11/4/16

Fundraising Success: Bats and Balls with Shoes Bags and Glad Rags

Family Action hit the fundraising nail on the head, with their two recent events, Bats and Balls and Shoes Bags and Glad Rags. Both events were informal and informative, serving canapés and champagne on arrival, followed by an interactive discussion by leading experts in sports and fashion. Guests had the opportunity to bid in the silent auction from their smart phones, with no tablet in sight! Both evenings concluded with a live auction, processing all payments through the GalaBid software.

We asked Emma, the fundraising officer at Family Action, for her views on using GalaBid for these events:

'Whilst both events were quite different in terms of audience, venue and theme, using Galabid at both events meant the back-end organisation of the evening was straightforward and consistent.'

Both of your events capitalised on the ease of mobile bidding, without using tablets on tables, how do you think guests felt using their phones instead of tablets? Do you think this had an effect on the final result?

'People loved using their phones, and we'd already got lots of people bidding before the event even started. When they arrived, using their phones meant they could chat to other guests and keep up to date with which lots they were winning on at the same time. I think having the text alerts kept the silent auction moving quickly as people were instantly notified and could quickly and easily bid again without help from volunteers. We also had volunteers on hand to support, which helped the few guests who were less confident with the technology and enabled everyone to take part. Having lots of people bidding quickly meant we got more optimal prices for the auction lots.'

You divided your events into male and female based topics, rugby and fashion, reaching out to renowned experts in their area to create discussion. Why did you not settle for the classic sit down gala dinner? And how do you think this affected your fundraising results?

'The drinks & canapes events were much more free flowing than formal sit down meals, enabling guests to network more easily and encouraging them to look at the silent auction displays, which I think encouraged people to get involved. The sports / fashion themes helped us reach out to more of our contacts for different type auction lots, and keep them on the theme of the evening. We hope having the expert speakers will stand out in guests minds and encourage them to support Family Action and attend more of our events in future.'

The live auctions were managed through the GalaBid software, registering each guest upon entry, and linking a paddle number to each guest, how did you find this experience?

'This system worked really well. We registered about 50% of guests before the evening (anyone we had mobile numbers for). As guests arrived they were given a numbered paddle which was then linked to their existing account, or the one we quickly created from them as they enter. When the live auction took place we had multiple spotters around  the room, and as long as at least one of them could spot the winning paddle number and tell Henry, this was instantly uploaded to the system. This meant when the silent auction closed 15 minutes after the live auction, all guests who had won on the live or silent auction were texted their final bill. This was very strait forward and meant guests could pay on their phones or with our volunteers in minutes, and enabled us to process the vast majority of payments on the night. Although we originally got Galabid on board to help run the silent auction, their software helped us manage many more aspects of the event.'

Family Action obviously have a wide plethora of able and diligent volunteers, was it beneficial to have a GalaBid technician on site for support?

'At first we weren't sure whether to pay the extra little bit and have a Galabid technician - I thought I could probably manage any issues that came up and deal with it ourselves. However having opted to have a technician at our first event it was clear it was well worth the money and opted for the same at the second. When there are so many other things to think about, knowing that you have an expert on site to deal with any issues around the payments (often the most complicated element), the silent auction and display screens was a huge relief. Henry also arrived early to brief all the volunteers on how to use the software.'

What advice would you offer a fundraiser thinking of using silent auction software?

'I would definitely recommend Galabid for an easy to use, stress free silent auction option. Their USP is registering guests by text which is far quicker than other methods, and their expert technicians can help you design the ideal process that will work for your event.'

We look forward to working with Family Action in the future. In the meantime,if you would like to learn more about mobile bidding please click here.

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GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.

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