BidPal https://www.bidpal.com Mobile Bidding | Fundraising Software Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:03:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Coastal Conservation Association Florida https://www.bidpal.com/coastal-conservation-association-florida-bidpal-success-story/ https://www.bidpal.com/coastal-conservation-association-florida-bidpal-success-story/#respond Sat, 16 Sep 2017 21:04:21 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24410 The post Coastal Conservation Association Florida appeared first on BidPal.

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“Being able to keep an eye on all events from my office or home using BidPal has created valuable opportunities for CCA.”

 

– Miriam Askin, Event Coordinator

If you could manage numerous events, coordinate silent auction items, and communicate with donors all directly from a single location, what opportunities would it create for your organization?

Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, Coastal Conservation Asociation (CCA) Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments. Miriam Askin, an event coordinator for CCA, helps to plan more than 55 events every year for chapters across the state, which include silent and live auctions, all to raise money for CCA initiatives.

A client of multiple years, CCA uses BidPal’s DIY software to conduct their events, and will be the first to tell you, change is good.

“We were a bit nervous to make a change from paper bids to mobile bidding because our demographic trends older, with our typical supporters in their mid 50s,” said Askin, who initially allowed chapter event committees to decide whether or not they wanted to use BidPal.

“We tried it at an event just to warm people up to it, and it was a positive experience- people really enjoyed it, and we found that events using BidPal were overwhelmingly successful,” said Miriam, recalling her first few events with BidPal.

Any guests who were hesitant about mobile bidding were given a quick tutorial. “They were thrilled, I mean, it was so user friendly,” said Askin.

What’s more, contrary to her initial concern, supporters using the BidPal mobile bidding software seemed to socialize and network more during events because they would receive a text message when they were outbid on an item. “The energy in the room is not as dynamic when guests have to keep an eye on paper bid sheets,” explained Askin.

Since the beginning of their partnership with BidPal, CCA has increased revenue raised on their silent auction items by as much as 150 percent.

With multiple events happening all over the state of Florida, Askin will tell you the most helpful part about using BidPal is the ability for her to have her hand in every event all the time, from anywhere.

“If there’s a high value item that’s not getting many bids, I’m able to send a text message to all the guests at the event from my home to draw their attention to that item,” said Askin. She also can send a text message to an individual donor during an event if the guest is using the BidPal system. This came in very handy during one event when a guest had bid on earrings and she could let him know that there was another item containing a matching necklace that didn’t have any bids.

With BidPal’s Giving Center and online capabilities, Askin is able to view donations and bids and communicate with guests at multiple events on the same evening. Some of her staff have even asked for the links to other events, so they’re able to bid on items from different chapter events as theirs is happening.

“Being able to keep an eye on all events from my office or home using BidPal has created valuable opportunities for CCA,” said Askin.

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Webinar: Year End Fundraising | Cultivate Now, Ask Later https://www.bidpal.com/webinar-year-end-fundraising-cultivate-now-ask-later/ https://www.bidpal.com/webinar-year-end-fundraising-cultivate-now-ask-later/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:35:05 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24328 The post Webinar: Year End Fundraising | Cultivate Now, Ask Later appeared first on BidPal.

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On Demand Webinar

Communicating your cause and engaging with donors is key to year-end fundraising.  Let us share best practices we’ve gathered from the field on how to cultivate now, to maximize your ask. `

View this webinar and join us as we explore:

Creative and innovative ways to deepen engagement

Provide ideas for sharing successes

Elevate your cause to stand out

Featured Presenters:

Ben Farrell

Custom Benefit Auctions

Kelly Velasquez-Hague

Kelly Velasquez-Hague

Access On Demand Recording & Slides

Connect More Donors to Your Cause

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Silent Auction Checkout: 5 Easy Tips for Speed and Success https://www.bidpal.com/silent-auction-checkout-tips/ https://www.bidpal.com/silent-auction-checkout-tips/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 20:48:33 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24139 The post Silent Auction Checkout: 5 Easy Tips for Speed and Success appeared first on BidPal.

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FREE BONUS: Download our list of the TOP 15 Auction Item Ideas. You can save this resource as a PDF and use it for your organization's next charity auction event. Make your next auction an overwhelming success!

Your silent auctions will typically be anything but silent. Between the excitement of bidding and mingling with your donors, auction events are often lively, fun, and a little bit chaotic. But when the fun of the bidding concludes, your organization and staff will have to buckle down.

After the bidding, the most important aspect of your silent auction event is your checkout. Making sure individuals pick up and pay for their auction items requires an organized method you can’t afford to overlook.

Luckily, we have 5 tips for a speedy silent auction checkout.

  1. Capture credit card information during registration.
  2. Encourage attendees to pay with your mobile bidding software.
  3. Setup different checkout lines for cash and check, and card.
  4. Organize your auction items.
  5. Train your volunteers.

To host an event with a speedy checkout, your silent auction planning will be an essential part of your success.

Read on to learn our 5 easy tips for a speedy silent auction checkout!

For your silent auction checkout, you'll want to capture credit card information during registration.

1. Capture credit card information during registration.

During your registration process, you’ll want to check off a few extra steps to help you with checkout, like:

The manual entry of onsite purchases will help your volunteers organize transactions. When it comes time for checkout, they’ll already know exactly which bidder won which item or package, making it easy (and speedy!) to ring up donors.

Capturing any additional guest and payment information will help your volunteers speed up the checkout process. With credit card information on file, volunteers can automatically process bidders’ wins and purchases, letting them spend less time waiting on long lines to pay.

