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How to Run a Successful School Auction

Auctions are becoming more popular among independent schools across the country and raise significant funds. But auction success really depends on getting a few things right – from planning to having the right auction technology.

The following is a guest blog from Miranda Hansen of where she overviews how Lakeridge Junior High School used mobile bidding to raise more money with fewer items.

Want to run a successful auction?  Watch the webinar – The 5 key elements to school auction success – link to webinar

Raise more money and have more fun with – How Lakeridge Junior High School Makes it Happen

The stars were aligned for Lakeridge Jr. High in Lake Oswego when Julie Davidson signed on to chair their event. Using her background in event planning, Julie and her team have run a successful event two years in a row, raising significantly more money each year, while providing their guests with a fun and easy experience (and a cool Oktoberfest theme to boot!) We sat down with Julie to gain some insight into how our software helped make it happen.

Running a Successful Schoo Auctionhappy guests

What made you decide to use
I first became familiar as a volunteer parent at Westridge Jr. High event. When it came time to using it for an event I would chair, not only was it the right price and did what we needed it to do but it was easy to use and there were not a lot of bugs in the software. Also, unlike other companies, there was no outside marketing to my guest list.

What was the onboarding process like for you and your team? First year using compared to second year?
The online help features and demos were extremely helpful and how I learned to use the software most. I loved the online help quite a lot and the screenshots for visuals.. And the training session with volunteers prior to the event was quick and useful. I directed a lot of our volunteers to use the online help because it was the best. We didn’t just use the software for our big event. We also used it for pie sales during the year!

Running a Successful Schoo Auctionmobile bidding helpers

Did you see any changes in your event when you decided to use mobile bidding?
Well, we were the first customer to use mobile bidding and we kind of took a chance. Everything is online now so mobile bidding seemed like the way to go. It was like not putting all our eggs in one basket. We knew the community was eventually going to use it so why not. Guests being on their phone the whole night was a concern because creating a sense of community is one of our top goals for the event but we didn’t see a problem with that. People still had conversations and mingled. Our other concern was if the software would work properly that night. Opening a preview a few days before the event allowed us to sort out any kinks. We also had volunteers walking around with iPads the night of the event so people could find help that way.

I was concerned that all the auction items get the same real estate on mobile bidding and we wanted to highlight some items more than others so the second year around we limited mobile items to our favorite, most coveted bids. We made more money having less items in our second year! In the end, mobile bidding isn’t for everyone. It has to be the right crowd. Jr. High parents were our sweet spot.

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