March 10, 2017 Don’t Forget the Driver!
Several years ago, mobile bidding burst onto the scene of fundraising. It started out as a tool for the silent auction and has progressed from use there to the Fund-A-Need and other portions of nonprofit fundraising events.
When using mobile bidding, all of the work by the nonprofit is done up front. In other words, the items are loaded into the system and packaged prior to the auction. This is different from the manual process where items are entered at the back end when the packages are sold. Mobile bidding can be a very pleasant experience for your event guests.
Most mobile bidding companies realize the importance of a professional fundraising auctioneer, especially during the Fund-A-Need portion of the evening. They most often recommend their clients use the mobile bidding platform in conjunction with a “hybrid” method for the Fund-A-Need. With the hybrid method, donors raise their bid card/paddle during the higher levels of ask, a public method of giving which encourages others to give. Many of these donors want to be seen giving and showing their support of the organization. At a point pre-planned by the organization and auctioneer, the donors are instructed to give via their smart phone (or a tablet or mobile device located on the tables). The auctioneer then works a thermometer, or PowerPoint slides, with the increasing amounts as they are raised. A professional fundraising auctioneer is skilled in doing this to the maximum benefit of the organization.
When determining if your event is ready to implement mobile bidding, it is important to keep in mind the demographics of your guests. If you have a majority of older attendees, your event might not be ready to introduce mobile bidding. However, if the largest portion of your guests are 60 years of age or younger, I advise you to bring it on! I do recommend you have bidding buddies in place event night, volunteers or staff who can assist those without a phone and/or who don’t understand how to this technology operates.
Pricing for mobile bidding is different from company to company with costs ranging from $10,000 to $1,000 or less, depending on which services your organization would like to purchase.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen nonprofits make? Spending their money to implement mobile bidding and cutting their budget for a professional auctioneer. Your auctioneer is one of the very few expense line items that generates additional money made at your event. I liken it to a mobile bidding application being the car at your event and the auctioneer being the driver. If you don’t have a driver, the car will not go anywhere.
No matter the method of bidding you facilitate, if you put a professional fundraising auctioneer behind the wheel you’ll get more money-making mileage out of your event! Contact C King Benefit Auctions today to learn how you can do just that.
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