Fundraising Blog

Maximize Volunteer Power at Fundraising Events

Vic Birch
Passionate fundraising storyteller

How amazing are your volunteers? These awesome people are passionate about your cause and happy to give their time to help achieve great things for your non-profit.

If you’re holding an in-person fundraising event, volunteers can make a huge difference to your guests’ experience and your fundraising results.

Let’s take a look at the invaluable role volunteers play elevating fundraising activities - from paddle raises and raffles to live and silent auctions.

Paddle Raises

Paddle raises are popular at in-person fundraising events.  Each guest is given a numbered paddle on arrival. Then, at a specified time during the event, the host or auctioneer calls for donations. Donations are of various amounts are asked for, with the amounts usually starting high. Guests simply raise their paddles to signify that they will make a donation for the amount that has been called out.  

Volunteer Power

Volunteers play a critical role in paddle raises as they are typically responsible for recording the donation amounts and paddle numbers. They are often responsible for ensuring every single pledge is counted and allocated to the correct donor.

Tech that Helps

Using a fundraising platform volunteers can quickly search and select a paddle number and enter the donation amount.

Once the donation drive is completed, the volunteers can finalize payments, or, they can add the donation to the donor's invoice to be paid later.

Live Auctions

A live fundraising auction sees event guests bid for items by raising their hand or a paddle to raise funds for a non-profit organisation.  

Volunteer Power

Volunteers play a crucial role as ‘spotters’ in a live auction. Divide the room into sections and ensure each volunteer is well positioned to see and point out bidders to the auctioneer. Decide ahead of time who is going to record highest bids and bidders. Also, decide ahead of time who, where and when payments will be processed for live auction items.

Common scenarios are:

- A volunteer enters the winning bid and takes payments at the guest's table or a payment desk immediately after the live auction has finished.

- Alternatively, a volunteer adds the winning bid amount to the winner's invoice. When the silent auction closes the winner is prompted to pay for any live and silent auction items won.

In the lead up to the live auction volunteers can also help guests with queries about live auction prizes and the live auction bidding process.

Silent Auction

A quick note on silent auctions.

Volunteers are a fantastic asset when it comes to the silent auction. They can help guests register and get ready to bid, they can place bids on behalf of guests, and help with checkout.

They can be invaluable for guests who don’t feel comfortable with technology or any guest whose phone battery has gone flat. Some guests simply value a personal shopper style service which volunteers are in prime position to provide.

Tech that Helps

With access to a user-friendly fundraising platform with a specific volunteer mode, volunteers can help attendees register for the silent auction, place bids on their behalf, and track bidding progress.  They can also undertake personal preference edits, such as making bidders’ accounts anonymous.

A silent auction at an event with active volunteers boosts bidder engagement enabling the silent auction to raise more.


A fundraising raffle supports a non-profit by selling tickets for a prize draw. Guests can purchase one or more tickets. The more tickets they buy, the greater their chance of winning!

Volunteer Power

Event volunteers can encourage ticket sales, answer queries, and create an atmosphere of anticipation by chatting to guests about the amazing prizes and how they’re supporting a great cause.

Volunteers selling paper tickets for cash is the most traditional method of running a raffle at an event. As many people don't carry cash having a quick way to take card payments is highly recommended.

Tech that Helps

If you are running an auction on a digital platform, also managing your raffle on the platform could be the perfect solution.  Guests buy their own tickets on their mobiles, in addition to volunteers processing ticket sales for guests.

With digital ticketing volunteers enter in the details, and process the payments. The fundraising platform sends the online tickets to the purchaser. Volunteers can help guests quickly process raffle ticket purchases, and remind them to watch out for real-time notifications that indicate when the raffle is closing and when winners will be notified.

Online Donation Drives

A online donation drive simply encourages event guests to donate via the fundraising platform.  Guests can be encouraged by a host or an auctioneer to enter their donation into a fundraising platform at a certain moment, or, at specific intervals over the course of the event.

A leaderboard showing progress to a target is displayed on screen during the drive or multiple times during the event. Online donation drives work really well when the fundraiser wishes to engage the maximum number of guests to contribute, at a wide range of levels.

Volunteer Power

Volunteers can assist guests by placing donations on their behalf and assisting with payment processing.

Tech that Helps

Volunteers can leverage digital fundraising platform tools to make the donation process seamless for event guests.  Volunteers can assist by guiding donors through an instant checkout process or adding the donation to their invoice to be paid later.

In Summary

Volunteers can make fundraising events a success! Combined with clever fundraising technology, volunteers can maximize results and create memorable experiences for your event guests.  

Ready to rev-up your fundraising? Check out GalaBid's help center volunteer article and video to learn more about how GalaBid Volunteer accounts can help you delight guests and raise more.

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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