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The Power of Online Auctions

Online auctions are a powerful way for nonprofits to reach their fundraising goals. We're sharing the benefits of online auctions.

Living in a digital world means that we’re constantly turning to technology to make things more efficient, and charity auctions are no exception. 

For nonprofits to navigate the ever-changing fundraising landscape, using the virtual space to organize fundraisers has not only allowed goals to be met but has unlocked new ways to stay connected while further building community. As reported by Canada Helps in 2020, online donations continued to accelerate at record rates, even as total giving fell. 

Overall, Canadians give 1.6% of their income to charity.

We saw this with the online auction Epilepsy South Central Ontario (ESCO) hosted on Kambeo. Despite all the challenges that 2020 brought with it, Epilepsy South Central Ontario decided to meet it all with lightness and a sense of humor. They converted their annual silent auction into a virtual event with Kambeo. In just 6 hours, ESCO was able to auction off over 30 items online, raising $1000. By encouraging bidding from the comfort of home paired with the convenience of online browsing, ESCO was able to achieve its goal in record time. 

Why are nonprofits turning to online auctions? 

Online auctions help nonprofits raise money. Being offered the chance to walk away with an amazing item while also supporting a worthy cause  spurs more giving. Online auctions get people excited to give while making the process of event management, effortless. 

In 2020, online giving accelerated at record rates,
while total giving is projected to have declined to 2016 levels.

Charity auctions have a lot of moving parts. Between directing your team, building your guest list, marketing your event, procuring items, and hammering down logistics, the list can feel overwhelming. Migrating your charity to the online space with the help of Kambeo simplifies this. To help maximize your fundraising opportunity, we’ve compiled a few tips from our experience with hosting online events. 

What are the benefits of hosting an online auction?

To follow are some of the benefits of online auctions:

  1. Online auctions with Kambeo allow you to list unlimited items. This means that you can build up your items over time. As you grow your items you can also stagger closing times to keep your bidders engaged.  

  2. Hosting an online auction allows you to engage with your donors frequently. Using social media is a way to stay in front of your donors with updates, additions, and successful closing bids to keep them engrossed as the online auction is happening. 

  3. Transitioning from an in-person auction to an online auction means that you are no longer locked into a night to capture all your bids. Having the ability to host your auction over a multi-day period gives you extra days to raise more money. 

  4. An online auction opens the possibility of beginning your fundraiser earlier. Giving people a sneak peek virtually or through a live stream can increase interest and excitement about the items you’ve collected. It’s also a great way to market your upcoming online auction. 

  5. Deciding to use Kambeo to host your online auction means you will be able to easily manage auction payments while omitting the process of having to manually issue tax receipts. Not only does this save you time but agitation, allowing more time to focus on what matters – engaging your donors and bidders to raise more for your cause.  

  6. Online Auctions help stimulate local economies and can attract new customers to small businesses. This is particularly powerful while we continue to live with the societal effects of Covid-19. You can shop local, give local and now bid local to support your community.

Online Auctions in Action

The CPL Poppy Commemorative Jerseys Auction


In November 2021, the Canadian Premier League (CPL) set up an online auction in support of The Royal Canadian Legion. When speaking with Calvin Feurstein, Digitial Marketing at CPL, he notes, “This is the first year that we’ve partnered up with the Legion. We produced limited edition jerseys that featured the Poppy on them. Our players wore these jerseys in designated Remembrance Day matches, and those jerseys were auctioned off in support of the local Poppy Trust Fund. Each player signed their jerseys, making them collectible items for the fans.

The results were astonishing, “We raised over $22,000 for the local Poppy Trust Fund which was great. We had 100% sell-through. We had eight teams and around 16-17 jerseys per team, (approximately 130 jerseys), and every single jersey had a bidder. We also received some positive feedback from fans anecdotally on social media. The fan engagement was extremely positive and supportive and an initiative that resonated with our supporters from coast-to-coast,” Feurstein noted.

You can read the whole interview here.

Kambeo can Help

The fundraising landscape has changed. At Kambeo, we’ve created the tools to help you navigate these changes while successfully reaching your fundraising goals. Online auctions are a great way to get people excited while putting them in a giving mood. Using Kambeo makes the process of online event management for your auctions effortless.

We’re here to make it easier to make a difference.

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