Nonprofit Fundraising Mash-Up

–How to Combine Auctions with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Everyone loves peer-to-peer fundraising, and silent auctions can be tons of fun. Why not combine the two at your next event?

“What the heck, Abby!?” I can hear you thinking. “Both of those events are so much work on their own! Why on earth would we do both of them AT THE SAME TIME?!” I hear you. I do. But there are some great reasons to consider it.

Why to Consider Combining a Peer-to-Peer Event and a Silent Auction

Here are the benefits of combining the two kinds of fundraising events:

  • You only need to rent one venue instead of two
  • Event attendees are exposed to more opportunities to give
  • People spend more time at your event, which means more opportunities to give or get involved in other ways

Of those three reasons, my personal favorite is the second. People who may not buy a ticket to a silent auction may show up at your charity’s 5k to cheer for runners. Donors who aren’t sports fans may not get excited about your race, but they could be willing to go bid on a fantastic auction item. Who knows? Exposure to the other part of the event may inspire them to support you in new ways!

How to Pull Off a Peer-to-Peer and Silent Auction Mash-Up

Since no two silent auctions or peer-to-peer events are totally the same, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that will totally suit every organization. But here are some ideas!

Add a Silent Auction to Your Peer-to-Peer Event

This could be as simple as having a silent auction tent set up next to your finish line or event tent. It could also be as complex as giving top fundraisers VIP access to auction items before the event or giving them the opportunity to make the final bid (or pass on bidding) on their favorite items. Having a silent auction tent at your peer-to-peer event expands your event’s scope. Since you’ll have more activities present at the event itself, you’ll draw a wider crowd… and offer attendees more opportunities to give. To really make the most of the day, offer a way for people to donate in person! We suggest setting up a text giving keyword you can promote during the event or having a giving kiosk or phone app like our Mobile Virtual Terminal on hand.

Add a Fundraising Component to Your Next Silent Auction

If your silent auction is your primary fundraising event, consider adding a peer-to-peer component. This is a great way to engage some of your most loyal supporters and highlight their involvement. For this method, a small group of selected peer-to-peer fundraisers may be your best bet. For one example, board members could spend a month or two preceding your event raising money for your cause. At the silent auction, unveil their fundraising totals and invite one or two of them to speak about why they’ve decided to serve with your nonprofit. It’s a great way to get board members involved with the fundraising side of running a nonprofit, and it’s also an opportunity for some of your board members to advocate for your organization.

Alternatively, you can recruit any number of people from different backgrounds to participate in raising money for your event. Community leaders, staff members, dedicated volunteers, or even past clients may be good candidates for this type of fundraiser.

Get Creative

Your organization has a unique mix of supporters. You’ve got a brand, mission, and approach that sets you apart from the crowd. How can you use your donors’ interests, mission, and brand to plan a creative fundraiser? Try exploring options like:

  • A silent auction that includes items related to your peer-to-peer event. Example: if your peer-to-peer event is a bike race, offer helmets, bikes, gift cards to local bike shops, and other related items.
  • A peer-to-peer event featuring local artists or craftsmen. Participants raise money throughout the fundraising period, and their work is auctioned off after the fundraising period is over.
  • Host a battle of the bands at your silent auction. Each band sets up a peer-to-peer fundraising page, and people vote for their favorite band by donating to their individual page.

There are endless opportunities for peer-to-peer fundraising and silent auction mash-ups! The main priority is creating a cohesive event that gives donors and supporters lots of opportunities to give and engage.

Bringing It Together

Based on the software you use, you may have to run your peer-to-peer event and silent auction separately. That can make calculating a grand total raised a little difficult, but it’s doable! The few extra minutes you spend adding up the money you’ve raised will be offset by the fact that you threw a great event. If you’re a Qgiv client, there’s a really simple way to see all the fundraising totals for your mash-up in one place. It’s called FundHub, and it’s really neat. Here’s how it works:

In your account dashboard, you can set up a “FundHub.” A FundHub lets you associate different forms and events with one overall campaign. In this case, you’d set up a FundHub for your silent auction and peer-to-peer mash-up and give it a title. Then, you’d connect your peer-to-peer event and silent auction to that FundHub. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes!

Once it’s set up, every transaction that happens on your peer-to-peer event and silent auction will show up in your FundHub. So, if you’ve sold $3,000 in raffle tickets, raised $24,000 with your peer-to-peer event, and processed $16,000 in silent auction items, your FundHub will show that your overall campaign raised $43,000. Easy!

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Abby Jarvishttps://www.qgiv.com/
ABBY is a writer and nonprofit education enthusiast at Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.
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