For a speedy silent auction check out, you'll want to capture as much information as possible during registration.

How BidPal Simplifies Silent Auction Checkout

You can even encourage your guests to pre-register their credit card information online via your auction software before the auction event so they won’t have to spend excess time at either registration or checkout process!

With pre-registration, they’ll even be able to place bids on their favorite items before your auction event begins.

Encourage attendees to pay with your mobile bidding software.

2. Encourage attendees to pay with your mobile bidding software.

Avoid paper bid sheets and choose mobile bidding software provider that can configure options to let your bidders pay via their phone.

This way, guests can complete their auction event experience in three easy steps:

  1. Bid. Bidders will place their bids on their mobile device, receiving updates and outbid notifications per their preferences.
  2. Pay. Bidders will save their payment information in the mobile bidding software and after the auction’s conclusion, simply confirm their payment and check out on their mobile devices.
  3. Pick-up. Winners will bring verification to the pick-up area where they’ll claim their prizes!

Paying through your mobile bidding software will save your bidders the hassle of the long checkout lines. Let them continue their positive auction experience by avoiding a long wait and instead checking out while they finish their last drink or conversation.

How BidPal Simplifies Silent Auction Checkout

Your organization can secure bidders’ online payments with BidPal’s payment processor Smartpay Anywhere. Their PCI certification and compliance makes your life easier and keeps your donors’ data protected.

Set up different checkout lanes for cash and check, or card.

3. Set up different checkout lanes for cash and check, or card.

Set up multiple payment lanes for a speedy silent auction checkout.

For those who opt out of paying through your mobile bidding software, you’ll need to make checkout as quick and painless as possible.

You’ll want to set up two lanes: one for check and cash and another for credit and debit cards.

Splitting up the lanes will create a faster checkout because cash and check transactions will most likely take longer than the average credit or debit card transaction. When donors see how quickly the credit and debit checkout lane is moving, they may even be motivated to switch their method of payment for a faster process.

Either way, make sure your organization offers your bidders multiple ways to pay so they can choose their  preferred method.

How BidPal Simplifies Silent Auction Checkout

Keep in mind, BidPal’s software allows you to swipe a card on a mobile tablet for a speedy onsite checkout process. For big ticket items, their software will even let you split guest bills into multiple payments.

Plus, you can offer your guests printed or emailed receipts, so you can give your bidders exactly what they want.

For a successful silent auction checkout, organize your auction items.

4. Organize your auction items for a quick silent auction checkout.

Your checkout is only as good as your auction items. In order to have a seamless and smooth checkout process, your auction items will need to be organized.

When bidders approach checkout ready to pay and walk home their with winnings, the last thing you want to happen is to lose track of a paid-for auction item. Keeping your donors happy and satisfied is at the top of your list of priorities (and can be done easily with donor management software).

To avoid any chaos, you’ll want volunteers to know exactly where your items are located and displayed during the auction so they can properly retrieve them during checkout.

Many nonprofits use a color coordinating system to organize their sections, tables, and items. General category labels like “fishing” or “travel” can often result in quite a bit of confusion, i.e. would a fishing trip be in the fishing or travel category? So labeling sections, tables, or items with obvious colors like red, blue, or green will eliminate any room for error.

How BidPal Simplifies Silent Auction Checkout

Our software will let your volunteers know exactly what the winner purchases, so your volunteers will know where to go, which item to retrieve, and whom to give it to, eliminating excess wait time.

Train your volunteers for a speedy silent auction checkout.

5. Train your volunteers for a quick silent auction checkout.

Train your volunteers on your software for a speedy silent auction checkout.

Once the organization and processes are in place, there’s only one silent auction rule left to follow: make sure your volunteers understand what to do and how to do it.

If you’re using mobile bidding software, as suggested, you’ll need to make sure your volunteers fully understand the aspects of the software they’ll be using during your auction event.

Your staff will need easy access to your guests’ information and your software. You may even want to have each volunteer run through a trial checkout session to make sure they’re familiar with the page layout. This way, you’ll also be able to work through any questions together and they’ll know what information they need to complete a transaction.

How BidPal Simplifies Silent Auction Checkout

BidPal has a team of over 250 fundraising professional and technologists who are waiting to help your organization run a flawless auction event!

If there are any issues or troubles while learning the ins and outs of your software, they’ll always be there to answer your questions and walk you through any confusion.


Now that you have our top 5 tips for a speedy silent auction checkout, your guest will leave happy and excited, focused on their new winnings!

Keep in mind, your guests’ happiness and satisfaction can affect the success rate of future events, so you’ll want to be sure your checkout process is perfected to be quick and painless.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking to learn more about improving your auction events, check out these resources:

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Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi https://www.bidpal.com/make-a-wish-foundation-of-mississippi/ https://www.bidpal.com/make-a-wish-foundation-of-mississippi/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 21:21:37 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24417 The post Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi appeared first on BidPal.

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“Since our auction items were not just event specific, we really appreciate that BidPal enables us to sell them at any time via our Giving Center event website.”

 

– Ellery Jones, Development Director

Ellery Jones joined the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi as development director just in time for its 2017 annual “Evening of Wishes,” a gala featuring dinner and live and silent auctions.

“I’d actually never planned a silent auction before,” she said as she recalled her initial experiences, Jones turned to BidPal to help her quickly get up to speed and manage the event with fundraising technology, which raised enough funds to grant 40 wishes for critically ill children. “The first thing I noticed about BidPal is that there were so many details and options available, which helped me successfully manage the event from start to finish.”

Make-A-Wish Mississippi Boy

Five year old Blake, who had been battling Leukemia received his wish of a customized Ole Miss golf cart in event!

