Since we're discussing auctions it seemed a great time to introduce a relatively new service in the world of Auctions. BlueTree Marketing now offers charity organizations, schools and churches and turnkey solution to efficiently take their fundraising efforts online. This week I received an email from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association regarding their annual fundraiser. Since they are a national charity, many, many donors cannot attend the annual dinner celebration at their HQ. For the first time they are using BlueTree and now all donors can participate in the auction portion of the event. And with large ticket, incredible items like the Stars and Stripes boat ride with hotel accommodations it's nice to have a larger pool to draw from.
Below are ten tips to a great online auction provided by BlueTree. If you're in the non-profit sector their site is definitly worth checking out. Enjoy!
Top 10 Online Fundraising Auction Tips For 2010
1. Market Your Online Auction – Use multiple communications channels to market your online auction. Make sure to incorporate email, social media, and local radio and television stations into helping market your online
2. Solicit Sponsorships - The revenue generated from sponsorships is exempt from any fees and can help offset expenses for your online auction. Remember that you can give back to your sponsors by putting their name and logo in front of desirable supporters, on your auction home page and in your emails.
3. Find The Right People - List the job functions required for your online auction, then enlist help from people with skills that match your requirements.
4. Creative and Informative Item Descriptions - Make sure your item names are descriptive, but also intriguing and interesting. Remember to also include detailed descriptions that include all terms and conditions.
5. Set Reasonable Starting Bids - Inflating opening bids and values will not result in higher bids or revenue if they are unreasonable. It is generally best to start the bidding at approximately one-third of the actual item value.
6. Stagger The Addition of New Items – Instead of listing all of your auction items when the online auction opens, try staggering the addition of new items. This encourages return visits to the auction site, and also allows you to stagger opening and closing dates.
7. Promote Your Online Auction – Throughout the duration of your online auction make sure to constantly
promote your auction to supporters, donors, and members through email and social media platforms.
8. Solicit Specific Auction Items - Tell people what auction items you are looking for and the approximate value range desired.
9. Use Reserve Prices on Key Items – Make sure to set reserve prices on any items that are purchased or on
consignment so you don’t lose money. Also, always set reserve prices on any items that a donor requires cannot be sold for less than a certain amount.
10. Recognize Donors – Show your appreciation to donors by providing recognition and links on items that they have donated.