anyone who has ever run an auction but having a solid plan makes all the difference..Read quotes..
  • We all can recognize the family chore chart. It’s on the refrigerator and it attempts to give everyone their chores and holds them accountable. Well BiddingForGood’s auction management systems works a lot like that.Bullets above..When you have a plan and a means to organize and manage a team of volunteers, everything will go better.. Guaranteed!
  • PA- Should this say “What else does B4G do..” since we’ve just talked about Amplifying the Auction.Worried that the sub headline is just too dense… it’s a big honkin sentence and a lot to understand at one time. Maybe take out the anytime, anywhere , any device since we talk about that next.Just cleaned this up – it used to have two headlines - changed the order – put make more $ at the topI like using the icons – this is a screen shop from the web - might be easier to read – what I like about this is it reinforces the before, during, after…
  • So let’s talk about some different auction formats. This is one of the most exciting things that is now possible with an online auction format. You can open your auction online before your live event. You can continue bidding right into your live event with mobile bidding and you can even decide to close your auction after your live event. WXXI- a Public Television station in Rochester NY always runs a very successful auction. Last year that ran a Post Auction after the auction and every item started at $1. Another term for this is remnant auction. Many fundraisers end up with some portion of their auction items unsold. Why not mount another auction with reduced opening bids and try and move those items. We are seeing more and more orgs announce their auction at their gala but have it run for a week following. Brooklyn Academy of Music. Remember on BiddingForGood, you have access to the platform for a year at a time and can run as many auctions during that year as you choose. Lots of organizations add subsequent auctions like a holiday auction or a golf tournament .
  • Another example of a different auction format is what Fox Sports did in Dallas, Texas. They ran with us last year for the second year in a row. Granted they are unique in that they have a sports franchise where they have fans both in the stadium and also at home watching a TV broadcast. With mobile bidding and online bidding, they are able to open their auction ahead of the game to get people excited about the great items they are auctioning off and then during the game promote the auction both on the Scoreboard in stadium and in spots on the TV broadcast. Many of you may have some kind of relationship with a sports team. For example in Boston, we learned that the Boston Celtics have relationships with a number of nonprofits that they do fundraising for. Imagine if your auction could be promoted during a sports game with hundreds, if not thousands of fans tuning in. We’ve also heard that more and more sports venues are upgrading their technology infrastructure making wireless connectivity more reliable. After all, everyone wants the world to tweet about them, post pictures about them on social media sharing sites so they need to support the bandwidth to do that.
  • South Beach Food and Wine Festival is a very successful event that happens each winter in South Beach, FLA. In fact the festival is opening this weekend. What’s interesting about them is that they run their auction for a full 5 weeks. That is a long time for an auction but it works because they also use their auction to promote the upcoming event and build excitement. They do a wide Range of promotion.Promotion for the festival is handled in concert with promotion for the auction and with items that are uniquely appealing to their Festival attendees, the fundraiser works hard to not only raise money but raise the profile of the event. Consider whether there is an event in your community that you could connect your auction to… could you help promote a local event in exchange for some co-promotion for your auction?The bottom line is there a number of different ways to set up your auction. To run it before, during or after your event. To potentially wrap it around your event.
  • Great catalogHigh affiinity3x number of bids from last years online only38% of revenue came from bidders outside of their community
  • Disney School: had purchased what they thought was premium bandwidth but due to everyone coming in at the same time there was a strain on the network. This caused errors across many attendees. Make sure you plan for the peak times when users will need internet access.Girls in the Game: Hotels generally have great wifi but some charge for access while others have a registration process just to use their network. Be sure to negotiate terms early on and also remove all hurdles for your attendees to access the web.
  • YMCA of Iradell County: Sometimes the most unexpected venues work best… They used a airplane hanger which turned out to be a blast and removed all obstacles for wifi.Ramaz: If your venue is on the top floor of a dense city you’ll have 3g/4g cell reception. As a backup this network can take the place of the faster wifi.
  • Brimmer & May: with most of the parents registered people could focus more on the social aspects without having to wait in line to register. Registration goes from 1 minute to 20 seconds when all you need to do is get them on the wifi network and to the website.
  • San Diego Food and Wine: When you have attendees who are not familiar with technology and then feed them with food and drink it can be a frustrating result. A bidder buddy can eliminate this frustration for you and the attendees by helping such attendees navigate the site and in some cases placing bids on their behalf. Have a major donor who hates their phone? Not a problem… assign a bidder buddy and give that person their own concierge. They feel like a VIP and you can sit back and see your much needed funding roll in.
  • One thing we see often is that customers set their opening bid amounts too high. In order to get some competitive bidding happening, you often need to set the opening bid lower which brings more people into bidding for the item.
  • DO not..
  • Give example of Trinity Church again..Tickets is crucial when doing mobile bidding. The set-up of the room is super important as well. Having a part of the evening that is focused on the auction is a smart strategy.
