Planning a Fundraising Event – Auction

Installment 10 of Planning a Fundraising Event – Auctions & Text-To-Give

So you want to have an auction at your fundraising event. There are simple ways to do this using paper and pen. There are live auctioneers who can run the show. Then there are auction management software solutions. In this chapter, I will discuss the many benefits of utilizing an online auction management software solution.


There are many benefits to using an online auction management software (AMS) solution.

  • Real time bid recording.
  • The AMS acts as a virtual assistant by recording all contact information and bidding activity accurately.
  • Export records after the event for board reports
  • Bidders don’t have to wait in line – the can bid online from home or anywhere in the event space.
  • Winners are notified and can pay through self-checkout on their own mobile devices. This also provides a quick receipt they can use to pick up their item.
  • Bidders become donors. Their contact information is collected and can be added to your donor management software. This enables you to maintain contact for future events, email campaigns, and funding drives. It also notes which of your current donors attended, how much they donated, and what they spent at auction. This helps you really see their total contributions from every aspect in your donor management system.

Text to Give

Set a goal and invite guests to go for the goal. This makes it a group activity. It can even include a text-to-give solution with a live goal. This demonstrates to all who participate how everyone is contributing. The collective inspiration from being part of a group donating to the same goal is quite motivational.

Steps for Text-To-Give

  1. After subscribing to a text-to-give software solution, select your goal and project the goal in a visible location at your event. 
  2. Have the Master of Ceremonies announce the goal, then project the goal meter for the audience to see. Invite guests to contribute. Let your Master of Ceremonies use their charm and influence to inspire motivation to contribute. Perhaps have them entertain the audience or have various entertainment present performances between Master of Ceremonies requests for contributions.
  3. Assign a staff member or volunteer to add the check and cash donation totals to the Master of Ceremonies announcements. Ensure that the meter rises after each announcement so that the audience can see the significant impact these contributions have made.
  4. The last step is done after the event. Be sure to text everyone (using your text-to-give software solution) who participated by pledging during the text-to-give campaign. This generic text will provide the direct link for them to complete their donation. Be sure to use your fundraising software to collect your donations and track your donors simultaneously through your donor management system.