During these unique times, we have seen charities run great events online. We have collected a few of their stories to help you better determine if an online fundraiser is right for you.
What were your thoughts when you realized COVID 19 would have an impact on your fundraising goals?
“Disappointment. We hold one fund raiser a year and it funds all our activities. We were scheduled to hold the event on a Saturday and were told the Thursday before, after all our efforts had been completed, that we would not be able to hold the event.”
“We were sad because our in-person festival, associated with our online auction, is so much fun and really a great community building event. However, we were thrilled we had ClickBid ready to go so we could move forward and still raise funds for our school.”
“How [were we] going to pull of a Virtual Fundraiser in a short amount of time? With people out of work, would they be willing to donate, etc?”
“Very scared about the long term affects.”
“We were in a frozen pattern for a bit trying to decide if it was cost effective to have an event during the pandemic.”
“I was SO thankful that we had already committed to ClickBid as our online auction platform. The research had been done. The “test run” roll-out to our committee had already occurred. I was fearful of and trying to brainstorm ways to accomplish the Live auction portion of our event when you guys “read my mind” and introduced the EventStream! Honestly, I feel like there’s been an angel on my shoulder throughout the process of our transition to ClickBid Online!”
“We discussed it as a team, with our CFO, and other stakeholders, brainstorming ways to still make goal.”
What were the steps you took to move forward with your fundraising goals and what was the experience like?
“Investigating options – talking to colleagues – gathering input.”
“Our organization provided us some online auction options. Then we had to do some homework to choose which option we thought would serve us best.”
“We pushed back the date of our auction to give us more time to get more advertising in place for a fully online event. We booked a local musician to do a one-hour Zoom “kick-off” party. It was a little stressful, but ClickBid is so easy to use that it was pretty seamless.”
“We pulled together a virtual fundraiser show (which included the online silent auction) and it was all executed in 2 weeks.”
“[I watched] every webinar that I could on how to host virtual events, how to do online auctions. I was amazed at the amount of options out there for non profits to learn from and the support.”
“On the day that schools closed, we started snapping photos of all the auction items that had been collected to-date. I took home the hanging file full of gift cards & gift certificates because administration told us we would not have access to the building until April 6th and our event was scheduled for April 18th. During those first three weeks, I began uploading those photos. Then it became evident that gatherings were not going to be permitted in time for our in-person event to occur. Since we already had the ClickBid platform, I continued to enter items and images into the platform, hoping that we would hold our traditional event when gatherings became feasible. By the end of April, we accepted the fact that Beluga Ball as we knew it, was not going to happen this year… but what to do with our Live auction items? They are primarily projects that our classroom representative pour their hearts and souls into and we need to showcase their work. You announced your new release, I “attended” the June 1st webinar and signed us up the next day! It answered all of the concerns we had an online Live auction. Implementation was a little bumpy, only because we were trying to coordinate with our long-time Live auctioneer (who was not accustomed to working without the benefit of the feedback-loop that a live audience provides) and a “driver” that was trying to keep pace with him in the ClickBid EventStream Live Auction software. The Silent auction, and 2nd Chance Silent auction, went off perfectly! I am raving to everyone who will listen about the “new normal” that ClickBid had delivered to our annual fundraiser’s Silent auction!”
“We focused on more direct mail fundraising and grant-writing, as that could be accomplished in a socially distanced way. We also looked at moving all three of our events to a virtual format.”
What was the outcome of the online/virtual auction and was your experience successful?
“Our first Virtual Auction was a huge success!!! It couldn’t have gone any smoother.”
“It was a success. The experience was good but it was all new, took a lot of time and energy, and brought with it stresses.”
“It was the best fundraising event we ever [had] even though it was our 1st Virtual Gala.”
“We plan on making the online auctions a long term solution to our fundraising needs, so far the experience has been great.”
“It was successful but the downside is that people spend more in a live auction with peer pressure so we feel it would have done better in person. there is also a lag time between the bids and the time it shows in the system… it is unavoidable but it is still an issue.”
“Beluga Ball 2020 happened… which was definitely questionable at one point. We didn’t break any records on our “bottom line”, but we also persevered and delivered the event we were allowed to present given the Governors restrictions on gatherings. We raised funds that our schools will need next year, given that state budget cuts are likely to adversely impact school funding for the 2020-2021 school year. Our families were generous and many reported that they had fun participating in the online auction.”
“Yes and no. The guests liked the online process very much and the platform was easy to use. However, when we did a fully virtual auction without importing guests, it was difficult to get people to sign up for the auction. We ended up with few bidders and many items with only one bid. That was disappointing.”
Any other thoughts you would like to share?
“ClickBid has thought of everything! The software if extremely robust, user-friendly, the interface is excellent – and the communication with our bidders is top notch.”
“Using ClickBid literally saved our fundraising event. We started requesting donations back in January and with all of the unknown due to COVID-19, we weren’t sure if the event was going to happen. We pulled together a Virtual Gala in 2 weeks, and included our silent auction and it ended up being a massive success. We literally couldn’t of generated this without using ClickBid. We are also glad we used the platform last year so we knew what to do. If we were new to it this year, it would of been challenging.”
“ClickBid is very user friendly and I have loved learning on this platform some new ways to engage with our supporters. The staff support has been exceptional.”
“We have one more virtual event this year and we will definitely be importing guests and utilizing the mass messaging feature. It works to generate excitement much better than asking folks to bid online only. However, our last virtual event is a memorial event and we didn’t feel it was appropriate to do a mass text when many of our participants were mourning lost family members.”
Thank you to our participants!
Sunset Valley Elementary PTA
– Michelle Halvorsen
– Jennifer Lundquist
Ducks Unlimited Canada
– Lacey Schroeder
CSA District Parent Council
Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce
-Judy Sullivan, Executive Director