The benefits of a paper silent auction

 
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With so many technology companies offering tech services for your silent auction, it can sometimes make you wonder if it’s worth going back to basics with pen and paper. But, there are some huge benefits for not employing an auction technology provider and we’ve listed 5 top reasons why below.

 

1. It’s free

With the majority of silent auction technology providers, you pay a fee for their service. This isn’t to say that those services aren’t worth the money, in most cases they are and can provide some incredible features. But, for not-for-profit organisations that don’t have the bigger budgets to cover the costs of technology for their silent auction, which can run into the thousands per event, keeping to the traditional pen and paper auction can, in most cases, mean more money in the coffers for the charity.

2. No technology hiccups

It’s inevitable that technology will have a hiccup, these things happen. Whether you have a small intimate fundraising event or a large-scale charity auction, making sure your venue has good Wi-Fi accessibility, a secure network and even technicians on hand to make sure everything goes smoothly on the night is a big endeavour. 

Having a traditional pen and paper silent auction can remove all of those barriers, keeping it simple, effective and guaranteed to have no technical issues on the night!

 3. Technophobes

Not everyone is suited to technology, it’s a fact. Having a digital charity auction means guests have to use pre-provided tablets or their own mobile devices to connect, download and bid for items on the night. All of this technology, especially for the non-millennial guests can be a tad overwhelming and a bit of a faff.

Removing the reliance on technology and in some cases, especially smaller silent auctions, be much easier and straightforward when driving those all-important bids. 

 
 

 4. Closed bids

You can significantly increase the amount of money you raise at your charity auction by using a closed bid method, which is much easier to execute with traditional pen and paper bidding. By allowing multiple guests to bid for the same item or experience (as long as it’s not a one-off), you can dramatically increase your fundraising yield on the night.

Being able to sell an item or experience multiple times means more money in the bank, not only making your evening more profitable but securing the vital funds you need to continue doing the amazing work your organisation does.

 
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5. Keep it simple

One of the biggest downsides to using technology is the potential distractions it can make, taking away from your fundraising; especially when guests are required to use their own devices to make bids. It can be so easy for them to switch to messages or emails during the evening, taking their attention away from your event and back into their own digital world.

We’re a big advocate of technology and think that it's used, especially for fundraising auctions, can be invaluable. But there are also times that technology can be more of a hindrance than a help – especially at smaller charity fundraising auctions. Our advice, make sure your projected costs can significantly cover and off-set the expense of a digital fundraising company, otherwise you’ll have a much higher break-even point before you even begin!


If you’re interested in our fundraising services, book a 10-minute call with one of our team and we can advise you on whether a tech or paper silent auction is best suited for your needs.

Luke Cameron