Back to the Blog

A Quick Guide to Hosting a Virtual Auction Fundraiser

A man sitting at a desk and typing on his laptop. The screen is displaying a donation page with two hands around a red heart.


Virtual auction fundraisers have gained popularity recently, offering a modern twist on traditional fundraising events. These online events provide a convenient and engaging way to raise funds while tapping into a broader audience. Unlike physical events that experience limited attendance due to location, virtual auctions eliminate geographical barriers, allowing donors from all over the world to participate. Additionally, they often incur lower overhead costs, making them an attractive option for fundraising coordinators. Continue reading for a quick guide to hosting a virtual auction fundraiser.

Setting Clear Goals

To begin planning your virtual auction fundraiser, start by setting clear goals and objectives. Identify the amount of money you aim to raise and outline specific targets. Knowing your objectives will help shape the entire event, from selecting items to determining marketing strategies. Next, choose the right platform for hosting your virtual auction. Many online platforms cater specifically to virtual fundraisers, offering features like live streaming, real-time bidding, and secure payment processing. Research and select a platform that suits your needs and budget.

Building an Item Catalog

Building a compelling item catalog is another crucial step. Curate a diverse range of items that will appeal to your audience, including unique experiences, memorabilia, and high-demand products. Ensure each item has a detailed description and high-quality images to entice potential bidders. Once your catalog is ready, establish a marketing plan to reach potential donors. Utilize social media, email campaigns, and partnerships with influencers or local businesses to spread the word about your event. The more visibility you create, the more likely you are to attract a large audience.

Engaging With Donors

Engaging with donors and participants is key to a successful virtual auction fundraiser. Leverage social media and email to keep your audience informed and excited about the event. Share sneak peeks of auction items, highlight special features, and remind them of important dates.

During the event, utilize technology to create an interactive experience. Live streaming the auction, incorporating chat features, and providing real-time updates can make participants feel more involved and engaged. Setting competitive starting bids and incorporating “buy it now” options can also enhance the bidding experience. Competitive pricing encourages participation, while “buy it now” options provide instant gratification for eager donors.

Providing Clear Instructions for Bidding

Providing clear instructions for bidding and payment is essential to ensure a smooth process. Make sure all participants understand how to place bids, how the bidding process works, and how they can make payments securely. Offering multiple payment options, such as credit cards or other digital payment methods, can increase convenience for donors. Clear communication and easy-to-follow instructions will minimize confusion and enhance the overall experience.

With this quick guide to hosting a virtual auction fundraiser, your online event can be a resounding success. Ready to get started? Vertical Raise is an online donation platform ideal for soccer team fundraisers and other group fundraising initiatives. We can help you raise more money in less time through email marketing, text messaging, and social media campaigns. Contact us today to begin planning your virtual auction fundraiser.