If you are unfamiliar with mobile bidding technology, it’s software that allows people at your silent auction to bid on items using their phone or a tablet.
Here’s how it works.
Set up your silent auction the way you normally would. Display your items on tables, arranged in whatever way works best for your nonprofit and event attendees.
Each item should be displayed with an item number and description, but don’t put out those paper bid sheets!
Instead, your guests will peruse the auction in person and then sign-in to the auction online using their phone or tablet. All the bidding takes place electronically.
Attendees can even set max bids for the items they bid on and the program will continue to bid for them until the max bid is reached. At which point, your guest receives a text message telling them that the max bid has been reached and offering them the choice to increase it if desired. They can also choose to receive text message alerts when they are outbid on an item.
What I really love about this technology is that it allows you to keep the silent auction open longer than you typically would.
At most events, the silent auction closes before dinner. This is necessary because it takes the staff and volunteers a lot of time to process all the bids and paperwork involved in a silent auction.
With mobile bidding technology you can comfortably leave your auction open until the rest of your live auction activities have concluded. And there’s less work for your staff. No more checking and validating bids by hand.
You should know that your nonprofit will likely not see an increase in silent auction revenue the first two years you use mobile bidding technology. All technology has a learning curve and it’s going to take your employees, volunteers, and guests some time to get familiar with it. However, in the third, fourth, and fifth years after you implement this technology your silent auction revenue should really start to take off.
Even if it doesn’t, I recommend that nonprofits everywhere get on board with mobile bidding technology. Donors are getting younger and younger. Before you know it millennials will be your primary donors, and millennials love technology.
Mobile bidding technology is a game changer, allowing nonprofits to keep their silent auctions open later and remove some of the stress on already taxed nonprofit staff. It may seem intimidating at first, but give it a try. You won’t regret it.