Case Study: Paper Auction Support

July 29, 2021

ClickBid’s Silent Auction Services Are Ideal for In-Person Events—A Case Study

Exterior Event Space

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, nonprofits are heading back to the ballroom and holding in-person silent auction events to support their funding goals. This is amazing news for charities who want to meet with donors and encourage them to make financial commitments to their organization.

ClickBid is ready and able to help nonprofits make the transition back into the world of in-person fundraising. And we’ve already lent our expertise to several auctions, ensuring our clients meet their funding goals.

Unfortunately, many clients are confused about what we can do for them. Since 2002, we’ve helped thousands of charities raise money at in-person and even paper auction events.

So, instead of telling you how we do more than online auctions, we’ve decided to show you…

Wine/Spirit Pull

In July of this year, ClickBid worked with a local art center to support a paper auction through our services. It was an in-person outdoor art auction that wanted to hold a paper silent auction. A few months before the event, we assisted the organization in setting up a centralized location for their information—through an online landing page.

Wanting to create a fun, interactive, and easy process through which their donors could donate to the charity, we set up a website landing page that allowed donors to preview items, purchase tickets, submit auction item donations, learn about the event’s details, and make a monetary donation before the event. For six weeks before the event, we managed the project to ensure all of their client’s questions were answered and addressed while maintaining the technical features of the site.

Next up, we set up a place where the organization could manage their auction items including raffles, silent auction features, go live, and donations. Ultimately, we wanted to help them get everything set up so they could garner the maximum amount of donations. So, we included support for establishing their starting bids, minimum raise values, descriptions of items for auction, photos, exceptions, and more. Engaging with donors before they even step foot at the in-person event is crucial to the success of any event. For example, the previews enabled potential donors a chance to see what items were available and determine if they’d like to attend the in-person event. 

The Features & Tools We Used

From the landing page, we eventually morphed it into a complete and interactive experience for our client. For example, on the ticket page, the organization captured all the guest data, meal choices, and set up table assignments based on that information.

Another feature of the site was mass messaging via email and text. Each guest would receive their own set of instructions specific to the event to ensure there is no miscommunication. For example, with the event, they offered valet parking, so they set up an email to remind guests to pull up to the venue for complimentary valet services. 

Preparing For The Event & The Day Of

Before the event, the organization quickly printed both display cards and bid sheets for each item. Since the auction items were already set up in our system, the display cards were just a couple of clicks away and then off to the printer.

As soon as the guests arrived, the data along with the table assignment was already in the ClickBid system. Volunteers for the event simply had to look for a name, confirm their contact information and swiped a credit card automatically to send a welcome text message to complete it with a paddle number and table assignment. This served as a reminder to get donors to bid, bid, bid!

From there, bidding happened just like it always did. Bids were written down on the pre-printed bid sheets from the ClickBid site. For the raffle, the ClickBid team used the website and iPad Air devices to quickly input purchases. This simplified checkout for every donor at the event.

Also, payments are much easier, thanks to the setup. Purchasers paid with a stored credit card that they added at their check-in at the event. Removing this friction opened doors up to make sure donors and volunteers didn’t have to swipe credit cards for each purchase. 

Auction Checkout

After the auction, ClickBid entered each winning bid and bidder for the silent auction while the auctioneer ran the live auction and fund-a-need. The auction ended at 8:30 and check-out didn’t begin until 9:30. Fortunately, the ClickBid team was well prepared and ready to accept checkout by 9 pm. When checkout is ready for the first person (usually before the checkout time) there is less confusion for auction winners as things progress.

As the live auction and fund-a-need concluded, the winning bid and the donations were entered into a real-time data collection system on ClickBid, ensuring that checkout was smooth from start to finish. This saves time and reduces confusion for both volunteers and auction winners. All that volunteers had to do was locate the winning bidder for their live auction signature while the ClickBid team simply entered the winning bid from our seat right next to the speaker (to hear the auctioneer better).

Once the fund-a-need had ended, a checkout text message was sent to all the winners and donors to remind them to pay via their phone. This simplified the checkout because it allows anyone to pay from their phone instead of standing in line to process their payment with the help of volunteers. Instead, they simply had to go to the pickup table, grab their items, and be about their way. This greatly reduced the number of volunteers needed.

In addition to the above, the charity itself benefited from the data we procured. This data included items sold, to whom, and more importantly, the integration of Neon CRM allowing them to easily push all the sales back to their donor management system.

Reduce Volunteers for Your Next Silent Auction

Interested in learning more about how ClickBid can support your next auction? We provide support for both online silent auctions and in-person auctions.

Get a Demo of ClickBid and we’ll walk you through your next auction event!

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