How to encourage bidding at your auction

So you decided to undertake a charity auction at your event.   You have worked hard to get the auction list just right for your supporter base; you have got a good balance between experiences, holidays and memorabilia and you have thought hard about your audiences and what their likes are, their age range and approximately how much you think they would spend in one night.  Haven’t you?

And now it is the night of the big event.  How do you ensure that all the planning will lead to a bumper amount of money being raised? 

Bidding is the key to filling the coffers at any fundraising auctions. The more excitement in the room, the more people get involved in the bidding process, the more bids are made and the more money will be raised.

This means that encouraging bidding should be a top priority and why it is important to consider a professional auctioneer or MC right from the outset.

Ezybidz uses an electronic auction system which in itself leads to a novel way of bidding at an event.  People either use their mobile phone or tablet to view items and place bids.

Using an electronic bidding system is the simplest way to encourage bidding in an electronic (silent) auction. Supporters get involved in the excitement, fun and ease of bidding on their phone.

Rivalry can be a great way of increasing the amount paid on an item and in electronic auction, supporters will be notified when they are outbid encouraging them to bid again.

When bidders want to beat the competition as well as win the item, a win at all costs mentality is created and when other people are watching it is only human nature to become more competitive.

Ezybidz displays a leader board with all current winning bidders and this itself is a great way to leverage social pressure as bidders can watch their bid and if and when someone trumps them.

It’s important to create a sense of urgency which will encourage guests to bid as they feel they might miss out if they don’t act quickly. Electronic bidding increases this sense of urgency with its outbid notices and countdown clock.

Planning for a successful event also includes considering how to maximise income generated at this one time or once a year event.

Contact enquiries@ezybidz.com.au for further details.

Engaging an Australian audience at your charity auction

 

Fundraising events are a mainstay in your world, but they can take a lot of time, money and effort to pull off. One of the most important things to make your charity auction a success is to provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to get involved with your organization. Until people are connected and engaged with you—and passionate about your cause—your own fundraising goals alone are not compelling enough.

Your audience will determine what will and will not work in your fundraising auction and therefore how much money you will raise. Anyone in the industry can tell you to research your audience and cater to their tastes, and this is an important process in preparing for a fundraising auction. Ezybidz has many years’ experience working with a wide range of fantastic charities and organisations around Australia and we know the needs and demands of your fundraising audience. We offer free of charge fundraising-consultation to make sure that you event is a success!

There is often demand for home-grown items from Australia’s prolific sporting culture and items linked to our history. These categories of auction items are basics due to their nostalgic appeal to an Australian audience. While you may find the odd baseball or ice hockey fan in Australia, these sports don’t compare in popularity with cricket or football, for example.  Put simply, the more popular the item, the more bidding attention it receives. Guests attending fundraising events in Australia are however more and more characterised by an increased spend on unique holidays and experiences rather than products. Ezybidz can supply amazing experiences like our Incredible Golfing Experience, tickets to the upcoming Rugby World Cup or a private villa in Tuscany.

Catering to the majority of your charity event’s guests by including some popular Holiday destinations as well as Experiences will lead to more competition in your live and silent auctions, raising more money for your organisation. Australians are also seeking unique opportunities with our heroes. Ezybidz offers money-can’t-buy celebrity experiences such as fishing or golf with a sporting legend.

When it comes to engaging with your fundraising audience, it is important to realise that you are unlikely to know every guest’s preference attending your event so it is essential to provide auction items that appeal to a wide range of people. Take all of your guests’ interests into account and provide local memorabilia that your guests can relate to, holidays they can dream about and experiences that will excite them!

Find out more about adding Ezybidz’s items to your charity fundraising auction by calling 1300 399 243 or visit www.ezybidz.com.au.

Knowing your fundraising audience

As fundraisers, it is important to know your non-profit audience. Who are the individuals you’re targeting?

If your answer is, “people who care about my cause,” you’re right, but that’s not very helpful when you’re designing great fundraising communications. Instead, you need to get inside your audience’s head.

What motivates these donors? What values do they have? Why do they give? What’s their interaction with you like? All of these factors need to be taken into account while organising your fundraising event as different audiences have different needs and desires and the auction items you choose for your audience depend on these factors. Ezybidz offer a wide variety of auction items which will suit all audiences. From cruises to memorabilia, Ezybidz will help you find the best items for your audience.

In order to get to know your audience and choose the best possible items for your fundraising event, there are three important steps you need to take:

Step 1: Audience Discovery

We often make a number of assumptions about who our audience is. Mostly, we assume that they are like us and that’s simply not true! It is important to go through a discovery process to get to know your real audience.

