A growing number of nonprofit organisations are now adding online auctions to their fundraising strategies because of how effective they are at reaching their target audience. Now that everyone is adjusting to the new normal, looking for alternative ways to raise funds is necessary.
Typically, fundraising campaigns and initiatives provide nonprofit organisations with great help in raising money for their programs. But with so many aspects to consider, doing an in-person event can sometimes feel overwhelming. So, where do you start in hosting an online auction?
How do you organise an online auction?
#1 – Create a team
Handling everything by yourself is a considerable challenge. That’s why it’s best to create a team to help you with virtual auction execution. Having people to back you up can help you manage everything and designate particular tasks that you need to get done immediately.
#2 – Set realistic goals
Next, you need to determine your goals to help you stay focused throughout the project. You can start by establishing your budget, including the system or tools that you need. It’s also best to include the particular revenues you need to achieve and the engagement level so that you can plan the event effectively. A few of the goals you need to complete are getting new sponsors, promotions, stewarding your current sponsors and engagement.
#3 – Review your software
You wouldn’t want to have something go amiss during the live event. So, it’s best to check your system to get yourself familiarised with it. When looking for a software application for your event, it’s highly advisable to invest in a software application that you know will help you execute your plans. You might also want to take your time reviewing your toolkit to fill any of your knowledge gaps.
#4 – Create an item wish list
Any auction can only be as triumphant as the quality of your auction items. While there’s no surefire way of getting the best auction items your guests will want, it’s always helpful if you know where to start. One way to do it is by looking at your past auction event’s performance. Check your previous events and see what you did well and what you could have done better. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to your auction items. They need to be interesting enough to draw attention to the event and encourage a bit of competition with everyone.
#5 – Create effective marketing strategies
You need to formulate effective marketing strategies for your plan to succeed. A few promotional techniques that you can consider include invitations, early registration promos and a couple of advertisements that can help you generate excitement from the crowd. Given that you’ll be holding online auctions, you should create compelling digital promos that encourage competition among the audience.
#6 – Create your online auction website
Once you’ve established your marketing strategies, it’s now time to set up your website for the fundraising campaign. You need to ensure that you can customise each page based on your event and the project’s mission. You can also put your donation appeal, auction catalogue and fixed-priced items, such as raffles and merchandise.
#7 – Plan the entire program
It’s best to create a virtual program that’ll complement the auction to capture your target market’s attention. The same with how you’d plan for a typical in-person party, you need to start planning a program that’ll give it the same vibes. You can begin with an introduction from your speakers, followed by an inspiration video. Then, start the live auctions for the first two items before having a break. You can then resume with the auction and end it with a special musical guest.
How do online auctions work in Australia?
When attending online auctions, you need to register first before you become a part of the event. That’s because online registration makes it easier for the organisers to track the items you’re bidding or selling. It also allows them to keep up with the bids and determine who’s winning. Additionally, online registration is an excellent way to build a database that contains both the bidder’s and the seller’s feedback.
When registering for an online auction in Australia, it’s highly advisable to set up a different online email account to your primary account to help you track the auction’s progress. Even more, setting up a separate email prevents you from getting spam messages into your primary account.
Every bid for the auction closes precisely at the time that the organisers scheduled it. If you’re planning to put up a few sales of multiple lots, then those with the highest bids at the end of each auction need to buy the item at the agreed price. Meanwhile, if no one bids above the set price or even meets it, the organisers will close the auction without any winner.
Once the virtual bids end, the buyer and the seller will communicate via email to make the payment arrangements. They can also discuss the delivery and other queries there.
How do you run a successful auction?
Get quality auction items
If you want to get your participants excited, it’s best to get auction items that capture their interests. The more quality items you’ll get, the more successful your fundraising project will be.
Another factor that you need to consider is the images and marketing copies that you’ll use for the event. Your marketing strategy will play a massive role in your event’s success. So, ensure that the images and copies will captivate your target market’s attention.
Use social media
You can use social media algorithms to know which content is best for your audience. Every platform has its unique idiosyncrasy. So, you need to understand what type of media will work well on each social media platform that you’ll use.
There’s no such thing as a can’t-miss formula when it comes to online auction marketing techniques. That’s why you need to find the one that’ll suit your project best.
If you need assistance with your live online auctions in Australia, send us a message at Helping Hand. We’ll be more than happy to lend a hand.