Back in the day, charity auctions and fundraisers used to be in-person events where people gathered together to raise money to support a cause. Today, that has all changed with an online-only, post-pandemic world where fundraising has become even more important.
As everything shifted to a virtual-only, digital-first environment, the same has happened with auctions – what was known as an offline-only event has given way to e-auctions. Today, a plethora of free online auction sites are available for anyone interested in hosting an online-only, virtual auction. You might have attended an in-person or real-world auction event at some point, but if you have never been a part of an online auction, or hosted one on your own, then this post is for you. If you are planning to raise funds for a charitable cause, it’s time to explore silent auctions as means to achieve your goals.
At this point, you might wonder- “I understand what an online auction is, but what exactly is a silent auction?” In this article, we are going to start with the basics so you can host your silent auction with confidence.
What are Silent Auctions?
Any in-person or online auctions where bidders can place their highest bids for auction items by writing the amount on a paper or bid sheets can be called a Silent Auction. In technology-led virtual auctions, guests can also place a bid using a mobile app or smartphone bidding service that allows them to place their individual bids directly. As is the case, when the auction time slot is up, the bidding is over, and the highest bidder wins.
Each guest has their own bid sheet, their bids are anonymous and not visible to other guests at an auction event. Guests can place their bids on as many items as desired.
Organizations of all sizes, as well as schools, nonprofits, and communities of different capacities, can hold a silent auction virtually. Generally, a silent auction is held alongside an event or a gala night.
How does bidding take place at a Silent Auction?
With bid sheets, guests can place their bids on paper sheets with specific rows and columns to write the bidding amount next to the item they wish to acquire. Bid sheets are still preferred for their simplicity, however, that is changing quickly as technology adoption gets boosted.
With mobile bidding, guests can attend an auction from anywhere, and place bids directly from their smartphones. Mobile bidding software can automatically trigger bidding notifications to participants and give them updates during the live auction.
Using mobile app-based bidding is beneficial for two reasons – firstly, a mobile app eliminates the need to be present in a physical space like a room or a hall where auction items are displayed ( auction items can be displayed in the app or via a virtual tour). Secondly, a mobile auction app also reduces the inconvenience of going to an event and standing in long queues for having to elbow their way out to the front.
Why host a Silent Auction?
There are numerous benefits of organizing a silent auction, some of them include:
- It’s a great way to bring your cause to the notice of others
- It can help you increase your donor base
- It can help you raise funds for your cause
How to host a successful Silent Auction?
In this section, we’ll walk you through some easy and practical steps to plan and host your next silent auction and generate more funds.
Step 1: Set up your online auction committee
Everything from budgeting and marketing to promotion and fundraising should be governed by this committee.
Step 2: Finalise auction items carefully
Before you start planning other details, encourage community members to discover interesting and unique items that can be of interest to guests participating in your auction.
Step 3: Promote your silent auction
To attract more guests and attendees, you must plan promotional and marketing activities for silent auctions. You can create a website and use social media to create awareness for your charity or cause. Email marketing and SMS-based promotions are also useful.
Step 3: Choose an online auction platform
The ideal online auction platform should cover the basics well enough, and then, offer additional features such as – attendance management, automated notifications, payment collections, etc. to simplify the setup and process of hosting and promoting a silent auction.
Ready to host your next online auction in 2022? Congratulations! You are now armed with the best practices and tips to turn your charity auction into a successful fundraising event.
Now it all comes down to choosing the right online platform for your silent auction. This is where Charity Auctions Today comes in as a single solution to all your needs as an auction organizer, promoter, or host.
Charity Auctions Today offers dozens of useful, easy-to-use features to make your life easy and auction engaging. Contact them for a trial today and experience a faster, simpler, and more effective way of hosting silent auctions.