Online Charity Auctions: are they better than traditional charity?

Online Charity Auctions

Charity is expanding further and further around the world as the years go on. More and more people donate to charities each year. Traditional charity events are quite popular among donors. But what if you try something new? Something that will attract more donors, help you raise more money or collect more stuff, and make your charity events recognizable by more people. An online charity auction is a good solution.

Online charity auction or traditional charity?

Traditional charity events have proven themselves quite successful over time, no doubt. But online charity auctions are a better way to boost your charity. You can get people to donate by buying some great stuff at online auctions. Here are some charity auction ideas. For example, you can organize a celebrity auction, where people can bid for the date with a celebrity or celebrity’s personal item. A charity art auction will be great for art connoisseurs. In this way, they can buy a valuable piece of art and donate to a great cause at the same time. How about bidding for a getaway vacation? Surely a lot of people would appreciate such a bonus to their donated money. People also delightedly participate in online charity auctions where the consultation with a specialist is offered, i.e. stylist, life coach, film director, etc. Jewelry or tickets to the show are good items for the auction too. There are tons of ideas for online charity auctions, so don’t hold your creativity back! We will help you implement your ideas in real life. Now let’s see how beneficial online charity auctions can be.

Benefits of online charity auctions

Online Charity Auctions benefits

  • More donors - because of the online format you are able to attract more donors and supporters in no time;
  • Less organization time - you don’t have to overthink about place arrangements, seating charts, etc. they won’t take up your valuable time when you organize an online charity;
  • More money / more stuff - because of more donors and the simplicity of usage, online charity auctions will help you raise more money or collect more stuff for your cause;
  • Recognition - online format of the charity auction will allow you and supporters to share your event by reposting on their social media;
  • Any place, anytime - a lot of donors can’t make it to charity auctions and traditional events due to transportation, time, or other problems. With online charity auctions people can participate from any place and any time zone;
  • Less money spent on set-up - online charity auctions do not require paying for charity dinner, room rental, catering personnel, etc. The money saved can go to the great cause instead.

Tips for a good online charity auction

After choosing online auction for charity, let’s make sure that your auctions will be perfect. Here’s the plan.


During this stage, you need to prepare auction prizes, pick auction software, and set time, date, and auction duration. You also should decide whether this auction is a standalone event or a part of a bigger fundraiser. You can also add some fun to your event by organizing online open conversations, storytelling, cooking demonstrations, etc. This way people can donate to your cause AND have fun.


Promotion is an important step in your planning process. This is how people get to know about you. Here’s how you can promote your online auction:

  • Social media - as more people started using social media, it is a perfect way to advertise your auction and get more people to donate
  • Email - an email campaign to potential donors is a great solution as well
  • Local media - a press release there will attract more people from nearby
  • Website - if you have your own website, it’s a good idea to create a specific page for your online auction
  • Newspaper - a not very popular way of notifying people anymore, but still, sending an ad to local newspapers will be a decent idea

Managing the auction

It is important to remain in communication with your supporters during the whole process. Encourage people’s interest by showing slides of prizes to motivate them to bid. Post updates on your social media and send reminders for bidding via email. Receiving messages about being outbid can also stir up interest to keep bidding.


After the end of the bidding process, it’s time to announce winners who will get their prizes. Double-check whether your instructions for prize delivery are understandable. It’s also a great idea to share bidders’ names in media to reduce further questions about whether or not anyone won the prize and to get people to bid more next time.

Here are more tips for running your auction effortlessly:

  • Boost anticipation - build suspense by showing the lots on social media and other channels and stir people’s interest;
  • Make clear policies - policy clarification helps you to avoid hundreds of similar questions about prize delivery, necessary growth of bidding, whether the payment is required for shipping, etc.;
  • Don’t go over the top - don’t overwhelm yourself and your bidders with a large number of lots. 20 items are a good start. You can always add more as you get used to the auction software;
  • Post high-quality photos - in an online charity auction, pictures of items are your display. Make sure that your photos are of high quality, well-lit. More photos from different perspectives will boost interest in your auction items;
  • Place appropriate prices - there is no need to start bidding at high prices. Try setting a starting price which is about 35% of the item’s market value. The price will be low enough to allure bidders, and there is enough room to place higher bids;
  • Make your auction last longer - one of the useful features of online auctions is that they can last up to a few days. Using this feature for your charity can boost bidding;
  • Create a Donation option - this option is good for receiving just cash from donors for charity in addition to the auction.

How can I start my online charity auction?

First of all, congratulations on choosing the optimal way to boost your charity. Online charity auctions will become a great tool for successful charities. But how do you start one? Where do you get auction software for that? Our team will gladly help you solve these issues. We offer effective charity auction software. For charity, 2 types of auctions are the best: Texas Auction and Forward Auction. You can read more about these two auctions, their similarities, and differences by simply clicking on them. What if we say that we can help you customize your auction to fit your needs better? Would you like people to be able to repost your auction with current bids on social media? Sure! Would you like to speed up the login and donation processes? No problem! Would you like a QR-code for check-in and check-out processes? We can do that. Apart from customization, we offer full transparency of the bidding process, no data is lost. If you are interested, contact us for more information, and try out our free demo!