3 Tips for Running a Great Online Auction


Holding an auction at your charity event is a really smart way to generate more revenue and make that overall fundraising number even higher. Auctions are not only a great way to fill up some space during the day of your event, build strong relationships with sponsors, and get guests excited about bidding–they can be a lot of fun! There are a couple formats that can be used for an auction: you can hold a silent auction online right from your site OR you could save the actual auction for the day of the event, and simply display the items as they come in. Both formats are awesome, it is just about choosing the one that is right for you. Either way, if the items are displayed ahead of time, the registrants will have the chance to get excited about what they plan to bid on. Plus, it all goes to a good cause and a lot of times this will inspire people to raise their bids.

Assuming you’ve chosen to hold an auction to enhance the FUN in your fundraising event, here are three tips that can help you ensure it is a success.

Tip #1: Reach out to potential sponsors and showcase the huge benefit of donating an item to your auction.

The sponsors are going to be key. This is where the items will come from, and the items are the star of the show. When communicating your request for auction items to a specific organization or company, you want to be sure to highlight the benefits of donating an item: how much exposure will the company get once they decide to donate? What will be included in their day of golf that will set them apart from just any registrant? You can give recognition at the auction, if you choose to hold a live one. You can display their logo on signs across the course, and most importantly, you can feature them prominently on your custom website. There is tremendous value in exposure for a company, and the more you make them feel important, the better the relationship will be. Often golf tournaments are annual, so building strong relationships for the future is key.

Tip #2: Advertise your items!

As you’ve already been made aware, there are two different types of auctions. If you have a silent auction, all the bidding will take place before the actual event. This can be a convenient format if you are looking to save time. The current bid is all that will be displayed, and then you can choose when to close the auction and announce the winners the day of. There are many benefits to this format and many tournaments choose this route. If you are looking to feature a full-blown auction during the day of your event, you can use the auction items page to provide your registrants with images and descriptions for each item. By doing this, you are getting guests excited about what will be offered. They can strategize which item they are going to bid on, how much money they intend to bring, etc. Getting people excited for your auction is a great way to raise more funds. You’ll already have people excited for the items to come, and you’ll be giving the sponsors even more exposure (see tip #1).

Tip #3: Have fun with it.

Last but not least, you want to make sure that your auction is fun for your sponsors and your guests. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? And ultimately the more fun people have bidding on items, the more your charity will make in the end. Keep it light-hearted, get a charismatic MC, and the items/bidders will take care of the rest!