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How to Run a Successful Silent Auction

Posted by Ashley Shaw on 6/17/15 2:10 PM


Silent auctions have more power than many might think. Non-profit organizations looking to raise funds for important causes use silent auctions as their main tool.

However, what makes a silent auction successful? There are many answers to this question including how guests check-in and bid to how they check-out and pay for the items they’ve won. In short, the guests drive the event so pleasing them is of highest importance.

Knowing how to run a silent auction can mean the difference in thousands of dollars raised and an event that falls flat.

How To Plan And Organize Your Silent Auction

A successful silent auction always starts with planning and preparation to ensure everything goes as desired when big night arrives.

TIP: Instead of breaking down your planning process into detailed groups according to certain parts of the silent auction, focus on a timeline to make sure tasks are being completed on time.

Name a committee chair and committee board. In order to have an successful organized silent auction, there must be a group in charge of putting the event together. Every detail from the auction items to the venue location is decided by the committee chair and board. In most cases, the workload is split between the committee board to ensure each person as goals and tasks that need to be completed.

TIP: In order to stay in contact with every member of the event committee board, create an email sharing list where every member can see progress or tasks completed no matter where they are.

Secure a location, date and time. These details are ideally set at least six months before the silent auction event to ensure the venue is reserved.

Find an online bidding service. Choosing a company like GiveSmart to provide secure online bidding service for your silent auction event will not only make the night a success, but will provide guests with a unique and innovative fundraising experience.

GiveSmart provides nonprofit organizations a way to raise more with technology-driven mobile bidding software. From start to finish, GiveSmart provides nonprofits with a team of expert support staff to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Create marketing campaign for auction. Getting the word out about a nonprofit's silent auction takes months of marketing throughout the community, on social media and through local news outlets. With successful marketing for a silent auction, the event will be packed full of generous donors who want to support an important cause.

TIP: Companies like GiveSmart provide an event website that will act as the official resource for guests to retrieve information about a nonprofit’s silent auction including location, times, changes in event details, etc.

Secure and organize auction items. A silent auction isn’t a successful auction without items for guests to bid on. Securing auction items at least three months before the event will allow a nonprofit and its committee board to market those items on the event website as well as on social media.

Create event materials for guests. As the event approaches, the final touches should be placed on the big night including bidding sheets and programs that give guests details on each item up for auction on event night.

Wait for the big night. The final preparation in place to ensure a successful silent auction is confidence. As a nonprofit, make sure everyone involved is confident in a successful evening. As guests begin to arrive, they’ll see the hard work involved and feel confident when they bid or donate to your important cause.

Running A Successful Silent Auction

As the night begins for a nonprofit’s silent auction, there are a few ways to make sure the event is successful and goes as planned.

GiveSmart’s support team is on hand to provide guidance to all guests from technical troubleshooting to helping guests find their tables. With technology playing a huge role in the success of a silent auction, it’s imperative to have support teams available to assist guests with check-ins and check-outs.

As guests arrive, they’ll register and check-in on their mobile devices, encouraging ease and flexibility to guests no matter when they arrive. As they bid and begin to check-out, secure software provides guests with secure electronic payment submissions.

Planning for Your Next Silent Auction

Like many nonprofit organizations, silent auction and fundraising events happen often to ensure a continuous supply of donations for the organization. As the silent auction comes to a close, think about the success of future auctions.

GiveSmart allows nonprofits to analyze exact details of their silent auction night to plan differently for the future. From top bidders to which items were the biggest hit, the information helps organizers figure out what worked, what didn’t and what needs to be added to the event in the coming years.

For more information on how to improve the success of your nonprofit’s silent auction, contact GiveSmart at 855.322.4483.

Topics: Tips and How To's

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