Armed with a gala committee of 15 and her partnership with BidPal, Jones and the Make-A-Wish Foundation were able to plan the entire event using the BidPal event check list and making sure they were up to date on every facet of the gala, from registration all the way up to their silent and live auction and lastly checkout.

“Since our auction items were not just event specific, we really appreciate that BidPal enables us to sell them at any time via our Giving Center event website,” Jones said. With the ability to open the auction whenever they pleased, Make-A-Wish was able to start taking bids and selling items before the gala even began.

On May 6, 2017, Jones and her team headed into their event ready to make wishes happen. BidPal’s event managers were a big help as well. “We initially had a little hiccup with the event tent cards, there was a spelling error on them, but the event manager onsite fixed it quickly, and it was one less thing we had to worry about,” With a little over 100 packages and 5 live items, the 2017 Evening of Wishes went on without a hitch.

“BidPal made the process streamlined and quick, which benefitted both our chapter and our guests,” said Jones, noting that one of the supporters commented that this was the most organized fundraiser she’d ever attended.

Since using BidPal, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi has been able to steadily increase the proceeds from its events. As recently as four years ago, proceeds were in the $100,000 range; they have now more than doubled their proceeds using mobile bidding technology.

As for Jones? She’s ready to continue to make history with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “Our goal for 2018, is going to be around $300,000,” and we can’t wait to make their wishes a reality.

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BidPal August 2017 News https://www.bidpal.com/bidpal-august-2017-news/ https://www.bidpal.com/bidpal-august-2017-news/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:17:15 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24381 The post BidPal August 2017 News appeared first on BidPal.

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A Note from BidPal

We’ve officially launched one of our largest releases in the history of BidPal and thank all of our valued customers for your feedback. We are well underway upgrading Fall fundraisers to enjoy the new unified experience.

As we continue to listen to your needs, be on the lookout for our short 3 question customer survey coming soon. Your insights are invaluable.

The BidPal family wishes to extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Our team stands ready to support Texas and the entire region in the days, weeks and months ahead.

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We’ll take you step-by-step through planning a school auction as well as give you some useful tips that will help make your event even more profitable.

 

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Product Highlights

Sample Site

Sample site
The sky’s the limit with custom pages in our latest product release!

Since every event is different, nonprofits should have an easy way to share unique qualities, information, and activity about each event.

Now, BidPal clients can create any number of pages about your organization or event, accessible through your BidPal Giving Center MENU. With custom pages, you can go beyond the common functions of your auction website.

Year End Fundraising

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We put together a list of 5 year-end fundraising campaigns that are sure to grab your donor’s attention as well as showcase your cause on center stage before the curtains close on 2017!

Check out our blog here.

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Five Year-End Fundraising Campaign Tips That’ll Drive You into Success for the New Year https://www.bidpal.com/five-year-end-fundraising-campaign-tips-thatll-drive-success-new-year/ https://www.bidpal.com/five-year-end-fundraising-campaign-tips-thatll-drive-success-new-year/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 14:54:42 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24192 Around 30% of all annual donations are given during the last couple of months of the year. After all, it’s the season of giving- it’s a time to give back. With so much of a feeling as well as an imperative time for your donors, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity to fundraise […]

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Around 30% of all annual donations are given during the last couple of months of the year. After all, it’s the season of giving- it’s a time to give back. With so much of a feeling as well as an imperative time for your donors, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunity to fundraise to your fullest potential this fall and winter. More than that, with so many new and inventive ways to campaign in the industry, it’s hard not to take this time to try something that’s inventive and engaging as we roll into the last few months of the year!

We put together a list of five year-end fundraising campaigns that are sure to grab your donors’ attention as well as showcase your cause on center stage before the curtains close on this year.

  1. Push a Social Media Campaign.

While the end of the year often coaxes donors home, a good way to reach out to supporters is by launching a social media campaign. This is also a really great way to highlight your volunteers and board members, feature your “why”, and make an ask that’s compelling and direct right to your individuals phones. Consider taking an hour to go Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter Live and show off your team. Have speakers and representatives of your cause take the spotlight and give your supporters and inside peak at where their money goes and how they’re impacting your organization!

  1. Reach Out to Supporters About the Progress of Your Mission.

It’s said that around 63% of donors do not research their organization before giving to them. This means that often, individuals are giving only because they want to help a “good cause.” At the end of this year, compel your supporters to give-back to your cause, and relay how instrumental their gift will be to the success of your mission. Include stats, pictures, and videos to not only attain donations but also raise awareness this holiday season.

  1. Explore using a Text2Give Campaign.

Speaking of donors being hard to reach during the holiday season, you could make supporting your cause so easy! By setting up a campaign using BidPal’s Text2Give software, supporters can participate in your year-end fundraising push from anywhere in the country with the push of a button. Create a strong ask for a monetary goal and allow for donors to contribute in just one tap.

  1. Combine your Year-End Campaign with #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday is an initiative that has been proven to springboard Nonprofit year end revenue. In fact, most nonprofits that incorporate #GivingTuesday into their year-end fundraising efforts see a fundamental increase in donations received during their campaign. Launch your campaign on #GivingTuesday to skyrocket its visibility and engagement and follow through with it into the end of the year. Consider partnering up with an organization to make an even bigger splash!

  1. Create a small Peer-to-Peer Approach.

The best way to get someone on board with your cause is to get them personally engaged in your cause. Whether it’s a little fundraising challenge to supporters, or even an awareness campaign where donors and individuals can challenge their friends to participate in, getting people involved makes people care. Create an activity that everyone can take part in, and get others to join in on as well, and then pass it on!

