- Creating Your Auction
- Inviting Your Team Members
- Setting Up Your Payment Processor
- Activating Your Homepage
- Customizing Your Auction Site
- How to Raise More by Activating Additional Features
- Adding Donors and Sponsors
- Building Your Auction Catalog
- Promoting Your Auction
To host a great virtual auction, preparation is key! The following resources and checklist will ensure to set you up for success. For more information and tips on what to do before, during, and after your event be sure to check out our Ultimate Auction Event Checklist!
Creating Your Auction
The easy-to-use setup wizard will capture important details such as:
Login to Panorama and Click “Create Project”
Choose Project Type:
- Auction name
- Online bidding start and end dates, and times
- Time zone
- Helpful Tip! We recommend including most of your items in the Bidder Community so that your items are available to the public to view and bid.
- Live Event functionality for selling Tickets or Sponsorships
- Make sure to activate the Live Event feature to enable the Tickets feature even if you aren't having a Live Event.
- If you are hosting a Ticket-only event or want to focus on Ticket sales until you're closer to your Auction Open Date pull into Event> Set Up> Auction Features to turn off the Auction Features on the Homepage.
- Important Notes!
We also recommend enabling the following features in Event > Set Up:
- Updating your Auction URL so it's easy to remember
- Adding a Fundraising Goal so that your supporters can see your progress and help get you closer to your goal!
- Setting up Google Analytics to track your online auction traffic
Invite Your Team Members
Invite your auction team members by setting up Panorama User access. Each team member should have their own login. You can also give staff or volunteers partial access.
Set Up Your Payment Processor
If you are set up to use Frontstream Global Fund, no action is required as it has been set up automatically. We recommend that you sign up for weekly direct deposit to receive your funds quickly and easily, instead of receiving a monthly check.
Alternatively, you can easily set up Stripe or iATS as your payment processor.
Activate Your Homepage
Your auction homepage is the first page your supporters will see. If you create multiple homepage templates such as Coming Soon and Auction Open, be sure to double-check your scheduled activation dates and times. Your auction URL will display the homepage based on what is scheduled.
Helpful Tip! Make sure to highlight your organization’s mission and where the funds raised will be applied to encourage supporters to bid higher.
Customize Your Auction Site
We suggest customizing your colors and adding a great banner to make your homepage look its best.
Helpful Tip! Use the toolbar above the text areas to enhance your messaging. You can create clickable links, embed images and videos, and further customize text colors, fonts, and sizing.
Raise More by Activating Auction Features
Give your supporters more options to contribute!
Cover Processing Fees
- For those processing through Stripe or iATS, we recommend enabling Cover the Processing Fee
- For those processing through Frontstream Global Fund, no action is required as Cover the Fee is enabled by default
- Donate Now – Enable this feature to accept online cash donations
- Once this is enabled, be sure to enable the auction statistics and donate now in the homepage for it to appear on the event page.
- Item Donations – Add a Donate Items link on your homepage to make it easy for supporters to donate items (click on Event tab > Web Site > Item Donations to enable)
- Set up Sponsorships – Enable the Become a Sponsor feature or sell sponsorships through ticket sales
Add Donors and Sponsors
Next, add or import your Item Donors and Event Sponsors.
- Assign your Item Donor to their item
- Activate the Global Sponsorship Center by adding your sponsors to their designated sponsorship tier
- Highlight your top four sponsors by adding them to the Call Out Box section on the homepage
Quick Tip! To give your Donors and Sponsors extra value and recognition for their contribution, make sure to upload their logo and add their website with their donor or sponsorship listing. This allows bidders to click on their logo or name and view the company website.
Build Your Auction Catalog
Add or import your auction items to your catalog. When creating items, you can specify the bidding types: online, mobile, buy now only, live event, and online to bid sheet. Here are some features we recommend:
- Request Item Donations – Solicit items from our partner organizations
- Quick Sale Items – Set up your Quick Sale items in advance
- Request letters or emails – Use our Sample Solicitation Letter to help get you started
- Raffle tickets or fund-a-need items – set up these as Buy Now items to raise more
- Smart Categories – highlight valuable items by creating categories such as Closing Soon or Featured Items. Go to Event > Website > Smart Categories to enable.
Quick Tip! If you are adding shipping fees, we highly recommend that you mention this both on your homepage and on the item description.
Promote Your Auction
Now that your auction is built out, it is time to promote it!
- Add the Auction URL to your website – Add a link/button to your auction homepage on your organization's web page. If people forget the auction URL, this is the place they will first check.
- Strategic Email Blasts – You can import your mailing lists or sync with Constant Contact. Create your emails and schedule them to be sent on a specific date and time.
- Share on Social Media – On every auction page, there are buttons for supporters to share each page via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular sites.
Promote Your Auction in Your Daily Routine
- Add to your email signature – Add the auction URL with a note like "Check out our auction!" in your email signature so that everyone you communicate with can learn about your fundraiser.
- Add an announcement to your phone's opening message – When people call your organization, they often hear a menu of different departments or people they can speak with. Before going into those options mention your auction and the URL.
- Send text messages – Shoot your friends a text message with your auction's URL. They can easily click on the URL from their phone and head directly to your auction's homepage and browse your catalog.
- The Classics – Contact local media, make flyers to promote throughout your community, and post ads in newsletters and regular mailings.
- Auction Promotion Services – Give your items and auction event greater visibility! Feature your auction or promote auction items by purchasing space on the BiddingForGood.com homepage. Contact us to learn more.
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