StoryTelling: Organized & Efficient Equals Time Well Spent
Auction success can be found in all types of philanthropy partnerships. The volunteer event chair for the Market & Auction event for Variety in BC, Canada. They raise funds for special needs kids in British Columbia Variety provides services ranging from therapy to medication to wheelchairs and converted vans. Children's Charity operates as a bridge in circumstances when health care programs are no longer provided. They offer measures to help families cope with the financial burdens of supporting the child in need.
Manual Bid Sheets--Old School Style
My name is Shannon B, here is my fundraising story. I assumed the position of chair for our charity fundraiser four years ago when our auction item bid sheets were organized in a single Word document. I kid you not; 200 pages long with one item listed per page. That was just for starters! Each item was generated in a separate Word document, from display sheets to receipts to certificates. We struggled with organization, flow, and development.
Getting More Organized
In an effort to get more organized, as the auction chair, I set a starting point with the use of Excel spreadsheets set with formulas. This was substantially better, but still time consuming and confusing to multiple administrators. I sensed this would be difficult for other team members to utilize. It was more accurate than using single pieces of paper to record bids, but it was still time consuming. We needed to streamline our operations. There was a glimpse of a clear horizon through our dusty window. But we had more to do to create a crystal clear glass pane. We knew we could do it; we just needed more tweaking of our production. As we explored our options, it became clear that Auctria offered what we needed.
The volunteer Event Chair has now become even more organized using Auctria. Tracking donors and donations on the program makes the process clear and organized; bidder registration and checkout is smooth. Our organization would now have access to past data, therefore providing a mechanism to make informed decisions for future auction activities. This would prove to be invaluable to our future auctions. We could make informed decisions based on facts and therefore potentially increase the auction proceeds. I reported to my co-chair “by some miracle I found this web-based program called Auctria (formerly CAO).” The more I explored what it could do the more excited I got, and by the time I actually met with my team to discuss Auctria, I was almost bouncing off the walls in joy! At the next meeting with my committee, I went over the basics of the program, and every time someone brought up a concern or question I was able to answer it with "Oh don't worry, it does that.....right here...let me show you..." Here’s what we learned and here’s why we were successful:
A hub program for all auction activity is conducive to cross-team communication and coordination. Using one program that handles everything from start to finish, means no balls are dropped and in-turn we can run a professional and well polished event. Your volunteer’s time is valuable, so it's irresponsible to not use it wisely. Being organized translates directly to time saved.
Asking for Help is OK
A team that stands behind a product is vital to its accomplishments. Having timely and detailed responses are necessary in a technologically driven era of web based programs. Timely responses are imperative to successful operations. Online user guides and automatically updated auction content hold the answers to a myriad of volunteer’s questions. It provides the means to refresh the team for next year’s event.
“We estimate that over the past two years since upgrading to Auctria, we have saved hundreds of volunteer hours worked. With Auctria we secured peace of mind for our team. Now the entire process is priceless.”
Special thanks to Shannon B from Variety in BC, Canada for kindly sharing their fundraising story. If you have a best-practice to help enlighten the Auctria family please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org