When it comes to nonprofit fundraising, charity auctions are one of the events organizations turn to again and again. However, even though these events have been a staple of nonprofit fundraising, many organizations fail to realize they could be getting more from these events.
Before you plan your next charity auction, consider implementing mobile bidding. With this smart fundraising strategy, your team can start raising money, more effectively engage supporters, and plan smoother fundraising events.
In this article, we’ll cover all of your nonprofit’s top mobile bidding questions. These include:
- What is mobile bidding?
- What kind of features are offered by mobile bidding software?
- How does a mobile bidding auction work?
- What kind of nonprofits can benefit from mobile bidding?
- What are some mobile bidding strategies?
- How can mobile bidding elevate your entire nonprofit?
Ready to dive into the world of mobile bidding? Let’s get started!
1. What is mobile bidding?
Mobile bidding is a kind of fundraising strategy powered by smart software solutions. Unlike traditional bidding methods, mobile bidding enables supporters to make real-time digital bids at charity auctions while empowering nonprofits to electronically process their contributions.
What’s the main reason nonprofits love mobile bidding? Above all, it’s convenient! When an organization adopts mobile bidding software, they can look forward to cutting the time it takes to plan and execute the logistics of auction event management in half.
Mobile bidding offers teams like yours:
- Completely paperless bidding. Since bids are processed through smartphones, there’s no need for added paperwork or confusing sign-up sheets.
- Seamless giving. Because auction attendees are able to make bids in just a few clicks, you minimize the risk of individuals abandoning their bidding.
- Event management. Not only does mobile bidding software provide an intuitive way to process bids, but these tools also help your team plan and manage auction events.
Bonus! Ready to learn more about charity auction strategies? Visit OneCause for an in-depth charity auction guide, covering everything from event strategies to mobile bidding best-practices.
2. What kind of features are offered by mobile bidding software?
One of the reasons why investing in mobile bidding software is a great idea is that mobile bidding tools are truly dynamic solutions. Whether you want to strengthen your strategy behind the scenes or simply make it easier for donors to engage in auctions, mobile bidding software can do it all.
Take a look at some of these key features mobile bidding software can offer:
- Auction item procurement tools to help your team acquire, track, and manage your auction items from an intuitive interface.
- Event promotion solutions that aid your team in marketing and promoting your auction event online and via social to your community of supporters.
- Ticket selling software and event registration tools that assist your team in ensuring robust attendance at your event.
- Mobile bidding functionality that handles everything from connecting bidders to items, to processing bids, to sending out automated acknowledgements after the event.
- Raffle item sales tools that allow your team to sell digital raffle tickets and connect the raffle winners with their prizes once the tickets are pulled.
- Bidder alert notifications that appear as push notifications on your donors’ mobile devices.
When you choose a mobile bidding solution that integrates with your event management and online fundraising software suite, your team can plan auction events with ease and trust that they’ll go off without a hitch.
3. How does a mobile bidding auction work?
Another common question nonprofits ask is how exactly mobile bidding auctions work. The answer? Mobile bidding auctions are a lot like traditional charity auction events, but made much more efficient through advances in smart software solutions.
When your nonprofit hosts a mobile bidding auction, it will likely play out like this:
- Acquire your auction items. At this stage, you’ll use your mobile bidding software to catalogue and package items for your auction as they’re donated by supporters and sponsors.
- Plan and promote your auction. After acquiring items, you can begin promoting your event through your mobile bidding solution to get the word out online.
- Sell tickets to your event. During the promotional stage, you’ll start selling tickets to your auction event and registering those attendees.
- Begin accepting bids. On the day (or night) of the event, you’ll kick off your auction and begin to accept mobile bids.
- Close out your auction. Once the auction ends, you can use your mobile bidding software to close out the auction, process payments, and connect top bidders with their items.
When your team adopts an end-to-end mobile bidding solution, you can be confident that your organization will have the tools it needs every step of the way to ensure a smooth, relationship-strengthening experience for supporters.
4. What kind of nonprofits can benefit from mobile bidding?
Charity auctions are among the post popular fundraising events hosted by nonprofits—and for good reason. They offer teams the opportunity to fundraise while effectively engaging donors and building lasting relationships.
When you add mobile bidding solutions into the mix, charity auctions become even more effective for all kinds of nonprofits. Since they increase efficiencies across the board, nonprofits large and small will love implementing smart mobile bidding software at their organizations.
Consider some of these common kinds of nonprofits that can benefit from adopting mobile bidding tools:
- General philanthropic organizations, including advocacy groups, charities, and community enrichment associations.
- Museums and galleries, both privately run institutions and publicly subsidized organizations.
- Political groups, such as lobbying organizations, political parties, and national and local campaigns.
- Healthcare nonprofits, including hospitals and healthcare charities that are dedicated to public health or patient care.
- Academic institutions like universities, high schools, scholastic clubs, and other student-focused organizations.
Bonus! Looking for ideas for your next school fundraiser? Check out this great resource of school fundraising ideas from Funds2Orgs!
5. What are some mobile bidding strategies?
As mobile bidding is becoming more and more popular among nonprofit organizations, many strategies have started developing that help organizations get even more benefit from this useful kind of software.
Check out some of these smart ways nonprofits like yours have maximized their investment in mobile bidding software:
- Educate your supporters. Not all of your supporters will know how mobile bidding works, so get them up to speed on the concept with educational marketing campaigns before your next auction, including email messages, social media posts, and how-to videos.
- Offer unique auction items. Another way to boost the benefits of your mobile bidding solution is to leverage it to acquire truly unique items. With mobile bidding software, managing your item inventory and setting competitive prices is easier than ever.
- Keep bidders updated on your auction. Your team can use mobile bidding software to keep attendees and bidders updated throughout your event with outbidding alerts, notifications when they have won an item, and other targeted messaging.
Our favorite mobile bidding strategy? Find a sponsor to partner with your nonprofit in hosting the charity event. You can leverage your mobile bidding software to help manage this partnership and help translate their support into increased attendance and a boost in bids.
6. How can mobile bidding elevate your entire nonprofit?
Another exceptional aspect of mobile bidding is that you can leverage this tool to elevate your nonprofit’s engagement, fundraising, and stewardship strategies all at once. For this reason, you can consider mobile bidding to be a truly dynamic fundraising tool.
For example, your team can implement mobile bidding in some of the following ways:
- Offer mobile bidding at stewardship events. Your team can hold small, informal auctions at stewardship events and use mobile bidding technology to process the bids. This gives individuals a fun, no-pressure way to engage at these events that acts as both a stewardship tool and a fundraising tactic.
- Engage in remote bidding. Your nonprofit’s supporters might not be able to make it to every auction event, but these individuals can still bid from remote locations. When your supporters can give wherever they already are, you’ll boost retention rates and strengthen your relationships.
- Extend special prizes to bidders. As your bidders contribute in real time, you can award random prizes to those who contribute, even if they don’t make the highest bid. This gets people excited about making bids to your organization and increases their likelihood of reengaging.
Because mobile bidding is such a flexible tool, you can truly see its benefits in all arms of your nonprofit. Whether you’re focused on retaining more supporters, simply reaching your fundraising goals, or growing your year-round fundraising, this tool can help you reach any of your ambitious goals.
Ready to rock your next auction? With the right mobile bidding software and these awesome strategies, you can start getting more from these important events.
Joshua Meyer brings more than 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the director of marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.