With so many ways to fundraise, planning a smart campaign and dropping it at the right time and compelling engagement is sure to drive in revenue and help you achieve your goals just in time for the new year.

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Top 5 Silent Auction Donations to Make Your Event Profitable https://www.bidpal.com/top-silent-auction-donations/ https://www.bidpal.com/top-silent-auction-donations/#respond Mon, 28 Aug 2017 15:09:48 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24025 The post Top 5 Silent Auction Donations to Make Your Event Profitable appeared first on BidPal.

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One of the most important aspects of your auction event is the items you procure. These packages, or donations for attendees, will focus your silent auction event and most importantly, drive contributions in the form of bids.

We know what you’re thinking, so how do I pick silent auction donations that my attendees will want to bid on? We’re glad you asked because we have the solution!

We’ve picked out 5 amazing silent auction donations that everyone is sure to love:

  1. Travel & Experiences
  2. Sports & Activities
  3. Gourmet Food & Drink
  4. Arts, Culture, & Entertainment
  5. Kids & Family

Read on to learn which donation items will help drive the most bids at your next silent auction!


One silent auction donation category is travel and experiences.

1. Travel & Experiences

Silent Auction Donation Overview

This silent auction donation is a surefire way to please any jetsetters or adventurers in your audience. These packages, popular at most auctions, offer once in a lifetime experiences to bidders.

Auction off an exciting experience at your next silent auction!

Featured Package

BidPal’s featured travel and experiences’ package is the Puntacana Resort & Club Caribbean Paradise trip! Give your lucky winner and a guest of their choice a 4-night stay at the Westin Puntacana in the Dominican Republic with airfare for the winner and their guest.

With a location that’s oozing with art and culture, your guest can enjoy Puntacana’s 25 designer golf courses, white sand beaches, rich museums, and delicious cuisine throughout their stay.

Your winners will even have access to the resort’s marina, restaurants, and shopping village for added fun. Between the resort’s yoga classes and scuba diving opportunities, you simply can’t go wrong with this trip!

Offer your attendees a trip to Punta Cana to bid on as a silent auction donation.

Estimated Cost of this Silent Auction Donation

Depending on the scope of your auction donation, the price range could vary quite a bit. For BidPal’s specific Puntacana Resort & Club Caribbean Paradise, the retail price is $8,655. But don’t stress! The risk-free nonprofit price is only $2,650, that is to say if the auction item doesn’t find a buyer, your organization doesn’t pay.

BidPal’s Tip

Don’t offer up a package to a location that’s too obscure because you might lose interest. Pick a popular vacation site with a good reputation so your winner can enjoy their stay without worrying about safety or cleanliness!

Plus, you’ll need to make sure it’s a good deal. If your attendees can’t afford to bid on the travel donation, you won’t see any bids!

Bonus:  If you’re looking for pointers on how properly auction off this package, check out our 5 Silent Auction Bid Sheet Challenges and How to Avoid Them.


Another silent auction donation category is sports and activities.

2. Sports & Activities

Silent Auction Donation Overview

Perfect for the athletes in your audience, these packages can include tickets to big games, sports memorabilia, and more! These packages will be popular for medical centers and health-oriented organizations, among many others, to auction off.

Featured Package

BidPal’s featured sports and activities package is the Classic Wrigley Field Rooftop Experience, which includes rooftop bleachers access, and an all-inclusive dining package at a regular season Chicago Cubs game.

Your guests will receive round-trip airfare and a 3-night stay at the Hyatt, Hilton, or Marriott while invited to participate in this Cubs tradition that has been practiced since Opening Day in 1914.

Kick back and enjoy a hot dog and ice cold beverage while watching the ballgame. This is an experience any baseball fan won’t be able to turn down!

Auction off this once in a life time Wrigley experience as a silent auction donation.

Estimated Cost of this Silent Auction Donation

Like all packages, the cost will depend on the features included. BidPal’s Wrigley Field silent auction donations has a suggested retail value of $5,855, but your nonprofit will only pay $2,795 to auction it off! Don’t forget, this package is risk-free.

BidPal’s Tip

This rule goes without saying, but we’ll give you a reminder: offer a package that will be of interest to your audience. If your audience is based in southern California and has little interest in the Chicago Cubs, this might not be the best silent auction donation for you.

Instead, you can find a Lakers game or comparable package that your bidders will fight over!

Bonus: Check out these 5 silent auction rules for smooth sailing at your next event!


A third silent auction donation category is gourmet food and drink.

3. Gourmet Food & Drink

Silent Auction Donation Overview

A desirable option for the foodies and wine connoisseurs in your audience, these silent donation auctions can include everything from wine tastings in California to cooking classes in France. These packages are perfect for any nonprofit organization to auction off. Who can say no to great food and drinks?

Featured Package

BidPal’s gourmet food and drink package is the Tuscany Culinary Escape. Your winner and a guest of their choice are invited to a private cooking lesson, lunch date, and a winery and olive oil tour and tasting.

They’ll stay 2 nights in a superior room at the Hotel Ponte Sisto in Rome and be able to view world-renowned landmarks like the Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, and Trastevere district.

Your winners will also enjoy 5 nights in a classic room at the Renaissance Tuscany II Ciocco Resort and Spa, which is a 1500 acre estate 200 miles north of Rome, surrounded by rich greenery and quaint villages.

This silent auction donation is sure to have bids flying at your event.

