Five common concerns about running online charity auctions

Read about our partnership with Charity Digital and how we're helping charities with their digital fundraising

22 April 2021


Five common concerns about running online charity auctions


We partnered with Charity Digital at their #bemoredigital event in March and shared a short film about running charity auctions. 

We created the video to help charities and nonprofits with their digital fundraising by offering advice and addressing common concerns about running a charity auction. So, we thought we’d share some of those with you here.


What is Charity Digital?


Charity Digital was set up to improve digital awareness and access and to connect charities to the digital expertise and talent they need.  One way they do that is through annual events like the virtual one we attended.

The #bemoredigital event encouraged charities to build on what they had learned over the past year in having to push their fundraising efforts online. The organisers recognised that many charities and nonprofits would be looking for ways to raise the bar digitally and learn how to best deliver their missions using online methods. 

As a sponsor of the event, we were thrilled to share our expertise about charity auction software through our video, networking and by offering advice. 


Why are we experts?


We are a small team based in Yorkshire which specialises in running online auctions.  We’ve more than 10 years’ experience in fundraising and have done it all over the world for events of various sizes.  In 2019, we ran over 300 charity auctions and over the years we’ve raised millions of pounds for charity. 

We’ve also created a fully customisable cost-effective online platform called SliderStock which allows businesses and charities to list products for sale and allows users to bid or buy in real-time. 


Why run a charity auction?


Charity auctions are fundraising events in which guests bid to win auction prizes.  The highest bid wins the item, and the fundraising charity or nonprofit receives the proceeds.

Online auctions need to be part of your online fundraising strategy because they are an amazing way to keep your network engaged and maximise your fundraising.

Your charity no doubt has a lot of fundraisers who are keen to support you so there are huge opportunities to generate additional funds by allowing them to use an online platform.  Most online auctions don’t need to be attached to a specific organised event – they can be used by any charity supporter wishing to raise money amongst their own network of family and friends. 

But, most platforms still allow you to retain an element of control over fundraising campaigns happening across the country for example in the branding, in the messages and the types of prizes made available.             


Common concerns of charities running online auctions


1. We can’t get enough people to take part in an online auction

One of the most common concerns about running online auctions we’ve seen is that charities are scared they don’t have enough data on their CRM systems or people to contact about an auction. You may worry you can’t launch an event because it may fail without significant involvement.

But if you do run an online auction and only have a limited amount of data, there are other options.  For example, one piece of advice we give our clients is to run some cost-effective targeted social media adverts before the event to get more people involved in your auction. 

2. We won’t be able to get enough people involved in the auction

If running an online auction is not something you’ve done before, you may have concerns about whether donors or attendees are going to take up your offer to get involved.

But we regularly see around 70% of people who register to take part in an auction actually bid in it.  So, people do react well to online fundraising and it is a fantastic way to engage people. 

3. We don’t have enough prizes for an auction

A lot of charities worry about prizes.  You may want to run an online auction but may not know where to get prizes from. You may wonder if there enough volunteers, business owners,  restaurants or hotels that are willing to donate vouchers. 

The answer is: there are people out there that are willing to donate to your charity.  You just need to be confident and reach out to your wider network and ask for favours. 

4. I don’t feel confident an auction will work

Mindset is important. We believe you need to be open-minded. You do not know or can not assume how many of your key supporters like taking part in online auctions.  We often find that when charities are open-minded about this they are stunned by the results. 

5. I can’t do it on my own

Running online auctions is easy if you have the right platform to do the heavy lifting for you. So, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. It’s more cost-effective than you think.


Want help running your charity online auction?


Here at SliderStock, we have more than ten years’ experience so if you have a concern, we’ve no doubt encountered it already and can offer advice.

We are happy and willing to handhold you through the process so, get in touch by calling us: 01423 531682 or emailing: