Silent Auction Tips

The Benefits of Mobile Silent Auctions: 3 Top Advantages

Learn how mobile bidding technology can drive more results and more revenue for your organization
Learn how mobile bidding technology can drive more results and more revenue for your organization

So, you are looking to change up your event and add a new component. You’ve thought about adding technology in the past but were nervous that your guests were not ready and your Board would not approve the cost.  

Maybe you’ve heard that other organizations have increased their auction revenue and raved about the guest experience. Or, maybe you have experienced mobile bidding for yourself and you are now sold on it… but you are not sure how to convince your board or committee.

To do that, start by informing them of these three main benefits.

What Are the Benefits of a Hosting a Silent Auction?

As an organization that has used silent auctions as a method for fundraising, we can confidently say that it is a highly beneficial way for non-profits to make money.

1. Low Cost

One of the main reasons for this is the low cost involved in organizing such an event. While traditional fundraising methods may only reach those who attend our events or are aware of our cause, silent auctions can attract individuals who may not have otherwise been involved with our organization. This is because silent auctions are often open to the public and can be promoted through various channels such as social media, word of mouth, and online platforms.

2. Connection with Donors

Another advantage of silent auctions is that they provide an opportunity for donors to feel more personally connected to the cause. By bidding on items or experiences that align with their interests and values, donors are able to make a direct impact and feel like they are contributing in a meaningful way. This personalized approach also allows us to build stronger relationships with our donors, leading to potential long-term support and further involvement in our mission.

Ultimately, silent auctions have proven to be effective in building long-term relationships with donors. By offering tangible items or experiences in exchange for donations, it creates a sense of reciprocity and appreciation among donors. This positive experience encourages them to continue supporting the organization in the future.

Image of Asian man wearing blue long sleeve button-up closing his eyes and touching his heart. He looks really happy and emotional.

3. Cause Awareness

Additionally, successful silent auction events often garner media attention and word-of-mouth promotion, increasing awareness about the non-profit's cause and attracting potential donors in the long run. Overall, we strongly believe that incorporating silent auctions into our fundraising efforts has been crucial in helping us achieve our goals while also establishing lasting connections with our supporters.

What Are the Benefits of a Mobile Bidding for Silent Auctions?

If you've never run a silent auction before, just trust us when we say that the paper and pen method will make your head spin. There are too many reasons to list here (don't fret – they're listed in another blog post on the benefits of mobile bidding), but for this article, we'll focus on the positive for now. Here's some top reasons why using mobile bidding will make your silent auctions:

1. Increase revenue

Ok, it's not a guarantee, but we would be shocked if you didn’t see a marked increase in auction revenue. Provided you don’t shoot yourself in the foot, mobile bidding will increase your revenue for the following reasons:

  • You can keep your auction open longer and give your guests more time to bid. Your guests can bid before they arrive…. Even days before the event if you open the auction to prebidding. You can also close the auction closer to the end of the event as you won’t need to spend a bunch of time calculating bid sheets.
  • Your guests will stay connected to the auction. With paper bid sheets, your bidders are not able to bid unless they are physically standing over them. With mobile bidding, bidders can bid from anywhere and will also be instantly notified when they are outbid.  
  • You can lower your starting bids and bid increments and get your bidders into the game sooner. Your bidders are not likely to walk over to a bid sheet to outbid someone by $5. But that is easy to do on their phone. With lower bid increments, your bidders will bid more; and at some point, they will care more about winning the item than the price they are paying!  

2. Eliminates errors (and cheating…?)

Screenshot of Handbid app on iPhone. The screen shows live bids from the perspective of a silent auction attendee and shows the items they’ve bid, some they’ve won, and some they’ve lost with associated monetary value.

Unless you are one of the lucky ones whose bidders have really neat handwriting, you are likely to have a few bid sheets you can’t read (especially if your guests spill wine on them… yep.. We’ve seen that too). Or, maybe you have experienced the well-intentioned but sinister bidder who steals a bid sheet, physically blocks people from writing down a bid or steals the pens (yes.. Seen that too!).  

In either of these cases, you won’t have to strain your eyes to determine if that is a one or a seven. All of the bids will be recorded electronically and your bidders may (should) have a card on file you can run at the end to secure bids.  

3. Expands reach to a broader audience

Donate with Money in the Hand Icon - Red Button on Black Computer Keyboard.Image of a black keyboard with one of the keys is red and has an icon of a hand giving money, with text that reads “donate”

As we discussed earlier, mobile bidding can increase your revenue at the event and eliminate mistakes; but it can also increase your reach. You have the opportunity to connect with bidders all over the world - which is another way to increase your revenue.

While that may initially raise a concern that people “you don’t know” are bidding your items, ask yourself if you would rather see 2-3x more revenue on an item if you allow remote bidders. We had one client who opened up their auction to remote bidding, promoted their auction on Handbid, and saw their auction go from $23k on paper to $115k on Handbid!

Don't just take our word for it! Check out our in-depth analysis on different mobile bidding software.

Are you ready to make your case?

We gave you three great reasons to consider mobile bidding for your next auction event, but there are many more reasons why. Check out our full list of features and benefits.

We are also ready to help you build your case when you are! Please reach out to us to chat more about your event and we can help you with your presentation and help you prepare for any objections you anticipate.

Whether you're in the process of building out your fundraising event or just getting started, make sure to check out our Complete Guide for Smarter Fundraising!

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