Estimated Cost of this Silent Auction Donation

Like any food and drink package, the cost will vary based on the silent auction donation you’re auctioning off, but BidPal’s Tuscany Culinary Escape is listed at $6,495 for the nonprofit’s price. It’s simply priceless for the winners (and risk-free for the nonprofits)!

BidPal’s Tip

Make sure to keep your audience’s preferences in mind! Perhaps your bidders are more interested in Spanish cuisine, a trip to Barcelona might evoke more competitive bidding.

Keep a budget in mind, too. This particular package is a bit more expensive than others so you’ll want to start the bidding at a higher point. Make sure your bidders’ wallets can afford a trip to Italy and back.

Bonus: When it’s time for checkout, you won’t want to miss a step. Check out our 5 easy tips for a speedy and successful silent auction checkout.


Another silent auction donation category is arts, culture, and entertainment.

4. Arts, Culture, & Entertainment

Silent Auction Donation Overview

These silent auction donations will be a dream come true for your audience’s artists and creative types. From concerts to art showings, these packages will give your winners the ultimate entertainment experience. These packages are especially great for arts nonprofits to auction off at events.

Featured Package

BidPal’s featured arts, culture, and entertainment donation is the Ultimate Broadway experience. Your winner and three guests will pick tickets to one of five shows: Aladdin, Anastasia, Cats, School of Rock, or The Lion King.

In New York, your winners will have a private meet-and-greet with 2 cast members at a pre-show, 3 course dinner and an in-theater meet and greet with another cast member following the show.

Plus, you’ll have a 3 night stay in a standard guest room at the Hyatt, Hilton, or Marriott and of course, airfare for 4 individuals.

Estimated Cost of this Silent Auction Donation

Price ranges will vary based on where you send your guests and which activities you include in the package. BidPal’s Ultimate Broadway package runs at $6,495, a riske-free price for nonprofits, and will be a priceless experience for your winner and their guests!

BidPal’s Tip

Because this category can be very broad, be sure to select popular activities that many can enjoy. For example, while perhaps only a few donors feel extremely passionate about a renaissance art museum, many might enjoy a pop concert.

As always, make sure the packages will appeal to your audience in order to encourage competitive bidding!

Bonus: The success of your auction lies in the packing and procurement of your items. Take a look at our 5 Auction Item Pitfalls and Best Practices for tips!


Our final silent auction donation category is kids and family.

5. Kids & Families

Silent Auction Donation Overview

Kids and families silent auction donations can range from family portraits to family vacations. Perfect for young families, these packages are sure to be a hit at your next auction event. These donations are wonderful options for health care, community, and family-oriented nonprofits to include at their next auction events.

Featured Package

BidPal’s featured silent auction donation is the Disney World Family Adventure. Your winner’s family of 4 can enjoy a 4 night stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, which includes outdoor gardens, a lagoon-style pool, 12 tennis courts, and 45 holes of golf.

With a shuttle from the hotel to the parks, your winners can use their $1,050 in Disney gift cards and redeem them for admission, food, and souvenirs inside the parks, where the fun awaits!

With included airfare and roller coasters galore, your winner’s family will love a stay to enjoy the magic of Disney.

Kids and families will love a trip to Disney as a silent auction donation.

Estimated Cost of this Silent Auction Donation

Like previously mentioned, different packages will have different costs, depending on where your nonprofit books from and which features you want to include. BidPal’s Disney World Family Adventure is listed at $4,995 for nonprofit’s. The whole package is worth up to $10,470, so it’s sure to be an experience your winner won’t forget.

BidPal’s Tip

Remember this category of donations is best for young families, which means if your audience is filled with elderly bidders, it might not encourage competitive bidding and result in larger donations.

On the other hand, if this is the perfect package for your bidders, make sure you select a popular location, park, or activity to get bids flying!

Bonus: Looking to receive more bids on your auction donations? Check out our 4 Event Texts too Boost Attendee Engagement and Generate Revenue.


Your silent auction’s success relies heavily on the packages up for auction, so your nonprofit will need to select popular options to get the bidding wars fired up. Keep your audience’s preferences and interests, as well as your organization’s budget and goals, in mind throughout the item procurement stage.

Now that you have our top 5 silent auction donation categories and packages, you’re capable of hosting a stellar silent auction event for your nonprofit and seeing significant profit! Happy auctioning!

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about hosting auctions and raising money? Check out these additional resources:

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Silent Auction Bid Sheets: 5 Challenges & How to Avoid Them https://www.bidpal.com/silent-auction-bid-sheets/ https://www.bidpal.com/silent-auction-bid-sheets/#respond Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:56:20 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24031 Silent auction bid sheets, while a tried-and-true process, often lead to messy events. Between scribbled handwriting, the panic of constantly checking bids, guests hovering over auction packages, and then staff manually entering in the data, there’s a lot of room for error. The easy solution to a chaotic auction event is to replace your bid […]

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FREE BONUS: Download our list of the TOP 15 Auction Item Ideas. You can save this resource as a PDF and use it for your organization's next charity auction event. Make your next auction an overwhelming success!

Silent auction bid sheets, while a tried-and-true process, often lead to messy events. Between scribbled handwriting, the panic of constantly checking bids, guests hovering over auction packages, and then staff manually entering in the data, there’s a lot of room for error.

The easy solution to a chaotic auction event is to replace your bid sheets with mobile bidding. This way, your attendees can relax and enjoy the event while placing and updating bids from their phones and all their data can be automatically stored in your software, removing any time wasted on manual data entry.

