Fundraising Blog

How to find the Right Online Bidding Software to raise money for your cause?

Vic Birch
Passionate fundraising storyteller

Are you planning an online auction to raise funds in 2024? If you are, you may be wondering how to choose from the many online bidding platforms on the market.

Whether you’re organizing a glamorous Charity Gala, a local school fair, or running a fundraising auction as a standalone online campaign, we’ve compiled a guide to the essential features and considerations when selecting online bidding software. Read on or watch the below video where Angela Bolton, GalaBid's Head of Production explains what to look out for.

Ease of Use

An absolute must-have, your online bidding software has to be easy for you and your campaign participants to use. 

Opt for a platform that delivers an intuitive interface. This basically means you can access and use the software without the need for extensive training and head scratching!

A user-friendly design not only saves time but ensures smooth participation for your live or silent auction supporters. Accessibility is important, so choose a platform that is mobile-friendly and compatible with a range of devices and operating systems. Payment processes should be secure and user-friendly, ideally supporting popular methods like Google Pay and Apple Pay.


Custom Design

Your online bidding software should give you the opportunity to custom design the look and feel of your auction, without the need for advanced graphic design skills!

Look for platforms offering free customization options which allow you to create a great looking brand image for your campaign. Features such as customizable info pages and high-quality images of auction prizes will make the participant experience fun and engaging.


Notifications and Updates 

Real-time updates and out-bid notifications are great for creating excitement and maintaining participant engagement.  Online bidding software that provides real-time notifications will keep your audience informed and involved throughout the event.

For example, let’s say your auction closes at 10pm. You can schedule a notification at 9:50pm to let people know they have 10 minutes left to bid. It’s an effective way to encourage final bids, and a nice reminder for people who really wanted to bid but had lost track of time during the evening. 


Item Catalogs

Sourcing high-quality auction items is a significant challenge in fundraising campaigns. Finding prize items that are donated, or provided at a very low cost to your campaign, can take a huge amount of time and effort.

Some online bidding software platforms (like GalaBid) go the extra mile by offering non-profits and charities prize items on a no-risk basis.  This means you can source your auction items in no time at all. And if the item doesn’t sell at auction, there’s no cost to you. 

Your item provider should be able to offer you a diverse range of items at varying price points.  Even better if there’s a digital catalog that you can incorporate into your online bidding platform!

Some platforms even provide a dedicated prize bookings team to ensure winners can receive and access their items quickly and without fuss.


Service and Support

It’s worth noting that a reliable support system isn’t offered by every platform provider. If you’re super confident with using your platform or your fundraising campaign is small and straightforward, you may not need much additional support. 

However, if you’d like to access help when you need it, choose a platform that offers prompt and dependable customer support.  This might be through online guides, videos, FAQs, or a dedicated support team…or all four!  

Having access to a range of help services enables you to choose the support you need.  Want a quick refresher on how to add auction items to your online catalog? A video explainer will tell you what you need to know.  Has your event wi-fi gone down and you need help, fast? A real-person support chat can find a fast and smart workaround. 


User Reviews

Before making a final decision, explore user reviews to gain insights into the experiences of other fundraisers with different online bidding software options. It’s easy for platform providers to tell you how great they are, but independent review sites (such as Trustpilot) will give you the low-down on whether the sales spin translates to a great product in the real world. 


In Summary

The right online bidding software can transform your campaign into a resounding success but choosing from one of the (very many) available platforms can be tricky.  Understanding which features you need for your campaign, and what you should expect your online bidding software to deliver, will help ensure you pick the perfect platform for your campaign.

Ready to start your fundraising campaign for free? Sign up and test GalaBid now.

Want to know more? Ask our online chat team, or drop us a line at

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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