The Stay-At-Home Auction
We’re witnessing a small movement towards “Stay-at-home auctions”. More and more, the cost of putting on a big event can outweigh the benefits for smaller organizations, schools, and churches, so they’re trying something new.
Putting on an annual fundraising gala is a hefty amount of work—with venues to scout, auctioneers to hire, and dozens of volunteers to find and organize. And don’t forget about entertainment, a program, and dinner! Sometimes you can’t help feeling like your mission—fundraising—is overshadowed by the responsibility of event planning.
How can the Stay-At-Home Auction help?
Imagine eliminating the venue, dinner, and program entirely—and focusing all your efforts on raising money. That is the Stay-At-Home Auction.
There are two ways to hold a Stay-At-Home Auction: a purely online auction or a hybrid event using mobile bidding.
The Stay-At-Home Auction is a mobile bidding event, minus the actual, physical event!
The No-Hassle Fundraiser
The No-Hassle Fundraiser is completely online, removing the need for a live event (and a venue, and a band, and everything else). Guests no longer need to dress-up or call a babysitter—they simply bid from a computer or smartphone in your online auction and the bidding is still fun and competitive!
Many schools have begun holding No-Hassle Fundraisers to cut costs, focus on fundraising, and expand bidding to parents and grandparents who can’t attend a live event.
The Hybrid Auction
For those who are not comfortable with eliminating the in-person event entirely, the hybrid auction combines mobile bidding at a live event with the option to bid off-site, allowing anyone who can’t attend to get involved from the comfort of their own home.
If mobile bidding is new to you, here are the essentials: it gives guests the ability to place bids in a silent auction via a mobile device, instead of crowding around pen-and-paper bid sheets. Guests may place maximum bids, allowing them the freedom to walk away from an item after bidding and continue browsing, and receive automatic notifications when they’ve been outbid.
To include off-site guests, simply extend mobile bidding to anyone who wants to participate, or set up a separate online auction. This option is great for involving bidders who live out of state or even in another country.
Promoting Your Stay-At-Home Auction
The key to holding a Stay-At-Home Auction is the same as for any live event—promotion. Attendance can be just as high, if not higher, for an online-only auction. And with fewer costs, your profit has the potential to bloom.
Be sure to create a Facebook event for your auction, invite members of your community, and spread the word to the greater community. With no black-tie dress code or tickets to buy, anyone can participate in your auction. Invite the world to help you raise money!