When it comes to raising money for your organization, there are several tips and tricks that can drastically help you succeed. We here at AmFund have been at this for a long time. Over the years, we have learned what works and doesn’t work simply from trial and error. In order to spare you from the headaches of trial and error, we are happy to share the things that DO WORK. Specifically, our focus here is on mobile bidding.
Mobile bidding is an important component to your fundraising efforts. Now that nearly everyone today utilizes smart phone technology, mobile bidding is an essential feature of modern nonprofit fundraising. Where mobile bidding is especially useful is for those nonprofits who rely on data collection and instant check out of very large silent auctions and fund-a-needs. It has become utilized more than ever as nonprofits turn to virtual events in response to the current social distancing ordinances. But of course, there are certain approaches to this type of bidding that will help maximize the mobile bidding element at your next silent auction.
With all that said, let’s dive right into the 5 tips that are sure to maximize the mobile bidding at your event:
1. Utilize gift cards and smaller items on mobile bidding.
Open up these items early with the goal that these will be sold before the event starts. Or, if you are choosing to have a virtual event, open these up as a "warm up" for higher valued items to come. This will keep your guests checking in.
The goal, if you are holding an attended event, is to have all of your gift cards pre-sold before the event. This works out nicely so that you won’t have to set them all out at the event.
2. Create urgency around your medium/high valued items.
Don't open the bidding for your medium and high priced items right away. Instead let your patrons know the bidding for these items will open on a certain date and only be open for a limited time (suggested length 48-72 hours). The key here is to build anticipation of the "opening" to your medium and higher priced items. You can posture this as a "limited time" offer, which will give the sense of exclusivity and create more excitement around the bidding, which in turn will result in more overbids. TIP: Make sure to have these items as a preview on your platform from the start with clear messaging as to when the bidding will open.
3. Make use of mobile text alerts. These texts are all about keeping your guests engaged and ready to bid at any moment. By using these text alerts, you will keep things running on time while also maintaining a sense of urgency to bid.
4. Keep your text alerts short and sweet.
Don’t bombard your guests with too much to read. If you have too much content in your text, the bottom line is this: your guests won’t read it! Provide them with a short message that gives them specific information that is needed. Also, try to focus on the here, now, and need to know only. Don't distract their focus from bidding with a success story or what a $50 donation would mean for your organization. Save these types of text message announcements for before or after the auction component of your event.
5. Make use of the live fundraising goal during your fund-a-need. A live fundraising goal will help encourage your guests to keep giving. People love instant feedback, so being able to see the dial move on the thermometer as a result of their giving is a huge plus to keep them engaged!
A quick bonus tip: This bonus tip is all about maintaining your success for the future. Don’t forget to add everyone to your mailing list. Of course, it’s essential to send out thank you cards immediately to all those who gave. But don’t forget to utilize this list to send out announcements for the next year's event, campaigns, and news to keep your nonprofit at the forefront of their mind.
Many organizations are creatively moving to a virtual fundraising event this year. In response to your needs, the American Fundraising Foundation has developed AmFund VIP – your virtual silent auction. It is easy to launch, ready for online or mobile offerings and can help you quickly raise essential unrestricted funds, something that is needed by all our nonprofit partners. We offer extraordinary trips that have our signature “three years to travel with no blackout dates”. Now more than ever, that lengthy travel window is important to your donors that want to support your organization as well as feel that their investment in a trip is secure. AmFund VIP can be one of the best answers to your virtual event planning. Our Development Staff is available and ready to help and would be happy to discuss our AmFund V.I.P Virtual Fundraising Offering.
Remember, we are all in this together! If you run into any challenges as you postpone your event, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at AmFund.