  • Transcript

    • 1. 1New cover slide with amplification image and title…AMPLIFYYOUR AUCTIONHow online and mobile biddingtransform the silent auction
    • 2. Where do auctions fit in thefundraising landscape?• Peer to Peer fundraising• Direct appeals• Capital Campaigns• Events• Social Media has changedthe rules for allof these tactics2
    • 3. Auctions tap a different pool of $$• Supporters have a budget that they tapto give charitable donations• Auctions tap householddiscretionary spending:- Sports tickets- Theater tickets- Restaurant certificates- Travel: all come out ofa household budget…3
    • 4. The Charitable Commerce Eco-systemNonprofitsCharitableShoppers/SupportersGenerousbusinesses/Individuals4
    • 5. The Anytime, Anywhere AuctionA fundraising auction that allowsbidders to bid on any device fromanywhere.5• Online• At school events• At galas• At golf tournaments• In stadiums
    • 6. It’s all about…6
    • 7. Let’s start with the gala…7• The larger bidding community• Gala attendees• Your community• Their networks400+ 2000_____2,400X 25______60,000+ 360,000_______420,000
    • 8. Traditional silent auction = crowds8
    • 9. 9Traditional silent auction = party distractions
    • 10. Traditional silent auction = awkward endings10
    • 11. New mobile auctionbegins with an invitation11Fab Gala Celebration
    • 12. And a visit to the auction homepage12
    • 13. Guests buy tickets and browse the auction13
    • 14. 14They come for the partyThey arrive ready to bid. No need to fightthe crowd or worry about getting outbid.The night of the event
    • 15. A leaderboard keeps them engaged15• Promote sponsors and highlight featured items• Show auction progress and thank auction donors volunteers
    • 16. Encourage more bidding165 MINSLEFT TOBID!PLACEMAX BIDYOU HAVEBEENOUT BIDOutbid Alerts Max Bids Bid Extension
    • 17. Another amplification idea17• The larger bidder community• Gala attendees• Your community• Their networksFrom the ballroom to the hotel guests to the broadercommunity = more $$ raised
    • 18. Checkout is a breeze…they go home happy18
    • 19. Best practices for online auctionsand mobile bidding events19
    • 20. Let’s start with some inspiration…“Organize, dont agonize.”― Nancy Pelosi“By failing to prepare,you are preparing to fail.”― Benjamin Franklin“He who is best prepared can bestserve his moment of inspiration.”― Samuel Taylor Coleridge20
    • 21. Organizing your volunteersis a lot like managing a family• Checklists• Collaboration tools• Volunteer log in• Reporting• Item Donation Status• Tickets sold• $$ raised to date• Cash Donations21
    • 22. It’s All About the Items22Harrison FordExperience(lunch +plane ride)$70,000Navy Seals Motorcycle$25,000Classic LunchBox Collection$10,000Antique Tea Set$20,0002011 Smart Car +$500 ingas$12,000William WegmanPhotoSession$10,000
    • 23. Different Auction Formats –23
    • 24. Different Auction Formats –24
    • 25. Different Auction Formats –25
    • 26. Tip #1:Pre-promotion, prepare your guests26• Send multiple emails• To solicit donations• To sell tickets• To announce auction• To countdown to auction close.• Recommended best practice: 5emailsWestchester Arts
    • 27. Using Facebook before, duringand after your fundraiser27 Post updates on eventdetails includingentertainment, speakers,special guests• Provide date, time andlocation• Link to registration orticket page. Post updates onfeatured items withimages.
    • 28. Using Twitter before, during andafter your fundraiser28Use Twitter to create a place for conversations about the event.
    • 29. Tip #2Connectivity matters• Plan for peak times• Negotiate terms upfront• Have IT person’scontact info for trouble-shooting• Have a plan B29Private School Gala in Boston
    • 30. Tip # 3Venue selection is key30Academy of Friends in SFStatesville Family YMCA
    • 31. Tip #4Pre-RegistrationCut registration time by 1/3rd or moreat your event when attendees pre-registerEliminates linesat the event.Sell tickets on yourAuctionhomepage!31
    • 32. Tip #5One bid learning curve…and bidder buddies32
    • 33. Tip # 6Open the doors to your auction• Larry King Cardiac Foundation33Raised 25% of their revenue from outside theircommunity by putting auction online
    • 34. Tip #7Broadcast Your auctionGLOBE SANTA• Actors revved up bidding• Amplification: bat boyor girl at Fenway Park• $1,000 with closed auction• $2,500 with open auction34
    • 35. Tip #8Price your items carefullyThere is an art to pricingyour auction items:• Set your opening bids• Recommendation - set at1/3 value of the item• You know your communitybest and what prices will fly35
    • 36. Tip # 9Make it easy to bid• Have music blasting all night long• Have a casino competing with your auction• Isolate the bidding area from the party• Serve too much alcohol before the biddingbegins….36Don’t:
    • 37. Make it easy to bid…37Do:• Make sure you can make auction announcements• Encourage volunteers to help bidders• Sell tickets online so people arrive ready to bid• Put bidding station near the items• Use a leaderboard to keepbidders engaged
    • 38. Thanks!Happy Fundraising38