There’s nothing as exciting as bidding at a live auction, with the auctioneer building up a frenzy as the audience battle it out to give the highest bid for the prized item. But online auctions are fast gaining popularity because of 3 powerful advantages: broader marketing reach, quantifiable results, and deeper donor engagement. The online auction is a powerful fundraising tool which your business could rely on as a new source of revenue that most cost and labor efficient, especially if yours is a nonprofit entity.
With the help of the Internet, online auctions break the barriers of time and geography and allow organizations to reach a broader market. By utilizing email lists, traffic from online advertising and social media platforms, the bidding pool is opened up to the whole world. Moreover, bidders are able to participate in the fundraising event without leaving the comforts of their homes and even have access to global methods of payments such as credit cards and Paypal. This payment option also opens up opportunities for sellers.
Online auctions also offer a more quantifiable value proposition to donors and sponsors. Valuable information on what item categories get the most bids, demographics of bidders, among others provide a map for improving your next auction.
For instance, in a 2006 bidder survey, it was found that an overwhelming majority (71%) of bidders are women, but the same statistic is underrepresented at live auctions as women tend to avoid the highly competitive environment of a live event and prefer to browse and bid from home. Your online auction is an excellent way to draw both female donors and bidders, especially if this is your brand’s target group.
Online auctions dramatically expand the marketing reach of organizations, creating a greater awareness of your cause, and, therefore, a deeper donor engagement. For-profit companies will be more willing to participate in fundraising projects to benefit nonprofits if not cash but product and services donations are involved. They will be eager to capitalize on provided online exposure and corporate philanthropy opportunity to support their corporate reputation.
One of our treasured client, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon, recently benefitted from their very first online charity auction, the Bid and Give Auction, which was spearheaded by Adwise Marketing from planning to implementation. Item solicitation was vastly improved because the Foundation had a better value proposition to the donors and sponsors. Moreover, the clickable link and logo of the participating commercial establishments resulted in a tremendous online exposure as well as an increase in awareness among an important demographic – donors who care about the Foundation’s cause.
The Bid and Give Online Auction was a powerful addition to the major event and contributed significantly to the overall success of the Kidney Walk BC, which was able to raise a whopping $368,808.65.
Holding a fundraising auction online will leverage the strengths of your brand, whether the event is purely virtual or tied up with an actual live auction. It is a marketing tool worthy of investing your time, resources and reputation.