Demystifying the Mobile Bidding Fundraiser

Demystify Mobile Bidding

Greater Giving Mobile Bidding is a paperless way to manage bidding at your next fundraising auction. Hundreds of our client organizations are utilizing mobile bidding for one simple reason: they raise more! Guests pull out their smartphones and seamlessly mobile bid from anywhere at an event. The tool enables organizations to: pre-register guests; reduce long check-in and check-out lines; eliminate paper bid sheets; and minimize manual data entry– creating a more interactive guest experience. While mobile bidding is no longer the next big thing, there are still plenty of fundraisers who are unsure about taking the leap.

Let’s demystify this, shall we:

Need To Hire a Team (you don’t need to pay a team)

Mobile Bidding events can be ‘self-run’ by the organization or school, meaning no professionals were paid to come in and set-up/run mobile bidding; it’s purely run and managed by volunteers and staff. In fact, the essence of mobile bidding is that it can easily be managed by an organization without hiring a third party to run it for them. Of the hundreds of mobile bidding events we did last year, roughly 80% of those were self-run. If you want professional event or technical support for your mobile bidding event, we’ve got you covered too– you have options!

So How Does It Work? (in a nutshell)

  1. Solidify your venue and do your check: its important at this step to understand (before signing the contract) what kind of cell reception your venue has; whether they offer WiFi for free or not (this is always negotiable); and how fast the connection is.  Take your cell phone to the room where you will host your event and test the reception. If you’re set on a venue and connectivity is an issue, consider bringing hotspots as back-ups.
  2. Create your project website and allow guests to pre-register their credit cards using Online Payments so they can fly through check-in.
  3. Visit your Event Dashboard on Greater Giving’s Event Software to set up bid numbers, tables, enter items, create packages, and import supporters.
  4. Customize your event with sponsor logos, leaderboard display, and Storefront items.
  5. Play with Greater Giving Go Time so you are familiar with it on event night.
  6. Review announcement information that you can either push out to guests via text message, or you can display to volunteers on Go Time screens.
  7. Assign tables and meals.
  8. Assign Bid Assistants and determine high-traffic areas (e.g. near bar) where they can be available for anyone who needs help with bidding. Establish a charging station area (aka “juice bar”) and assign a Bid Assistant to help guests bid while charging their phone.
  9. Write down this number and save it in your cell phone: Greater Giving Support (866) 269-8151. Your fundraiser is so important to us, we’re here for you during your event– day or night.

The Less Tech-Savvy (bid assistants- yes please)

Yep, there are those who are less tech-savvy, don’t own smartphones, or may experience a digital generation gap. The last thing you want to do is cause valued donors to feel left out, and that’s why Bid Assistants are key to a successful mobile bidding event. Bid Assistants are volunteers with tablets placed strategically around your event, who act as friendly “help stations” for anyone with a puzzled look on his/her face. They can also encourage people who don’t seem engaged to bid by letting them know what great items are still available.  The more gregarious the better– wallflowers need not apply.

Do you have a high profile donor that may need extra support? Assign this VIP guest his/her own Bid Assistant for the entire event to make sure they are able to easily participate. If possible, have that Bid Assistant be someone who has personally benefited from your organization– win-win.


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