“The Ask” is hard for many people. When it comes to auctions and fundraising of all kinds, the hardest volunteer positions to fill are procurement and solicitation. Because, let’s face it, the most daunting part of building a great auction or getting that big gift is asking for those great items.

This is true not only for online or mobile auctions and fundraising, but also if you are trying to acquire items for a women’s shelter or a dog rescue. No matter why you are collecting donations, having software that allows you to track the items makes the process a bit easier.

BidCoz’ new procurement component (Platinum Membership Only) is designed to help customers manage that solicitation process. This is a tool that comes with the software free of additional charges. It can be used along with your online and mobile auction or it may be used separately just to manage donations for your non-profit organization.

The component gives you the ability to reach out to potential donors asking for items and giving them the option to go online and submit their donation information themselves. Volunteers can also enter this information as they reach out to donors. This allows organizers to see what items are in the pipeline, assign them to volunteers for pickup, manage the pickup process, and easily transfer the information to your auction catalog (if appropriate).

Some auctions get a lot of the same donated items, or reach out to the same donors, year-after-year. Showing these donors you are moving online will allow them to see how it will benefit them in multiple ways. The donor’s brand will get out to a larger audience and will be presented in a more professional way. It doesn’t eliminate the ask but it can make the giving and management easier.

Here are a few ways to improve the process for your next auction or fundraising event:

  • Include a link to the “Donate Item” page in your auction campaign website solicitation letter and emails.
  • Encourage donors to input their items the way they want them to be seen. This gives them the opportunity to write their own advertising. (You can edit later.)
  • Get volunteers to input the items they’ve received via phone or in person online. As the manager, you will know in real time what items you will have in your auction and manage the pickup of those items. It streamlines the whole process.
  • Once you have a donated item entered into the procurement component, assign the item to a volunteer so that you will know whether or not that item has been picked up. You can also create reports if needed, to know when the donation is ready to move to the auction catalog. It’s a great management tool.

The idea of BidCoz’ component system is flexibility. We offer all of our components separately and as a work-together package, depending on your needs.

You will still have to make “The Ask.” But after that, make sure it’s smooth sailing.

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