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Pre-Event Bidding to Increase Giving

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Recently, I was in Calgary, Alberta working with Dreams Take Flight, an organization that coordinates trips for physically, mentally or socially handicapped children to visit Disneyland. I really do meet some amazing people on these trips and I have no favorites (that I’ll speak of) but Dreams was able to coordinate more than 200 great folks to help facilitate over 1500 items for a single event! That’s a lot of items to move. How did they make it work? Pre-event bidding was key (along with tireless work from an amazing coordinating team).

You can imagine adding 1,500 items is no easy undertaking so they started early, in February, adding items one-at-a-time with their massive volunteer base. But unlike many organizations, Dreams took advantage of ClickBid’s Pre-Event Bidding system where items went up for auction immediately after being entered. Guests could create a bidder number on the site and login to place bids on existing items months before the event. This helped move a large number of items and eventually accumulated to over 1,500 bids!

The result was that Dreams was over 40% of the way to their goal before the event even started. In the end they raised 118% of their goal and brought in a new way of bidding on items. Now here’s where I am required to be honest. We actually had so much activity with this event (7 or 8 times what we have ever experienced in 9+ years doing these events) that we put a massive strain on the ClickBid servers. We have since increased our capacity over 700% with newer and heavier duty redundant servers capable of handing nearly 10,000 items across multiple simultaneous events.

Walking away from this experience has shown me that pre-bidding not only increases total giving but it creates awareness of what’s up for auction and a much more solid connection with donor and organization. It’s definitely something I hope more of our customers take advantage of.

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