How do you do this?

You can start with the data that you have collected from surveys, Google Analytics and similar data collection systems. From this collection of information, you can make a number of inferences about your audience. But at some point, you’re going to need to talk to people. Make some phone calls. Hold a few interviews with key stakeholders. These one-on-one conversations are where the best information will come from. You’ll hear exactly how your supporters self-identify, what nuanced language they use to talk about the cause and why they like your organization’s work.

Step 2: Create Your Audience Profile

Once you’ve done some discovery and have collected enough data points to start to see some trends in your audience, it’s time to create your audience profile. Your audience persona is a mock-up of a fictional audience member. You give them a name, picture, life story, demographic details from your research, etc. The goal of creating this composite is to have a really clear picture of who you’re talking to.

Step 3: Use Your Profile as a Filter

After creating an audience persona, you’ll use it as a filter for each and every decision you make. Every time you create a donor, communications piece or a fundraising appeal, ask yourself – would this resonate with my target audience?

Once you have established who your target audience is, contact Ezybidz and let us help you select the best possible items that will make your fundraiser a guaranteed success.

For more information about us visit the ‘What we do – fundraising auction items’ tab on our website or call us on 1300 399 243.

The best time of the year to fundraise

Australia is one of the most charitable countries in the world so it is important to find any opportunity to fundraise for your organisation. Fundraising events are valuable for your charity and it is important to organise events year-round. Not only to raise significant funds for your charity but also to promote the important work you do and to build connections with companies and organisations. Ezybidz is your number one fundraising consultant company and is always available to assist you with every aspect of your fundraising by using our unique Electronic Auction system.

Here are a few annual calendar dates, listed in order, to get you started on your 2015 calendar. Let’s kick off 2015 to be the best fundraising year for your charity!

January is still in play! While most people are likely to be generous towards non-profits during the December month, Ezybidz has found that the curve of year-end giving continues until January-February. Some donors allow for their budget to recover, then they give. Other donors, those who had given away their budgeted charitable amounts long before 31st December, are now able to reconsider you in January because they are looking at their New Year budget. So go ahead and ask your donors for support in January and let Ezybidz assist you so you can get the most out of your fundraising event. It is great to host a fundraising event early in the year to kick off the New Year and keep your charity on the map for the donors and corporate support!      

Summer-Autumn: A great time to fundraise. 
This period is full of public holidays such as Easter, Queen’s Birthday and Anzac day, which is a great time to organise a themed charity event! People are looking for an event to attend so charities should take every opportunity of this.

Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are underused days to ask for support. People are drawn to value-oriented ways to celebrate these holidays, so giving in memory of, or in honour of, our loved ones or “Mums” works well. The histories of these holidays are rich and culturally varied so you can take an approach that best fits your non-profit organisation. Ezybidz offers several unique and fantastic auction items that would be perfect for these occasions, such as our wonderful Ultimate Indulgence, Champagne Class or Luxury Sailing Packages.

July and August create a cosy family feeling amongst people and therefore a higher level of generosity is present. Ezybidz offers year-round fundraising solutions and will be able to assist you with all of your fundraising events throughout these chilly months. There is nothing as magical as a Winter Ball!

From September to December, Australia is entering spring time and is slowly getting into the Christmas spirit. This leads to an even higher generosity and therefore it is important to start organising your End-of -Year events early so you can ensure that you will raise as much money as possible for your charity, and make the most of your event. Ezybidz offers many amazing items that would be perfect for this time of year such as the Tuscany Winter Wonderland experience which is one of our best selling items.

For the best possible service, technology and fundraising consults, contact Ezybidz and let us take care of making your event a great success. Ezybidz cares about you and your charity!

 

 

Facts from: http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/the-worlds-most-generous-country-has-been-named/story-e6frfqai-1227127974116

Want to Inspire More Donations? Focus on Your Donors

By Bob Gorman

 

If you’re raising funds for your organization and you would like to increase the number of donations, remember that one of your main tasks is to identify and inspire potential and existing donors. Here are four simple ways to do just that:

1. Find Motivated Donors

It may seem obvious, but the first step to inspiring more donations is to find donors who are motivated to donate – and in fact, may have already done so. People who express interest in advance in donating to non-profits, and those who have already donated in the past, tend to make larger contributions when they actually donate.