Still think silent auction bid sheets don’t need replacing? Check out our 5 reasons why they do:

  1. Silent auction bid sheets won’t alert donors when they’re outbid.
  2. Silent auction bid sheets will keep donors running around the event.
  3. Silent auction bid sheets will put your bidders on long lines for registration and check-out.
  4. Silent auction bid sheets can slow down or halt the bidding.
  5. Silent auction bid sheets will exclude supporters who can’t attend.

Read on to learn why you need to replace your silent auction bids in order to execute a stellar silent auction!

Silent auction bid sheets won't alert donors when they're outbid, but mobile bidding can.1. Silent Auction Bid Sheets Won’t Alert Donors When They’re OutBid

The Problem

Your auction events are incredibly busy and entertaining for both your organization and your donors. Aside from bidding, donors will be able to mingle, eat, drink, participate in raffles, and perhaps even more, depending on the scope of your event!

It’s easy for donors to get distracted from the reason they came: to bid. If donors don’t keep their eyes on the bid sheet at all times, they might miss being outbid! They might not be able to up their bid before the auction completes, causing them to lose the item or package they bid on, which can have a significant impact on your event revenue.

The Solution

With mobile bidding, your supporters will be able to sign up for outbid alerts, which work exactly as you think. After your donor places a bid, your software will track it. If another donor places a higher bid on the same item, your donor will receive a notification via their mobile phone. This way, they can choose to up their bid or not, but either way, they won’t unknowingly miss out on the auction item.

Your bidder can even sign up for automatic bidding and set a maximum bid amount. If a donor is outbid, your mobile bidding software can automatically increase their bid amount to put them back in the lead and encourage hassle-free but competitive bidding! Your donor can put a limit on their automatic bidding, too, to keep their bidding within their budget.

Silent auction bid sheets will keep donors running around the event, but mobile bidding will let them enjoy a fun, relaxed evening.2. Silent Auction Bid Sheets Will Keep Donors Running Around the Event

Check out BidPal's mobile bidding software and see how you can make your donors' bidding process even easier by avoiding silent auction bid sheets.

The Problem

If your bidders are proactive about checking their bids on your paper bid sheets, they’ll have to run back and forth between sheets and items.

Just checking on and upping their bids will require a chaotic cardio session and leave the fun of the event behind, which could result in unsatisfied donors and poor experiences.

The Solution

Don’t make your donors run laps around your event. Give them the option of mobile bidding, which will let them enjoy your auction and finish that conversation at the bar. They can savor their meals and participate in raffles, all the while bidding from their phones.

Plus, because they’ll have more time to relax during your event, you’ll have more time to mingle with them and strengthen donor relationships! Less runaround at your auction event will translate to happier donors and better stewardship.

See the above image for what donors can use to bid during your event. This intuitive, easy to use software will make bidding more convenient for your supporters.

Silent auction bid sheets will put your bidders on long lines for registration and check out, but mobile bidding can speed up your processes.3. Silent Auction Bid Sheets Will Put Your Bidders on Long Lines for Registration and Check-Out

The Problem

With an old-fashioned silent auction (the kind that require paper bid sheets), your guests will be forced to wait on long lines to register or check-out.

They’ll spend significant portions of your event waiting when instead, they could be bidding on packages or purchasing fixed price items.

The Solution

Show your donors you value their precious time with your mobile bidding software. Speed up registration and check-out!

To make registration more time-efficient, you can:

  • Give your event staff easy access to attendee information
  • Record additional guest and payment information
  • Enter onsite purchases and additional donations
  • Communicate table number and seating

Check out how you can make registration time efficient with BidPal's mobile bidding software, instead of silent auction bid sheets.

 With your mobile bidding software, all the information is housed in one, central location, simplifying registration for speedy entry.

To hold your check-out process to the same standards as your registration process, you’ll need the following software features:

  • Easy access to transactions
  • No required import of data
  • Ability to split guest bills into multiple payments
  • Email or paper receipts
  • PCI compliant payment processing on site

Silent auction bid sheets can slow down or halt the bidding, but mobile bidding will keep your environment competitive.4. Silent Auction Bid Sheets Can Slow Down or Halt the Bidding

The Problem

Silent auctions can often start out strong but then fizzle out as donors forget about placed bids, resulting in low momentum and low bids.

The Solution

Use your leaderboard to encourage more bids, instead of silent auction bid sheets.

Mobile bidding encourages more frequent and therefore, more competitive bidding! With outbid alerts, leader boards, and auto-bidding, asking for donations through bids will be much more successful.

You’ll be able to use features, like your leader board, with real-time updates on current bids to encourage more donations from your donors. Your scoreboard will get supporters excited about winning different packages, therefore, increasing bid activity and frequency.

In addition, your scoreboard will also highlight your donors, giving them proper recognition and yet again, strengthening donor relationships!

Silent auction bid sheets will exclude supporters who can't attend your event, but mobile bidding will let them place bids from anywhere around the world.5. Silent Auction Bid Sheets Will Exclude Supporters Who Can’t Attend

The Problem

As with any event, some of your supporters won’t be able to attend due to conflicts and prior commitments. Individuals who can’t attend won’t be able to write down their bids on your paper bid sheets and will therefore, miss out on supporting your organization.

Plus, the more donors who are excluded from your event, the more donations you’ll miss out on!

The Solution

With mobile bidding, your organization’s event can reach guests who can’t attend the physical event! Bidding from their phones allows them to participate in your auction, eliminating the need for paper bid sheets.

Offering this option to your nonprofit’s supporters will prove to them that you value their involvement in your organization all while maximizing your opportunity for donations.


Now that you have 5 great reasons why old-fashioned bid sheets simply don’t work well for silent auctions, you can begin your search for the perfect mobile bidding provider!

