What is a charity auction?

Charity auctions are a great way to fundraise. Everyone has heard of, seen, or participated in a charity auction. They have become a piece of the furniture for all types of fundraising events from gala dinners to golf days. It’s a chance for the supporters to give something to the charity whilst receiving something special themselves.

To maximise your fundraising success, it is imperative to choose the right auction format that complements your charity event. Charity auctions take form as a silent auction, live auction, and online auction. The best auction type will depend on your event, event size, target audience, and of course what items you want to include in your auction. You may even want to combine all 3 charity auction forms to your event!

how to organise an online auction - example

3 most popular charity auction types

Silent Auctions

These are auctions at live events that that place in the background throughout the entirety of the evening. It usually consists of a wide range of auction lots differing in price points and topics ensuring there is something for everyone if they choose to get involved. There are two possible methods, the first is more traditional and is a ‘paper brochure’ which your guests will bid by writing an amount on the item included in the brochure. The second is through a live system which displays the bids on a leaderboard, this takes place via iPads. Superstars can offer both methods!

Live Auctions

Live auctions are hosted by an auctioneer and are a ‘live performance’ to your event. It is a high energy method was an auctioneer will present auction items while guests place bids by raising panels or vocally placing their bids. This form of auction is very competitive for the big spenders in the room and can be great entertainment for other guests.

Online Auction

An online auction is currently the way to go! Being unable to organise an event due to Covid – 19 has made it tricky for charities to offer their usual events and auctions. This auction style is the answer as it’s essentially a digital silent auction. It’s a great way for supporters to browse items from the comfort of their own home and straightforward to get involved. It also gives the charity a chance to reach a larger audience than usual due to the auction taking place over an extended period.

So how does an online auction work?

Online auctions are provided using a very clever platform, the platform allows you to create an auction page and send it out to as many people as possible to get involved and support your charity. The benefits of our online auctions mean that it’s fully customisable to match your branding and we also help by supplying products alongside any items you may have. Once the link has been sent out you watch the bids roll in until the final cut of time, at this point all the winning bidders get an email informing them that they’ve been successful along with a link to pay… it’s that simple!
Superstars partnership with Jumblebee allows us to offer you this service for free, removing any risk to the charity. The benefits of an online auction are that there is no time limitation, therefore biddings can begin and close on the dates of your choice. Running an online auction over several days increases the chances for more people to get involved and the potential to raise more and if you want to extend the bidding period you can!

How can an online auction raise money?

Online auctions success is reliant on how much you promote your auction. We recommend sending out all communications via email, social media, family and friends to help spread the word on your auction and to drive as much traffic to the site. The good thing about Superstars products is that there is a huge variety that fits any audience, you never know what you might find! The more promotion you provide your auction the more people will see it!

How will my winners receive their auction items?

Superstars really are with you from start to finish! We will take payments for any items and ship any Superstars items out to your winning bidders. We also have an in-house bookings team who will send out vouchers to your winning bidders and will organise booking their experience.

How to organise your charity auction

Putting together an event can be challenging, especially the charity auction element as it’s arguably the most important aspect.  Superstars provide a fully tailored auction management service to ensure a more efficient and profitable auction. You will have a dedicated account manager who will help you manage the charity auction from start to finish all free of charge.

Here’s a quick break down on how Superstars take away the stress of event planning.

1. Your dedicated Account Manager will discuss your event brief and will help advise the most suitable bidding style for your event, paper brochures, or electronic bidding.
2. Once we have agreed on the most suitable bidding style, we will work together to create a product list suitable to your guests attending, complementing any items your supporters have already kindly donated. This is the most important element to any auction – if you don’t have the correct product it will have a direct impact on how much you raise!
3. On the night, your account manager will be there to manage the auction process. Superstars will also provide professional event staff to help and assist on the evening.
4. All payments, shipping, and administrative work will be taken care of by Superstars.
5. The next working day you will receive a full breakdown of the auction detailing what sold, how much for, who were the successful bidders, payment, and item status.

Pre COVID-19, Superstars would be attending hundreds of charity events every year, with last year reaching over 350! With the current circumstances in the world, the fundraising and hospitality sector has been severely hit hard. Therefore, we have opted to using the platform of our partner company, jumblebee, and transferred everything online!

In conclusion

Superstars will be with you every step of the way to help you reach your fundraising goals. With the second lockdown here and no live events taking place for the foreseeable future, Online Auctions are currently the only option. Superstars will continue to work hard to maximise your charities fundraising during these difficult times.