One of the most important ways to find potential donors is to leverage the power of social relationships and community. Invite people who’ve already donated to get their friends involved. Set up social media channels and newsletters so that people who donate can let their friends know your cause is important to them. Host social events where like-minded people can mingle and learn more about your organization’s work. Outreach to motivated donors not only increases the likelihood of larger donations, but also helps widen your network of potential contributors!

 2. Maintain Relationships and Keep Your Donors Informed

Your relationship with donors doesn’t end once they’ve made a donation! In fact, you should think of a donation as the first step in a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship. It’s crucial to maintain communication with past donors and let them know the impact their donation has had:

–        Invite donors to join your newsletter and/or social media channels, and provide regular updates on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.

–        Illustrate the impact of their contributions by featuring testimonials and stories of the work your organization is doing. It’s easier to appreciate how donations make a difference through personal stories rather than reading statistics or viewing charts.

3. Show Your Appreciation

If you want to inspire donors to give more, it’s important to make donating a positive and gratifying experience. Some donors may also discontinue their support if they feel their donation isn’t making an impact and their contributions are being used without acknowledgment. So make sure to let your donors know how important they are!

In addition to communication and thank-you messages, one of the best ways to show your appreciation and improve donor retention is through live, in-person fundraising events. Everyone appreciates the opportunity to dress up and celebrate a worthy cause in a room full of friends, colleagues, and like-minded people.

Fundraising events not only help strengthen social ties and a sense of community within your existing fundraising base, they also help attract potential new donors! On that note, it’s a good idea to hold your event at an elegant and glamorous venue with amazing atmosphere and enjoyable entertainment; not only will the atmosphere make your donors feel appreciated and important, but it will also help create a unique and memorable experience that your donors will be excited and proud to tell others about – in fact, they may be so excited they’ll extend invitations to friends and colleagues, bringing in new potential contributors to your cause!

4. Make Donating Fun and Easy

Most people have heard by now of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which got millions of people to “challenge” their friends and peers while also donating to a worthy cause. This shows the impact that fun games and challenges can have in non-profit fundraising. So consider hosting fundraising challenges or auctions to motivate people and get their friends involved – all in the spirit of friendly competition!

Of course, you could have some of the most motivated donors in the world, but if they can’t figure out how to actually make a donation, or donating requires them to go through complicated paperwork or obstacles, then you might be missing some great opportunities for your charity. So make sure you have convenient, easy-to-use methods set up beforehand to accept donations, along with clear instructions on how to make a donation.

As the above illustrates, the best way to inspire donations for your fundraising campaign is to focus on your donors. Remember that your donors like to feel inspired and informed, and that they have valuable social networks of friends and colleagues whom they’d like inspire and inform in turn!

Author: Bob Gorman

 

Should you host a Silent or Live Auction?

You’ve decided to host a benefit auction at your next big non-profit fundraising event — that’s great! You’ve taken an important step toward successful fundraising. Now you are faced with a few important decisions while planning the event, which can be overwhelming.
One of the first things you’ll have to decide is whether to have a live or silent benefit auction. How do you know which is better for your organisation’s big night? Well, before we get ahead of ourselves, first let’s talk about the difference between the two.
Live auctions require an auctioneer who will engage attendees and encourage guests to call out bids. When it comes to silent auctions, attendees will put in their bid electronically and will find out if they won by the time the silent auction closes.
In most cases, a live auction is going to yield a high return on your items – simply because you have a persuasive individual encouraging more bids from your attendees. This is the main reason to incorporate a both a live and a silent auction into your fundraising event as this will result in the highest possible funds raised.
During a live auction, attendees are going head-to-head in a bidding war. They often get so caught up in the excitement that they call out higher bids without a second thought. When rationality goes out the window, who knows how much money you could raise? In fact, 50% of all sales come from live auctions!
Silent auctions are the way to go if you have a lot of items to auction off, but you can always incorporate a live component to sell some of more expensive or unique items. A good auctioneer will almost always generate high bids, which means more money raised per item – and more money raised altogether.
If you decide to host a silent auction, maybe because you’re using the auction as a complement to your main event, there are some ways that you can work to make it very effective. If you’re hosting a silent auction with a live auction, leave the big-ticket items for the live auction and place the items of less value on the bidding tables. Make sure to set up the tables so that attendees can easily go back and forth throughout the night, and remind the audience to check on their bids periodically. If you allow time for breaks during a dance or a golf tournament, guests can also use that time to head over to the bidding table.
Before you plan your next event, think about the outcome you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re trying to raise as much money as possible, which is the goal of most non-profits hosting a fundraising event, consider doing a combination of both a live and silent auction to get the results you want.

