The coronavirus has transformed the way that we live our lives. Most schools are closed and our children are learning from home.
While we search for a new normal, those who raise funds for things like band uniforms and field trips are facing a new obstacle. The safety measures that keep us safe from COVID-19 prevent so many traditional fundraising opportunities.
However, thanks to virtual fundraising, it’s still possible to raise the cash your organization needs. If you’re asking yourself, “How do I do an online fundraiser auction?” AIM is here to help with these fundraising auction ideas
Finding the Right Online Auction Partner for your Parent Teacher Group
Instead of creating your own auction website, there are plenty of online auction fundraising sites ready to create and maintain your web presence. Here are a few to check out:
OneCause: This site will host the various items you have up for auction, as well as a countdown clock to let people know when the auction begins. It also enables you to share your auction via social media.
Snowball Fundraising: This service creates fully customizable and simple to use donation pages, as well as online, email and smartphone payment methods.
ClickBid: With just one clickable link, potential bidders can easily be part of your online auction. Plus, they offer a Fund-A-Need display that allows you to track and display total bids.
Select the Items Up for Bid
Whether you have items that have already been donated or are purchasing them yourself, keep in mind that the best items – for now – will be prizes that will last for some time, can be shipped or even used at a later date when the lockdown is over.
We recommend gift certificates or cards, wine, classes, event tickets, and gift baskets. Your online auction is the perfect opportunity to support small businesses, particularly ones that have donated to your group in the past.
TIP: As you decide on the price of your starting bids, set them between 25% and 50% of their market value. Don’t forget to include shipping in the cost.
Get the Word Out
Just like a real event or auction, you should use email, your webpage, and social media pages to build excitement.
You may want to consider sharing our information on the high-ticket items before the event begins. Daily reveals over five days will create conversation and get your supporters ready to start bidding.
Become a Virtual Auctioneer
While your online auction partner will handle the business end, you still need to keep your audience up to date and interested in the auction.
Most bidding will happen during the first 48 hours. However, a steady stream of info from you will help keep people invested. Plan on posting more before the auction begins and in the last 12 hours to encourage last minute bids.
How long should an online auction last? Most experts advise 7-10 days.
TIP: Make your items up for bid exciting with great photos and well-written descriptions that include info like sizes, measurements, expiration dates, and any other instructions.
Deliver Those Prizes
Provide touchless delivery for local winners. Otherwise, normal shipping rules will apply. If your prizes are coming directly from a donator, they may be handling the shipping.
Don’t Forget About Insurance…
Virtual auctions don’t limit liability or risk. There is still the risk of embezzlement, stolen auction items, or directors and officers being sued for mismanagement, misrepresentations, dissemination of false or misleading information or inappropriate actions.
AIM is here to help. We offer affordable insurance programs – specifically tailored to the needs of parent teacher groups like yours – that will protect you from potentially catastrophic financial losses.
AIM is here to help your organization succeed. Check out our other blogs for fundraising inspiration, tips, PTA, PTO, or Booster Club guidance, and more!