Fundraising Blog

Free Silent Auction Software 2024 - A Review of Popular Platforms

Peter Hair
Fundraising technology expert, Co-Founder of GalaBid

In 2024 there is an abundance of silent auction software options available to non-profits and individuals raising money for good causes. They are all optimized for charity fundraising, however the pricing models and support available varies widely. 

Free Silent Auction Software Options

A handful of silent auction software providers, including GalaBid offer fundraising software platforms free of charge. It is an option that look set to continue throughout 2024 and beyond.

While free silent auction software can be a good option for small fundraisers with limited budgets, providers will typically provide free service in return for participants in the auction or raffle being asked to make a contribution to the software provider. These contributions are separate to the transaction fees, charged by the payment processor.

Here is an overview of some popular free silent auction options. Make sure to scroll down to see the comparison summary table.

Before we dive in, it's worth noting that free auction software doesn't suit everyone. If you prefer that your participants are not asked to contribute towards the cost of the silent auction software you'll be pleased to hear that most providers offer a paid tier. This comparison also investigates the costs and inclusions in each provider’s paid tier.


GalaBid made its silent auction, donations and raffle platform free to fundraisers in 2020. The platform offers over 100 features free of charge and campaigns on GalaBid are extremely customizable. Fundraisers can quickly and easily create highly professional, visually stunning campaigns. 

GalaBid can be used by non profit organizations or individuals alike. Online chat support is excellent. With a decade of experience, GalaBid has solidified its position as an established player in the fundraising industry.  See GalaBid’s reviews

Live Event Features

GalaBid’s free platform offers some useful features for live events.  

• Auction Leaderboard

GalaBid offers a number of auction leaderboard templates which are easy to customize. The new bid pop ups are a great way to motivate and entertain an in-room audience. The auction leaderboards also include countdown timers and visuals to track progress to target. 

• Raffle Leaderboard

The free version of GalaBid includes a raffle draw display that can be projected at an event on a big screen. This is great way to make the raffle draw part of the event entertainment. As with auction leaderboards, the raffle display can be customized to match the event branding. 

• Activity Feed

Supporters can engage with the auction campaign by leaving comments and messages of support. 

• Check Out Console

GalaBid’s checkout console is optimized to run busy auction check out desks at events. Winners and item details are quick to search and mark as dispatched. 


GalaBid’s overtime feature can help auctions raise more, as the bidding time is extended until no further bids have been placed.

Sale or Return Auction Items/ Items on Consignment

GalaBid offers a catalog of tried and tested items that fundraisers can add to their auctions on sale or return basis. The starting bid includes a 10% donation, so profit for the fundraiser is guaranteed. These items are backed by a bookings team who take care of fulfilment with winners.

Campaign Branding Customization

GalaBid’s free platform includes the ability to create a home page and info pages with images, videos and text. The campaign menu can also be customized. The result is a highly engaging experience for auction participants. 

Silent Auction Website - Example of branding customization

GalaBid integrates exclusively with Stripe for payments. A Stripe account is easy to set up from within the dashboard and even easier to connect an existing one. However, if another payment processor or payment method is preferred, including cash or check, these options are not available on the free version of GalaBid.

The features available in dashboard are extensive and the help documentation and videos or the live chat support may be needed to understand all the options.

Paid Tier Options
GalaBid offers a paid tier. A software fee of 4.9% is charged on each payment processed and in return participants are not asked to contribute towards GalaBid’s costs at checkout. There are also a handful of bonus features offered on the paid tier including, text notifications and volunteer accounts which allow event staff to place bids and buys on behalf of event guests. See more information on GalaBid's pricing page.


32auctions advertises a basic version of its silent auction software free of charge.  However, the free version of the software includes ads and auction items are limited to 20 with a single image per item. 

32auctions is a good option for fundraisers who need to limit access to the auction to specific bidders, for example anyone with a specific company email address. This feature is included in the free version. 


32auctions is a great free option for fundraisers with only a few items who are taking cash payments as 32Auctions charges a transaction fee for all online payments. This is in addition to the transaction fee charged by the payment processor.  This platform is also a great option for any fundraisers looking to print bid sheets.

Paid Tier
32Auctions allows fundraisers to pay for individual features to be added to their campaign. This is a cost effective way to overcome some of the limitations of the free version. There is also a platform fee of 2.9% + .40c for each online payment.


Betterworld is a free platform with lots of great features. On Betterworld fundraisers can create nicely branded campaigns. The platform also offers a nice way to generate competition amongst volunteers when fundraising in the community. The ability for participants to sign up to regular donations is a great bonus option.


Information about the optional contribution bidders are asked to pay is not outlined on its website. Reviews mention bidders being off put by the request to contribute to Betterworld when placing every bid. 

The platform offers the ability to send message the support team, however instant online chat support is unavailable. For fundraisers running auctions at live events, this may be a deal breaker.

Paid Tier
BetterWorld allows fundraisers to switch off the ask for contributions towards their costs for a flat fee of 950 USD per year.


Givebutter is an established donations platform which launched an auction module at the end of 2022. Its new silent auction product includes lots of useful features, including many payment methods for auction winners. It must be said that other platforms are head and shoulders above, when it comes to creating professional looking campaigns that showcase fundraisers’ and sponsors’ branding. 


Givebutter is a very new provider in the silent auction space. It may take some time for the platform to offer the breath of in-person event features available on other platforms. Some reviews suggest that customer support team may be stretched and may struggle to quickly troubleshoot issues. Online chat is available only during business hours in one timezone - EST, Monday to Friday.

Paid Tier
Givebutter offers fundraisers the option to switch off the ask for tips in return for a software fee. The software fee for auction campaigns is 5%.

Bidding Owl

Bidding Owl is a good option for fundraisers looking for a free service for paper based auctions. The free version includes a web page to preview the auction. Bidding Owl also offers its auction management entirely software free of charge and there are no limits to the number of items that can be added. It's easy to print out bid sheets and auction catalogs. Any number of staff or volunteers can have access to Bidding Owl's auction management software.


An online auction on Bidding Owl is not free. It can be facilitated for a percentage fee of 5%.

With mobile devices so prolific and so many great platforms offering online silent auctions free of charge, choosing a paper based auction is an option that appeals to less and less fundraisers.

Paid Tier
Bidding Owl offers charges a platform fee of 5% for online auctions. The paid tier includes text notifications and 24/7 support. 

Comparison Summary Table

Free Silent Auction Software Comparison Table

Best of luck with your 2024 fundraising auction. If you would like some advice and information running an auction and maximising your total raised, feel free to contact our online chat support team. And, don't forget, auction campaigns can include donation drives and raffles.

Our experienced and friendly team would be delighted to guide you through all the options.

About GalaBid

Ideal for donations. Perfect for Raffles. Awesome for Live and Silent Auctions! GalaBid’s online fundraising platform is designed for fundraisers of all types and sizes. For over 10 years we’ve been helping non-profits, charities, community clubs, churches, schools, and individuals to raise more and make a difference.

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