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Raise funds by creating a silent auction

By Jim Dahline, 04/08/15, 12:30PM CDT


Learn how to set up an online auction using Registration and Sitebuilder

Running auctions are a popular way to raise money for organizations that collect donated items and open them up for bidding.

While these are relatively easy to run in person, requiring people to show up to the event can limit the number of bids. Taking the auction online opens opportunities to maximize the money that can be raised.  

In this Pro Tip, we'll walk through how to set up a silent auction on your website.

How it works

There are four main steps we'll need to go through:

1) Set up a registration for potential bidders to complete.

2) Create a smart group to provide access to registered bidders.

3) Create the auction page.

4) Add items to the auction page.

Create a Registration

In the Admin Control Panel, navigate to:

Registration->Create New Registration

You'll then set up your registration collecting data that you want from future bidders. 

Set up Smart Group

Next, we want to create a smart group for the registered bidders. Navigate to 

Members->Groups->Create New Group

Then click on "Smart Group"

Complete the information and be sure to select the registration name you created (in this example "Silent Auction")

Set up the Auction Page

Now, we'll create our auction page. On your website, add a new general page, with the display status as private, and enable news for the page. We're actually going to add each item as a news article.

Give Your Smart Group Page Access

When the page is created, go to the page "Permissions" and click "Add Group". Select the smart group you created and grant "view" access.

Add Items to the Auction Page

In the content area of auction page, add a new layout container, and in that, a News Aggregator page element. 

Add Items as News Articles

Create a news article for each item. Give it a title and description. 

Add Additional Item Details

Add a photo to the item (article) including a photo (Single Photo Element) and Comment Stream Element for people to use for bidding.

TIP: Add the first comment in the stream with opening bid.

Let the Bidding Begin

Now, bidders will use the comment streams to bid on items. Since they are registered, you'll have the data you asked for in the registration to be able to contact them after bidding has closed. 

If you don't want to require them to register (not sure we'd recommend that) to bid, you can remove that part of the process. Either way, this is a quick and easy way to bring an auction to your website and hopefully open a new way to raise funds for your organization.

Jim Dahline

About Jim

Jim Dahline is Director of Product Marketing at SportsEngine. He is active with many customers and specifically with tournaments. He is on the planning committee for US Pond Hockey Championships, serves on the board as Sponsorship/Fundraising Coordinator for Edina Hockey, coaches 6U hockey, and coaches kindergarten soccer for Edina Soccer Association.

Jim is a strong supporter of the American Development Model (ADM) and has completed SafeSport (07/17).

USA Hockey: CEP Modules (MT08), background screen (05/17), CEP #481682.