Five main traps when fundraising.

While planning your next Fundraising event there are several key aspects you need to take into consideration and certain things you need to be aware of, in order to make the right decision when it comes to selecting a fundraising organisation to help you.
Below are five Traps that lie out there, waiting to snag you:
1) Commissions. Some companies will charge a commission on YOUR Donated items! Yes, they aim to take a percentage on the sale of items you have worked hard to procure, at no cost.
With Ezybidz this is not the case. We have never before charged any commission on donated items or services and will never do so in the future. When you choose Ezybidz, you get 100% of the funds on your donated items and 100% of funds over the cost price on consignment items! In addition to this you will be assured of the most professional service and the most amazing donated items without any unnecessary commissions.
2) Authenticity of items. When the guests at your event are bidding on an item, they certainly want to know if the item is real and unquestionably authentic. This can be a deal-breaker in obtaining a successful bid on an item that will benefit your fundraising event. Worse still a faulty item or bad experiences which can come from unexperienced companies could put guest off supporting your charity again in the future!
Ezybidz has been in the industry for over 15 years and buys from only reputable sources, some for over a decade. All items come with a certificate of authenticity issued by Ezybidz, who stand behind their products, 100%.
3) Hidden charges. One thing you must be aware of when deciding on your Fundraising partner is the hidden charges that may arise. At Ezybidz Fundraising Solutions, we can offer our technology and services, along with aspirational (and sought after) experiences and items, all with NO upfront or hidden charges. We are a fundraising solutions company and our main aim is to help you gain as many funds as possible for your charity.
Some companies charge a fee if your guests lose their bidding card, which they can’t participate in the auction without. Beware of these costs.
4) Paying for the system when it comes to electronic bidding, there is always a sophisticated system involved and most IT companies charge their customers to use their electronic bidding system.
Ezybidz does not. We aim to provide our world-leading electronic system at NO-cost, so both you and your guests can enjoy the simplicity of electronic bidding, with no hit to your bottom line!
5) Event staffing coordinating a Fundraising event can be a rewarding but overwhelming task, especially when faced with running an electronic auction! While volunteers are supremely beneficial, they may fall short on expertise in fundraising auctions. So where do you turn?
Ezybidz will arrange professional staff who are dedicated to help you succeed in exceeding your Fundraising goals! We call our team: Customer Service Representatives (CSR), who will run both the Live and Silent Auction, including collecting payments to completely relieve you of the stress. This comes at NO-cost, and with up to a dozen CSR’s able to be provided for your event, think how much the IT companies offering electronic bidding will charge for that!
So while organising your next fundraising event, be aware of these 5 hidden traps that are out there and be aware of the possibilities that arise by choosing Ezybidz. Just remember, Ezybidz Cares!

The 4 questions you need to ask to see if your fundraising is on the right track

If you’re wondering whether or not your fundraising is headed in the right direction, there is news for you: healthy development programs require a lot more than just steadily increasing revenue. Sure, raising more this year than last year is important, but to be certain that your growth is sustainable, you need more.
There are four simple questions that you can ask to immediately find out whether or not a fundraising program is on the right track for steady, rapid growth… and where the organization needs some work. Take a minute to answer these four questions for your non-profit to see how strong your development program is:
Question #1: When is Your Next Newsletter Coming Out, and Who is Responsible for It?
Do you know when your organization’s next newsletter is coming out? If not, would you know where to look up the answer? Do you know who is responsible for getting the newsletter out the door?
Planning is a key trait of successful non-profits. Good fundraising plans require deadlines and responsibilities – meaning that for every goal, there are deadlines when certain actions will be accomplished, and it is clear who will be responsible for each action. How strong is your non-profit’s fundraising plan?
Question #2: What is Your Donor Retention Rate?
Donor movement is a fundamental discipline of strong non-profits. You must have a plan for moving your donors through the fundraising funnel, and you have to know where each donor stands and how successful you are at moving donors through the funnel.
If you don’t know your current donor retention rate, it is highly likely that you are not moving donors through the funnel efficiently or tracking them effectively.
Question #3: Why Should Donors Give to Your Organization – Today?
Quick! In 30 seconds or less, can you give a great explanation of why donors should care about your organization and make a donation today?
Your non-profit’s case for support is a key foundation for successfully raising more money each and every year. If you don’t have a strong and compelling case statement, or if you and your team aren’t grounded enough in that case statement to be able to give a short, compelling reason to give at a moment’s notice, chances are that your fundraising will suffer.
Question #4: How Many of Your Current Donors Came through Referrals?
Did you know that the single best source of new prospects for your fundraising program is referrals from current donors, board members, volunteers and other supporters?
What percentage of your current donor base came through referrals from other donors? If you don’t know the answer to this question, it is probably because your non-profit isn’t focused on referrals or doesn’t have a referral system in place.
Focusing on referrals can significantly increase your donor pipeline and will help your organization dramatically increase fundraising revenue.
Take some time to answer the four questions above. If there are some questions you don’t know the answer to, or some answers that you think could be better, don’t fret – these four questions are a starting point for better fundraising. Once you answer them, you’ll know where you need to focus your energies in the year to come.

