From fine art auctioned at Christie’s to a pair of second-hand slippers auctioned on Ebay, the truth is that people love the thrill of bidding. Even though in the end, they have to hand over cold, hard cash for a purchase, their psyche is still celebrating because they “won”. Everyone likes to be a winner and that is why auctions are so successful.

Auctions Today

Today, registered auctioneers report that one-third of the events they host are for charity. That translates to charitable auctions ranking number four in the auction industry today.

Two-thirds of registered auctioneers report that they conduct at least one charity auction on an annual basis.

Bidding Psychology

Interesting things happen when an item is auctioned. More often than not a product sells for a grossly inflated price compared to its actual value. What causes this phenomenon to happen? Economists suggest it is because of the element of competition.

Humans loathe taking risks when it comes to spending their money. However, once another human indicates through a competitive bid that they believe the item has greater value, the other human feels compelled to match and raise the bid. As this matching and raising continues, those survival skills etched into human DNA kick in, motivating a person to stay in the bidding until they win. Winning an event is a proxy to surviving a threat. Auctions are brain-games.

Recipe For Great Auctions

Hallmarks of successful charitable auctions are:

  • Items: Have what donors want as well as interesting, curious and intriguing items that are irresistible.
  • Anticipation: Pre-event marketing should be titillating, with the event promoted far enough in advance to allow interested bidders the opportunity to plan to attend, gather their resources and invite their friends.
  • Sneak Peeks: Without giving too much away, a preview of a few tasty items will seal the deal for those who might have had second thoughts about attending.

Venue With Most Potential

To maximize audience potential, there is no better opportunity than online auctions. With the obvious success of online auction venues like Ebay, there can be no doubt for success for online charity auctions. Creating a stellar event is as easy as six simple steps:

  1. Go live.
  2. Research your audience and deliver the items they want.
  3. Expand your reach with novelty items.
  4. Inspire interest with intriguing introductions about each item.
  5. Price point range should offer items affordable for every donor budget.
  6. Quality images make a difference.

Building An Audience

Without an audience, however, even the most exceptionally prepared online auction will be a flop. Marketing and promotion are a must. Promoting successfully means developing and performing the following:

  • Clear Message: What is the purpose of the fundraiser? How will the donations be used?
  • Organization Introduction: Introduce the non-profit organization behind the fundraiser.
  • Kick-Off: Launch promotion campaign in advance of an auction. 30 days is a typical promotion period.
  • Graduate Intensity: Promotional messages should increase with frequency as the auction date approaches.
  • Versatility: Create several promotional strategies that will appeal to the unique differences of benefactors. Social media promotion, traditional outlets like press releases or radio spots, and formal promotion through local Chamber of Commerce.

Making Auctions Easy

All the necessary details of promoting and hosting a charity auction may seem overwhelming. Some non-profits may lack the right tools to make the auction process go as smoothly as possible.  Mobile bidding software has revolutionized the non-profit sector and made auction events for non-profits a breeze.

Taking your event to the next level and maximizing donations as simple as contacting the correct people and utilizing the right tools. 2017 may be THE year that online charity auctions claim their spot on the non-profit map. This form of fund-raising will grow in popularity not just because it is convenient for everyone involved, but because it retains that competitive element that bidders crave.