We know that with your mobile bidding software, you’ll host a fantastic auction event. Happy auctioning!

Additional resources

If you’re interested in learning more about how you enhance your auction events, check out these resources:

  • BidPal’s Charity Auction Software. There’s plenty of auction software to help you manage the planning, execution, and followup of your event. Check out our guide to software so you can figure out what kind of software you need.
  • BidPal’s 12+ Tips for Running a Charity Auction. If you’re a first timer when it comes to organizing charity auctions or just need to brush up on your knowledge, be sure to check out our helpful tips and pointers before you begin!
  • Fundly’s Sponsorship Letters Templates. For an in-depth look at writing sponsorship letters, check out Fundly’s guide. They’ll even give you free templates to make sure your letters are powerful and professional.

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5 Silent Auction Rules for Smooth Sailing at Your Next Event https://www.bidpal.com/silent-auction-rules/ https://www.bidpal.com/silent-auction-rules/#respond Thu, 24 Aug 2017 15:23:01 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24078 Silent auction events are opportunity for improving your organization both socially and financially. As your attendees place bids and enjoy your event, your organization’s staff can mingle with donors while tracking bids and donations. While your supporters learn more about your nonprofit, thanks to the conversation with your staff, your organization will have the option […]

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FREE BONUS: Download our list of the TOP 15 Auction Item Ideas. You can save this resource as a PDF and use it for your organization's next charity auction event. Make your next auction an overwhelming success!

Silent auction events are opportunity for improving your organization both socially and financially. As your attendees place bids and enjoy your event, your organization’s staff can mingle with donors while tracking bids and donations.

While your supporters learn more about your nonprofit, thanks to the conversation with your staff, your organization will have the option to encourage bids in a fun but competitive environment.

To see your event through to its highest potential and maximize your profit, you should follow the following rules for smooth sailing:

  1. Recruit volunteers.
  2. Organize each section.
  3. Eliminate paper bid sheets.
  4. Don’t over-procure items.
  5. Police the traffic flow.

Read on to learn how to soar through your silent auction event with the best results and biggest donations!

Silent auction rule number 1 is to recruit volunteers.

Silent Auction Rule #1. Recruit volunteers.

First things first. In order to run a successful event, you need to have a powerful and organized team of volunteers to help setup and manage the floor, answer any questions, and enforce any auction rules.

So where do you find these volunteers?

Round up your email lists that include your nonprofit’s members, boards, and even previous volunteers. You’ll want to send out email invitations to volunteer at your silent auction event that thoroughly explain the event, where the proceeds will go, and most importantly, what you need volunteers for!

You’ll want to create several crews from the individuals who sign up to volunteer:

  • Setup crew. With setting up tables and ordering your auction items, you’ll need some manpower to get your event off to a smooth start.
  • Table crew. During the event, bidders may have questions or lose sight of the auction rules. Your tables crew will be there to provide answers and insight for your bidders while keeping the tables tidy. They’ll also close out their tables at the designated time.
  • Bank crew. Your event is sure to rake in plenty of bids, so you’ll need a group of volunteers to manage the winning bids. They’ll help your checkout process run efficiently, making sure all your winners pay their bids and receive their winning packages.
  • Cleanup crew. Just like you’ll need a setup crew, you’ll need a cleanup crew as well. For everything from taking down auction item displays to sweeping the floor, these volunteers will clean up your venue.

You’ll also want to give your event volunteers a designated shirt, hat, or jacket that marks them as obvious officials so your donors know who to ask if they have questions and concerns.

Your registration process, for example, might be something your attendees have questions about or need help. Make sure your volunteers are well-versed with your auction software, pictured below, so they can properly help your attendees.

Make sure your volunteers are well versed in your registration process so they can help your attendees get set up.

BidPal’s Tip

Your fundraising solutions can help you select the perfect volunteers. For example, BidPal’s event management software can help you draw a list of individuals from their donor management aspect. Our software saves personal information and previous interactions of your donors, so you can use it to approach interested supporters.

Bonus: If you’re looking to integrate SalesForce with your event management solution, check out Fonteva’s Salesforce Event Management Guide.

Silent auction rule number 2 is to organize each section.

Silent Auction Rule #2. Organize each section.

Each auction item should be clearly labeled and visible, as should each section, as to avoid an excess of questions from your donors.

Because categories can have confusing boundaries, you’ll want to make sure your auction sections are as transparent as possible.

Instead of listing sections in categories like “Camping” or “Travel,” many silent auction events distinguish their sections by an even more simple method, like color, so the sections are easily understandable and easily found from the beginning of the event.

BidPal’s Tip

You’ll mostly likely want to begin with your less valuable section and end with your most valuable section to dramatically increase the competition. The saying “save the best for last” is applicable throughout your silent auction item and events, too!

Silent auction rule #3 is eliminate paper bid sheets.

Silent Auction Rule #3. Eliminate paper bid sheets.

Eliminate bid sheets and implement mobile bidding for a faster, more efficient auction event.

Paper bids have gone out of style. From deciphering handwriting to manually entering in bid data,

there’s plenty of room for mistakes.

Luckily, mobile bidding software can help eliminate those mistakes by offering your donors a more convenient way to bid while create an environment for competitive bidding.

Paper bids can’t notify bidders if they’ve been outbid, but mobile bidding software will alert your donors the moment they’ve lost their lead.

They can even configure auto-bidding so when they’re outbid, the software will automatically up their bid, making them the leading bidder for that particular item. Donors can put a monetary cap on auto-bidding to stay within their budget.

