Planning an auction takes a considerable amount of effort for nonprofits. Between procuring items, finding a venue to accommodate all of your guests, picking up bid paddles, and getting people to register, it can be hard to juggle the different parts of a great event.

Many nonprofits have turned to mobile bidding software and online tools to help them handle the stressors of hosting an auction event. Get rid of unnecessary papers and forms and use the convenience of a mobile app to organize your data and auction processes! Your data will be centralized and accurate. You’ll also save paper, have better records of donor activity, and encourage participation.

Whether you’re running a silent auction or a live auction, mobile bidding software can help you and your staff streamline event management while creating an enjoyable experience for your supporters. 

Still not convinced? Consider the following reasons mobile bidding might be just the thing your next auction needs:

  1. Item bidding and payment is streamlined.
  2. Busy supporters can bid even if they can’t attend the event.
  3. Attendees can focus more on the experience.
  4. It can reduce errors from manual data entry.
  5. Staff can manage entire event from a single place.

Look into a variety of mobile bidding tools and find the one that best fits your organization. Your best bet is to find a comprehensive solution that can handle all of the functions we are about to talk about.

 Let’s take a look at why you should add mobile bidding to your next auction event!

1. Item bidding and payment is streamlined.

One of the most stressful parts of attending an auction is scrambling around making sure you placed a bid on the item you want. Most traditional auctions will have some sort of system where bids are written on sheets of paper and submitted. Some auctions will involve a bidding paddle and guests have to call out offers as items are put on display.

When you’re a guest at an auction, you need to be fully present and always ready to place a bid on the item you’re watching. This way you can be there to out-bid anyone else who’s competing with you! If you’re not on high alert, you risk being outbid or missing out altogether. And if your bid is the highest and you receive the item, there’s still the added stress of figuring out the payment process and collecting your purchase.

With mobile bidding, auction guests can manage the entire experience from their mobile phones. This means they can:

  • Place bids without anxiety. On the mobile bidding app, attendees can search for items and place bids on them without being in a high-stress environment. They don’t have to leave their conversation or even set down their drink; updating their bid is as simple as swiping or tapping on their phone.  Additionally, some apps have QR code capability, meaning guests can scan an item QR code if they’re interested.
  • Prevent being outbid without the pressure. Guests can receive notifications when someone has outbid their offer. They can then quickly raise their bid without the added pressure of waiting in line at the item tables or meeting other bidders while they’re in the process of upping their offer. Instead, they can do it quickly and discreetly on the app! This can help raise more money for your nonprofit’s fundraiser as guests can increase bids with a touch of a finger instead of leaving their table to check the bids on their favorite items.
  • Complete payment for an item without a hassle. Attendees can add a payment method to the app, then easily complete their payment in a couple of steps. When the auction’s bidding period ends, attendees will get an alert on their phone. Paying for their won auction items (plus other purchases or donations) takes seconds. Then, on their way out, they can simply collect their items. Make sure the mobile bidding app you invest in has a reliable and secure payment processor. 

Auction guests can learn the mobile app interface in minutes with a quick video tutorial. Make their lives easier and facilitate auction bidding for all!

2. Busy supporters can bid even if they can’t attend the event.

Often, auction events are best experienced in person. Attendees are engaged in the experience and can interact with each other. However, as modern tech advances and the internet brings people from all over together, more event planners are considering ways to involve those who cannot physically attend the event. 

For example, many larger but more exclusive events now offer live streaming services so other people can experience it as well. This can happen for an unveiling of an innovative new product or for a wedding whose guests can’t travel to attend the ceremony. People who are interested want to experience the event but, for reasons like location or price, can’t actually attend.

Though your event isn’t quite the same as a social media wedding, your nonprofit fundraising auction can allow supporters to participate in the event without physically being there, too. With a mobile bidding app supporting your auction, busy donors can bid on items in real time no matter where they are. 

This isn’t just a feature that would attract tech-savvy millennials. Sometimes donors get busy or unforeseen circumstances will pop up. Make sure you allow all your supporters the chance to make a change with your fundraiser by bidding on an item, even if they’re sick or stuck without a babysitter.

3. Attendees can focus more on the experience.

It can be hard to really enjoy yourself at an event when you’re stressed about being at the bid tables in time to get the item you want. On top of that, you have to compete with those around you to make the highest bid! Being distracted for ten minutes or taking a food break could mean you lose out on that auction item you’d been eyeing!

However, here’s something to remember— sometimes, it’s not all about fundraising and placing bids. Many times, guests attend auctions because they want to support your nonprofit’s mission and have a good time. 

With an app-based auction and mobile bidding at your guests’ fingertips, you can provide an experience that’s more than just crowding around tables and fighting for bids. With a mobile bidding app, bidding is easy for attendees. They can bid on items and even get notified if they’re outbid, all without leaving their table! 

This way, attendees have more time to mingle and socialize with those around them and enjoy other aspects of the event. As the event organizer and host, you’ll be happy knowing that your  speakers, activities, and food are fully appreciated by your guests!

4. It can reduce errors from manual data entry.

One of the biggest benefits of moving away from paper bids and manual data entry is not having to worry about losing data and making avoidable errors. With a mobile solution, all bids and payments are tracked in your nonprofit’s database.

Look into mobile giving software that can integrate with your nonprofit’s constituent relationship management (CRM) system or donor database. This way, you can compile auction event engagements within your existing donor profiles and make new profiles. 

Make sure your data is completely centralized in your CRM so that your nonprofit doesn’t use inaccurate details when referring to your donors. This is especially important for nonprofits, as keeping up positive donor relationships is needed for continued support. 

5. Staff can manage entire events from a single place.

If your nonprofit hosts auctions often, you know that, on top of the specific needs of an auction, you have to consider the other processes involved in event management. Create an intuitive event registration process, provide an online auction event page, and more!

Instead of focusing your efforts on a mobile bidding tool to add onto your toolkit, consider a more comprehensive solution that can handle all the stages of a fundraising auction event. With your mobile bidding and auction software integrated with your CRM and other tools, you can view the entire event processes through a single, centralized platform

With the right silent auction platform, you can:

  • Streamline registration with custom fields;
  • Allow for multi-guest ticketing for convenience;
  • Give guests the option to invite their friends;
  • Track each guest’s bids and payments in real time;
  • Increase total funds with on-site purchases and add ons;
  • And more! 

Consider Qgiv’s list of auction software and pick a solution that can meet your nonprofit’s needs, integrate with your CRM, and have event management capability, all in one!

Both your event staff and auction guests will thank you when you introduce them to a mobile bidding app. Meet your supporters where they already are— their mobile phones. You’ll not only get a better sense of event processes in real-time, but you’ll also increase your fundraising and let guests bid with convenience.