7 Tips for Creating the Best Auction Packages: From Nonprofits like you
Our goal at BetterUnite is to help you do more good. Whatever that good is: from rescuing animals, saving the ocean, funding medical research, to saving the whole world. We want to help you do it. It’s our heart. With hundreds of nonprofit online and live auctions held using our platform, we have come across some nonprofits who have created wonderful packages and we’ve learned a few things from them.
We gathered these 7 tips for creating the best auction packages for your organization. We hope that these help your next auction raise more money for your cause than ever before.
1. Talk to your Potential Buyers
Chat with your committee, recurring event attendees or board members to figure out things that they might be interested in purchasing. Do they know some current popular vacation locations? What is the demographic going to be in the room? What things are their friends interested in? Many of your donors attend different events around the area and may be able to tell you what they have seen that has sold well. Talking to your potential buyers also warms them up for what to expect and helps them to feel ownership. They will want to be more engaged in the auction because they helped create it! Brainstorm tons of ideas and then organize.
2. Build a List
Build your list of desired packages or items. Don’t worry if it’s really long, you will narrow it down and tweak it as you go. Make sure to include everything that you will need to complete the package even if you haven’t gotten it donated or know where you can get it from (we will address that in a bit). This list should be broken down into categories which will make it easier for you later on. If you are a BetterUnite partner, in your Auction Action Center is a downloadable csv file with all the information you will need to collect and you can use it to upload all of your auction items later on.
3. Decide on your Donation Process
For every donation you get, you will need to collect certain information such as the value, description, photos, how you will get it, redemption information, donor name, etc. How are you going to collect this information from the people donating those things and where will that information be stored? Also, the people who win these items will need receipts for tax purposes (within BetterUnite, you can log these as offline, in-kind donations on their donor records). It’s best to create your system for gathering and storing this information from the beginning.
4. Brainstorm with your Team/Board/Committee for Connections
Talk with your committee and team about the different items that you need and ask them to think about their connections. Are there any businesses that they know who could provide the exact items or something similar? Do they have any family or friends that could potentially donate? It never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no and in the scheme of things, that’s not bad at all because they are still hearing about your event and your cause!
5. Start Soliciting
You have your list of items and now you also have a list of people or businesses who may be able to donate those items. Pick the person who you think will be the best person to ask or who will fill out any online donation forms. Keep track of who is asking for what and be sure that they have all the tools they need. Some of the things you will need to have handy for many of the asks will be: an event description, overview of what your nonprofit does, your 501c3 designation letter, and sometimes more.
6. Create Your Auction Packages
Because you put in all the work up front, this part should be really easy. You can use BetterUnite’s upload feature or create each package if you used our template csv file or something similar. HERE is a link to some easy instructions on how to create a package in your auction with some best practices tips! Don’t worry, BetterUnite can help you with all of this if you so choose, and as always, these tools are free for you to use!
7. Make the Bidding Thing, the Easy Thing
This might be the simplest of all when you use BetterUnite’s software. The user experience, ie. your bidders’ experience, will be so simple and beautiful. You need to make bidding on auction items extremely easy with outbid texts, your ability to show lots of photos and even videos with your packages, and simple access for your guests. Sign up for a tour of our auction software and/or complete event functionality today!
The proof is in the pudding as they say (whomever “they” are). We've seen some incredible auction packages that have raised millions of dollars for our partners over the years. Hopefully these 7 tips for creating the best auction packages will help you to raise a ton of money for your cause. If you’d like to check out our BetterUnite auction module, schedule your free demo today! Let’s go do some good!