Plus, with the digital scoreboard your mobile bidding software can provide, you’ll be able to excite your audience about bidding on the items you have to auction. In addition, you can recognize your donors for their support to strengthen donor relationships.

BidPal’s Tip

Implementing mobile bidding software also lets you include supporters who can’t attend the event. Even remote donors can bid on their phones, maximizing your potential profit. Inclusion of bidders who aren’t in your locale will strengthen donor relationships even more, making them feel as though you value their time and involvement with your organization.

Silent auction rule #4 is don't over-procure auction items.

Silent Auction Rule #4. Don’t over-procure items.

You don’t want to end up with more than you can sell. Many nonprofits stick by the rule of having no more than one item for every two attendees.

Too many auction items can result in lost funds, so try to keep your organization within a limit. It’s a fundraiser, afterall, so make sure your intentions of raising money are met!

Having too many auction items on display can often be overwhelming for donors, but wrapping multiple items into a package will be much more digestible and enticing!

BidPal’s Tip

With BidPal’s partnership with WinSpire, your organization can auction off amazing packages and once in a lifetime opportunities. Pick from the Tuscany Culinary Escape or the Punta Cana Resort & Club Caribbean Paradise.

You’ll be able to send your donors all around the world and only pay a fraction of the cost. The Punta Cana trip is listed at $2,650 for nonprofits with a retail value of up to $8,655, so just imagine what the bids on this trip will turn into!

Plus, with BidPal, you’ll only buy what you auction off! There’s no risk of losing money.

Silent auction rule number 5 is to police the traffic flow of your event.

Silent Auction Rule #5. Police the traffic flow.

We say “police” for a reason. Your event’s flow will need to be as thoughtfully planned out as the busiest intersection in town. You’ll want individuals to be able to move quickly and efficiently through your auction items, bidding on those that strike their fancy.

Stay away from table layouts that cause clumps of people with no easy exit and instead encourage a steady pace from item to item and table to table.

You’ll most likely want to go with a circular layout, as U-shaped table layout often traps individuals who want to get out in and those who want to get in out. Remember to avoid making too many corners in your layout as well.

BidPal’s Tip

As both your organization and BidPal know, time is money. Save your attendees from the trouble of making their way through crowds and encourage them to use your online catalog.

With your mobile bidding software, bidders will be able to browse through your auction item listings on their phones (and then instantly place their bids). They could stay in their seats for the entire event if they wanted to! Bring convenience to your donors and show them you value their comfort and support, all with the help of your online catalog.


Now that you know our 5 silent auction rules for smooth sailing, your auction event is sure to be a success. Remember you can never be too organized or allow for too much time to set up. Happy auctioning!

Additional Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about hosting stellar silent auction events and maximizing your online presence, check out these resources:

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Tampa Catholic High School https://www.bidpal.com/tampa-catholic-high-school/ https://www.bidpal.com/tampa-catholic-high-school/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:22:08 +0000 https://www.bidpal.com/?p=24423 The post Tampa Catholic High School appeared first on BidPal.

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“While our guest turnout was slightly smaller this year, we were actually able to raise more money than all but one of our previous galas.  We attribute that in a big way to our change in venue and introducing mobile bidding with BidPal,”

 

– Barton Cobb, Director of Advancement

Tampa Catholic High School, a Catholic high school in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, prides itself on providing students with “Veritas et Caritas,” truth and charity. Its annual Cross & Shield Gala aims to raise needed funds to support this mission.

Tampa Catholic guests use BidPal

Tampa Catholic guests use BidPal mobile bidding.

The gala, now in its 10th year, needed some shaking up. While it had done well in the past, organizers felt the event needed a way to compete with rival school fundraisers and increase the funds raised.

“We weren’t hesitant to move into a new software, we knew a change needed to be made,”

It proved to be one for the books.

For the gala on March 11, 2017 gala, Tampa Catholic High School went into its Cross & Shield Gala with a whole new approach and a whole new partner to organize the event and automate auction bidding.

“While our guest turnout was slightly smaller this year, we were actually able to raise more money than all but one of our previous galas.  We attribute that in a big way to our change in venue and introducing mobile bidding with BidPal,” said Barton Cobb, Director of Advancement.

Guests participate in the wine pull.

Guests participate in the wine pull.

When faculty, students, alumni, and parents came together at the Tampa Marriott, the scene was set and the show was on. Amongst all the new facets of the event, with the help of BidPal, Tampa Catholic introduced all new fixed price packages, including a Wine Pull and a “Champaign and Diamonds” raffle. Both nearly sold out, getting the event off to a great start.

Then the live appeal sealed the evening’s success. A hush spread over the crowd as a proud alumnus and parent made an ask for the place that showed him how important a Catholic education was for himself, his wife, and his children.

Volunteers with iPads assist guests.

Volunteers with iPads assist guests.

He quietly asked the guests to open their BidPal link and make a cash donation. As pledges came in the BidPal Scoreboard began to light up, flashing donation amounts and donor names in rapid succession. Within minutes history was made. Tampa Catholic High School raised $38,000 during the live appeal, besting previous live appeals by almost 300 percent. Cobb says the energy in the room as names appeared on the scoreboard was exhilarating, and encouraged friends and families to continue to give.

“The mood was pretty high after the live appeal, so we didn’t want to sour it with a tedious checkout,” said Cobb. “With BidPal, checkout was flawless. We received only good comments from all the people who attended and volunteered at the event.”

Next up for Tampa Catholic is its annual Golf Tournament. “With BidPal as our partner, we’re ready for another successful event,” said Cobb.

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