Mobile bidding software has become the new way to go for silent auction fundraisers. Charities are paying companies thousands of dollars to run their fundraising auction this way, but are they really running their silent auction revenue stream into the ground? Over the last few years, many charities have slowly gone this direction. With the increase in smart phones, nonprofits assume if they use a mobile bidding software platform they will increase the money raised in their silent auction by large percentages. What is this belief based on? Usually the stats are from the company selling the mobile bidding software that supplies the statistics. Raving testimonials are also sometimes touted by the online silent auction software company. As a professional benefit auctioneer conducting charity auctions all over the United States, I get to see the true numbers from an unbiased opinion. Truth be known the facts are in, and running your silent auction using my advanced approach to paper bid sheets and then switching to online bidding has not always been financially effective for many organizations. I want to say YES I think all events should use software to run a fundraising event and the costs are so low to print out forms and track bidders, donors and guests that everyone should use it. In fact I know several fundraising and events software companies that offer free software to charity events and fundraising events so don’t misunderstand me. However when it comes to mobile bidding for silent auctions the cost may or may not work for your event you need to weigh the out the costs. So here are my top three reasons to choose my modified advanced silent auction bidding sheets rather than mobile bidding software.
Its free vs mobile bidding
One, My improved paper sheets (contact me to get a copy) are free and therefore save money! The first reason to not use mobile bidding software for silent auctions is it costs a lot of money. By not using the software, you will save potentially thousands of dollars before your event even starts. Don’t assume a cute phone gadget will generate bigger income based on fancy websites and flashy devices. Remember that 60-70 percent of your money raised should be from your live auction and your appeal (paddle raiser) not from your silent auction.
Its successful like mobile bidding software
Two, paper bidding sheets can at times be more successful. Yes! I said it. When you use a hybrid silent auction template sheets and my proven silent auction strategies, it can beat mobile bidding and online software many times. I can’t tell you how many auction events I have worked that switched to mobile bidding software and the silent auction generated near the same amount from a previous year that utilized paper bidding sheets. Even times when the mobile bidding software has increased gross revenue it was not a significant enough amount to pay for the increased costs. Again, mobile bidding is great for some events but you just need to do the math.
More fun, more competition, more money
Three, paper bidding sheets can add more fun and competition when done correctly. When you use mobile bidding software, the atmosphere changes. You will see less people walking around the silent auction tables. The fun competition that occurs when the person next to you physically outbids you and then actually responding and talking to them with joy and laughter will be lost. You will just get an alert buzzing you on the mobile device telling you that you have been outbid while you are trying to mingle at your gala. Was it your buddy Jan who outbid you? Who knows… It’s all done on a small screen and no one really cares.
My challenge to you with mobile bidding software
My challenge to every charity or fundraiser this year is to do the math and determine what your silent auction did last year with the mobile bidding software and this year experiment by NOT using mobile online bidding and use my free silent auction bidding sheets. You can thank me later when you save a ton of money and bring back some added fun to your event that you may not have realized you lost. Does mobile bidding software work? Yes! Do I like it? Again, yes I do. However it is not for everyone and its not always the most profitable.
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