How to Host an Online Auction Fundraiser

Use this guide to help you get started with your online auction fundraiser.

online auction fundraiser

Hosting an auction is one way in which nonprofits and other organizations can raise money and reach their fundraising goals. Since large gatherings aren’t happening nearly as much right now, you have the option to help your organization maintain its fundraising efforts while allowing people to participate from their home if they wish.

If you’re waiting to host your next digital Chipotle fundraiser or want to host an online only event, online auction fundraisers can bring the same benefits of a normal auction but with more ease. By removing the need for a venue and other costs, hosting an online auction fundraiser might be a good choice for your school or nonprofit on its own or as a complement to your restaurant fundraiser. Keep reading to find out how to get started with your online auction fundraiser.

Steps to hosting a successful online auction fundraiser:

  1. Select your online platform
  2. Secure items
  3. Take pictures
  4. Set goals and marketing plan
  5. Plan event agenda

Select your online platform: To begin the planning process of your online auction, finding the right online platform to host your fundraiser is one key to success. There are many options to choose from, so make sure you do your research when selecting the one that will fulfill all of your online auction fundraising needs. For a helpful guide on 18 online silent auction software solutions to consider, check out this article.

Secure items: Ask local restaurants and businesses to donate items for your auction or give them to you at a discounted price. You can have a variety of both large and small items for supporters to bid on and don’t forget to include fun experiences like a dinner for two at a local restaurant. Work with members within your organization to tackle this step together by asking their networks for auction items. Be sure you know the market value of each item in order to determine the starting bid.

Take pictures: Once you’re able to secure all of the items in your online auction, take quality photos of them for auction and marketing purposes. Since people won’t be able to see your items in person, it’s important to capture them well on camera.

Set goals and marketing plan: Set your fundraising goals early to track the success of your online auction fundraiser. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this post to help you set and track your fundraising goals. Equally as important is making sure you have a marketing plan ahead of your online event. Utilize social media to spread the word and get people excited about your auction. You can even tease auction items to gain more interest. By keeping communication consistent and clear, your event promotion will gain more participation on the day of your event.

Plan event agenda: Though your auction is online and not in person, you will still need an agenda for how you want it to be structured. Having a plan and clear agenda will help the event run smoothly and provide a better guest experience. Set up live streaming ahead of time if someone from your organization wants to speak and write down the order of the items that will be up for auction. Being well organized and prepared in advance will set you up for success.

We hope that this guide was helpful in planning your organization’s online auction fundraiser! We encourage you to consider hosting a restaurant fundraiser either in conjunction with your online auction or ahead of it to allow supporters to help you reach your fundraising goals through a variety of options.