Invitations–Or, How to Make Auctions Easier for Everyone Involved

Organizing a fundraising auction involves quite a range of tasks. At a minimum, you’re procuring items to sell at your event. You’re probably also selling tickets and giving folks who can’t attend an opportunity to donate cash to your organization. And you may be inviting people to bid in your online auction, too. In other words, you’re reaching out to different sets of supporters at different times and for different reasons. It’s a lot to manage!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could streamline your communications with each of these groups? Well, you can use the software’s invitation feature to do exactly that.

Your site includes customizable email invitations that you can bulk-send to various groups, or send to individuals. You can use the software to invite your:

  • donors to donate items for this year’s event
  • potential guests to buy tickets and/or sponsorships
  • supporters to give cash to support your cause
  • supporters to bid in your online auction
  • guests to vote in mobile voting contests (Plus/Premium only)
  • team members to assume roles on your site
  • guests to self check-in to your event
  • winning bidders to self check-out at the close of your event
  • ticket buyers to provide guest information

With just a couple of clicks, you can easily send the right message to the right audience. No mail merging, label printing, or envelope stuffing necessary!

And no waiting and hoping potential ticket buyers and bidders will type in that link you published in the school newsletter. People with every intention to bid may lose the newsletter or just forget — life is busy, after all. But if you email folks an invitation with a link inviting them to bid, they can get started right away. (Plus and Premium subscribers can even bulk-text mobile bidding invites to their supporters.)

Each invitation contains a personalized link for its recipient. (So don’t suggest that folks forward or share their emails — their link is for them alone!) Clicking on that link takes the recipient directly to the page of your site where they can get started with whatever action you’ve invited them to take: submitting an item donation, purchasing tickets, donating cash, bidding online, etc. Invitations make it all super easy–for your supporters and for you!

Want to make things even more convenient? Invite your gala guests to self check-in and self check-out. Your guests will appreciate being able to skip the lines. And shorter lines mean you’ll need fewer volunteers working your check-in/check-out stations on event night.

Self check-in invites even allow guests to print their bidder number and vault a credit card ahead of time. Self check-out lets folks review and pay for their purchases — either with a pre-vaulted card or by entering a different credit card — while they finish that leisurely last glass of wine at their table.

Yet another convenient invitation feature: you can invite your ticket buyers to provide guest information. If you sell a lot of table tickets, these buyers may not know who they’re bringing at the time of purchase. So those guest slots may be unassigned on your Tickets page. Which is perfectly fine, but wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance who they are? (And whether any of them need the vegan meal option you’re offering this year?) As your event approaches, you can send your Ticket Buyers an invitation to provide guest info. This will reduce the number of Unassigned tickets, which, again, will shorten your check-in lines. (And maybe even help you plan your catering.) 

There’s only one requirement for using the invitation system, and you’ve probably already guessed what it is. In order to email invitations, you need — that’s right — email addresses. (Plus/Premium customers also need mobile phone numbers for texting invites to bid). So make sure to collect those early on. You and your supporters will be glad you did.

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