Simple fundraising at the click of a mouse
The growth of the web and increased use of the internet has seen a big increase in online charity auctions as more and more non profit organisations take their fundraising online.
Fundraising auctions have always been a popular way for charities to raise funds. Previously these would have been mostly local affairs with people trying to out bid each other for coveted items. The whole thing pushed along by a fast talking auctioneer.
The web has changed all that. Now a new generation of internet surfers, both bargain hunters and charity supporters, all experienced from general auction sites such as eBay are a lucrative source of revenue for many charity groups.
Online charity auctions allow non profits to raise more money in less time. They are also great for advertising your cause and raising your profile. In particular online charity auctions mean that higher value gifts or donations are able to be put before a much larger audience of potential buyers, not just from amongst a charity's supporters. The items therefore attracting the very maximum attention and revenue.
This can also help with requests for suitable donations. Many companies will be far more likely to "stump up" if they know their gift will be presented on a national or international platform . Indeed many companies will use charitable donations as a marketing tool to generate a buzz about certain products, for example tickets to Film Premieres.
Many donations received by charities also come via the personal contacts of a supporter but sometimes the value of that cannot be fully realised at the local fete!. An online charity auction allows the true value of such gifts to be made.
The other advantage of holding your charity auctions online is that they can take place any time, not just when you have a fundraising event taking place. If you have enough donations they could become a permanent part of your fundraising plan.
On your organisation's own website
If you have your own website and the technical know-how you can simply list items and invite bids. This method is however time consuming and limits the reach of your charity auction.
With a dedicated online charity auction hosting company
There are no shortage of these. They list your items on a great looking site that, being properly promoted and marketed, will attract the maximum attention for your items. At the close of the auction they take a percentage of the final price as their fee.
Most allow a blurb and logo from your charity to be shown alongside the item in order that potential bidders know who their money will be helping.
You should be aware however that not all purchasers will necessarily be supporters of your organisation. They just want that handbag donated by Sarah Jessica Parker or the tickets to the latest Bruce Springsteen Concert. Oh well... as long as the cash comes rolling in!
The Big Boys in this business are Bidding For Good, Charity Buzz and Charity Folks. There are also a number of smaller companies which offer smaller scale tailored solutions for those of us who are not so large and important.
With Ebay for charity
This is probably the easiest way to run an online charity auction. Once registered not only can non profit organisations list their own items at preferential rates. But also charity supporters, be they individuals or businesses can donate a proportion of any eBay sale to a charity of their choice.
Every eBay for Charity item is marked with a blue and yellow charity ribbon in the item listing title along with the percentage of any donation.
At the completion of the auction the purchaser makes their payment in the normal manner and eBay make appropriate payments to the charity concerned .
This really is a simple way to run online charity auctions. It costs nothing to register your charity and once set up anyone can choose to donate eBay revenues to you. A simple email to your supporters will have them scurrying to their attics to find "eBayable" bric a brac to sell for you.
It's a great way to engage your supporters and get them working for you your cause. The beauty of the programme is that it works from where-ever you are in the country. A supporter many miles away can still be making an active contribution to your fundraising.
Professional retailers operating "eBay stores' may also make donations to charities through the eBay for charity programme. Many have found making a percentage donation to charity, for instance a toy store donating 5% of the cost of certain purchases to a children's charity actually helps increase sales generally and is a very viable marketing exercise.
More details about eBay for charity can be found on their website.
Do sign up though. It is pretty much one of the most simple fundraising ideas you will ever come across.
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