Raise More Funds: Making Your Nonprofit’s Auction Fun and Engaging

Fundraising auctions have always been high-impact events for nonprofits. Though they often require a substantial investment of time and resources, they can reliably deliver a significant ROI for your organization when planned and executed properly. Auctions should be as fun and exciting for your supporters as it is profitable to your nonprofit.

If your organization is considering hosting a live, silent or online auction (or is making adjustments to a previously planned live auction due to COVID-19), we’ve got you covered with these strategies to engage participants and raise more funds.

Facilitate Donations Through Online Nonprofit Auctions

If you’ve decided to host a fundraising auction, it’s time to nail down your venue, gather your team and procure awesome items to create buzz among your bidders. Think outside the box with what you auction. Consider auctioning off items such as signed memorabilia, travel packages, gift baskets, custom artwork, golf lessons, concert tickets and more to generate interest. Just be sure to find the right donors to contribute items to put up for auction and keep your guests’ interests and price ranges in mind to ensure you appeal to as many people as possible.


Nonprofits must also choose which platform and tools they will use to host, promote and continue building relationships with attendees in an ongoing way. Panorama by FrontStream enables organizations to quickly create and host an auction on BiddingforGood.com, the nonprofit industry’s premier destination site for charitable auctions. Nonprofits can easily configure an event, post items online and offer remote bidding and direct donations through a secure and integrated payment processing platform. Charities also get access to a public bidder community of more than 1.7 million bidders, expanding opportunities to drive even more funds for their missions.


Panorama also allows organizations to sell tickets online to automatically register attendees and bidders, use table seating to create venue layouts and seating charts, and even assign VIP status to guests. Through the platform, users can also create dynamic leaderboards to feature important auction items, showcase sponsors and acknowledge your donors.


Supercharge Your Auction with Mobile Bidding 

Compared to traditional paper bid sheets and bidding paddles, mobile bidding functionality offers a paperless system that enhances the auction experience for guests and volunteers. To take advantage of mobile bidding features, nonprofits should invest in the latest digital fundraising technology. Incorporating mobile bidding into your auction will make it easier and faster for supporters to bid, encouraging more bids, donations and revenue for your organization. By allowing your donors to conveniently bid and compete for items straight from their smartphones, you can drastically increase engagement with your auction. For example, nonprofits can send notifications and alerts as well as reach more supporters since any donor with an internet connection can place bids - even if they can’t make it to the live event.


This strategy works with in-person auctions and is a must for online events. With mobile bidding, nonprofits open up the auction to a much wider audience. When choosing your nonprofit fundraising platform, you should consider whether it includes mobile bidding features so that you can plan and manage your events all in one place.


With platforms like Panorama by FrontStream, users can easily add mobile bidding to events to raise more. With “anytime, anywhere” bidding, no one will ever miss the opportunity to support your fundraising auction. The platform’s mobile bidding features enable guests to bid throughout your event using their smartphones or tablets. Mobile bidding creates excitement in the room and a measurable increase in bids. You can even extend the reach of your auction by opening up your items to FrontStream’s online community of bidders.

Engage Supporters Through Fundraising Technology

Your charity auction can be a huge success when using the right tools. So, it’s important that you invest in the tools that will drive your event forward. Through platforms like  Panorama by FrontStream and its cloud-hosted auction management capabilities, nonprofits can quickly launch and manage live, silent or online fundraising auctions to drive donations.


For additional virtual fundraising inspiration, download our guide that includes 101 creative item ideas for your next online auction.


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