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4 ways to make your online auction a success


okanjoBack in January, I wrote about engaging donors online with a new strategy. One of those new strategies is fundraising with online auctions, which is vastly different than auctioning items in person.

When auctioning items of value at an event, you know there’s going to be a captive audience that will bid. But just because you post something online, doesn’t mean it’s going to gain traction or raise money for your organization.

Here are some ways to ensure success of your online auction:

1. Partner with another charity.

Find an organization in your area that has a great local presence with many supporters and partner on the auction. If each charity donates an item and splits the proceeds, you’ll double the audience of each auction.

2. Drive traffic in social channels.

Marketers used to mistake social media for a hard selling tool, which was used to plug events and sell products. Now it seems that marketers have really swung the other way - but don’t just mention your auction once or twice. Put together a plan to post enough content that you can take advantage of the 80/20 rule - 80% outside content, 20% about your organization. Post about your auction once or twice a week on each platform and don’t neglect LinkedIn, a tool that’s often overlooked by fundraisers.

3. Concentrate on Twitter outreach.

Pushing content out on social media is one strategy, but outreach is completely separate and just as important. Do some quick searches and reach out to big nonprofit supporters, industry voices and local influencers. Ask them to retweet content about your online auction to engage their audiences as well.

4. Tap your supporters.

Who else can you get in touch with to promote your auction? If an item was donated, give the donor an elevator pitch about the auction and ask them to help spread the word. Who has helped you market your organization the past? Reach out to guest bloggers, marketing partners, industry voices and anyone else you can think of.
The key to online auction success is gaining an audience. The more people that know about your auction, the higher your traffic and bid numbers will be. Check out Okanjo’s Online Auction Solution to get started with no upfront cost.

Have you run a successful online auction in the past? I’d love to hear more about it below.

Brendon Thomas

The preceding is a guest post by Brendon Thomas, the president of Okanjo, a Cloud Commerce solutions company that activates audiences to do good. Under Brendon’s direction, Okanjo has given back to over 400 nonprofit organizations, and that number is rapidly growing. In his free time, Brendon is actively involved in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s vibrant local community.

Topics: Fundraising Online Auction