Electronic Bidding, The Fastest Growing Fundraising Auction Platform.

But Do You Know Why?
Ok, we know electronic bidding is the fastest growing fundraising auction platform around the globe but do we know what is driving its popularity?

Here are some key findings from a focus group study and research reports, stating key motivations behind why guests enjoy engaging in online electronic silent auctions.

Why online mobile auctions are attractive?

The digital age
Think about these key factors and statistics. With a global shift towards an online life, over 90% penetration rate of the internet, and mobile device penetration rate standing well over 80% in Australia, with predictions it will overtake PC’s in 2014, put simply, it’s part of our lives. Everyone has a mobile device and knows how to use the internet.

Know-how
You have a generation of experienced bidders in the various online auctions sites, so people already know how to use online auction systems.

Research shows with the Gen X, Gen Y and even late Boomers, there is no real learning necessary.

Convenience
Research found one motivating factor is guests and charity supporters can integrate electronic silent auction bidding in their lifestyles, at the event, on their own terms, within their own schedule. In addition, they can bid for auction items from the comfort of their seats at the event, even from their bedrooms which from research reveal, guests feel it makes the process much easier.

Competitive nature

Much research has been done about the competitive factor driving higher bids, excitement and being the key motivation for guests to engage in electronic bidding for charity silent auctions. Once you have bid for an item on your phone, you are sent instant outbid alerts, which is great for engagement. When you win, you are also instantly messaged. This further drives the competitive nature of guests leveraged through electronic bidding technology.

Involving All Bidders
Research shows some women are not as keen on live auctions, where they are competing in the public eye or even against friends.

However women make up the large majority of bidders on average at fundraising auctions, so you would be missing out on potential major contributors.

A focus group report found women prefer silent auctions because it cuts out this barrier, and electronic online bidding allows them to still compete without direct conflict.

All Factors
This brings all the above factors together. You know how to use your mobile for fundraising auctions, its right in your hand so it’s convenient; it drives your competitive nature by constant alerts. You can avoid competing in the public directly or against friends.

So What Impact Does This Have On Fundraising?
You have guests engaged with a streamlined electronic bidding system that allows multiple bidders engrossed at the event, as well as from multiple locations, increasing efficiency and ultimately generating more funds raised.

From a strategic planning perspective, you see all the data about what items are selling well and to who during the auction in real time, as well as after, where you can see patterns in bidder behavior, can adjust appropriately, and most importantly for selection of items for future fundraising events.

It’s a hassle free option with low investment and proven high returns.

Are You Making The Biggest Mistake In Fundraising Auctions?


What could be a bigger mistake in fundraising auctions than losing a percentage of the money you raise to a fundraising company? After all your hard work pulling together a multifaceted fundraising gala event with entertainment and decorations, arranging media coverage, inviting your supporters, and of course procuring those have-to-have items for your auction, why would you allow a fundraising company to skim the cream from what you raise?

It’s a question that boggles our minds. And what further astounds us is that these companies often provide their bidding system with no service! That means that you are paying to do the work of loading all of your auction items into their program and running the auction yourself, including if anything goes wrong. They might even tell you that this way you’re keeping everything internal and will have more control over your auction. Of course you’ll have more control – you’ll be doing all the work for the auction on top of everything else that needs to happen at your event!

Fixed pricing is the only way to ensure that your budget is fixed and not hit by nasty surprises. Save thousands of dollars over electronic bidding providers with fees that are based on the financial success of your event. You’re paying for a fixed service – why should you pay more when nothing more is done to earn it?

Avoid this mistake by examining electronic bidding providers and finding out up-front what you expect to pay. Ezybidz is proud to be able to offer our premium silent auction bidding system with our full service, including our staff at your event, at no cost to you by including fixed price consignment items in your auction. Or you can simply pay the flat rate for this same service without the consignment items. Discover more by calling us on 1300 399 243.