Thanks to mobile technology and the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, Nonprofits can improve the way they manage both the process and success of their fundraising auctions. Mobile bidding is a paperless system for managing and running auction events and it enhances the experience for both guests and volunteers.
There are a number of advantages to incorporating mobile bidding into your next event:
1. Less hassle
When auctions use paper systems, donors have to be in the auction table area in order to view items and write down bids. With mobile bidding, donors can bid from their seats or wherever they happen to be in the room. This allows them to socialize with other guests and participate in the auction at the same time; and they don’t have to push through crowds to make bids.
When bids have to be made at the auction tables, donors are less likely to follow up later and continue participating, especially if they are having a good time socializing and mingling at your event. Mobile bidding allows you to send alerts to supporters’ devices when they’ve been outbid, and donors can then place a new bid without having to leave their spot. This convenient feature encourages donors to keep bidding for the items they want when they’ve been outbid without having to rush back to find the item and bid sheet on the table in the silent auction area.
3. Simplify check in and check out
At most auctions, donors have to spend time waiting in long lines in order to check in and out of the event. Mobile bidding allows guests to complete this process on their smartphone or tablet, which means no lines. Donors will have more time to enjoy your event, and you might even need fewer volunteers to help run your auction.
4. Minimize manual data entry and errors
Paper systems require volunteers to manually enter bids into a database or spreadsheet, which is time-consuming and can lead to errors. Mobile-bidding software records every bid for you, minimizing the amount of data-entry your team has to do manually. Not only is this convenient, but it also prevents data-entry mistakes such as typing in the wrong number or reading a donor’s handwriting incorrectly.
5. More bidding
Traditionally, only those who attended your event could participate in the auction. Since mobile bidding is a web-based app, any supporter with an internet connection can place bids – even if they can’t make it to the event – allowing you to target a larger audience when advertising the event. This is especially helpful when some of your biggest donors are unable to attend your auction.
6. Raise more money
Donors appreciate convenience, and mobile bidding makes it so convenient to participate that it encourages donors to bid more on auction items throughout the entire event. Some Nonprofits have reported up to a 30% increase in revenue.
**Concerns with Mobile Bidding**
The biggest concern is that not everyone has (or will bring) a smartphone, tablet or other compatible device to the event.
However, this problem can be easily solved by having extra devices for donors to use at the event. There are mobile-bidding agencies who can provide you with phones, tablets or kiosks, and all you have to do is train your volunteers to assist donors who are not familiar with the technology.
When advertising and sending out invitations, inform donors that your auction will use mobile bidding (and that extra devices will be available at the event).
Although still a relatively new system for running auctions, mobile bidding is quickly becoming the preferred choice in place of paper systems. With mobile bidding you can improve the efficiency of your auction event, make bidding more convenient and raise more money.