This release is focused on delivering a set of tools that will help with the all-difficult item acquisition campaign. "Our data strongly show that this is the single and most critical success factor for any auction committee and also the most complex and difficult in this economy", says Jon Carson, CEO of BiddingForGood. "Up until now there have been no tools on the market to aid in what can only be described as a mission critical task that is directly correlated to auction success," he added.
In addition, the release is meant to enable more fundraisers to participate in charitable commerce and utilize the auction model. National research is showing that charitable budgets are tapped out and even declining for the first time in 30 years. "Our intention is that Item Acquisition Manager, Release 6.0 will enable more organizations to participate in tapping household discretionary purchasing budgets and create a new auction-based revenue stream", says Carson.
Release 6.0 is built around three distinct components;
· Best Practices Guidance- The tool includes 2-4 minute videos from some of the most successful auction mgrs in the United States, sample letters and call scripts, guidance sheets, item ideas from successful auctions that can often be easily secured internally (e.g. Principal for a day, etc). This content enables any auction committee to get smart fast and learn from the best practices observed from over 10,000 auctions and dozens of field interviews.· Volunteer & Task Management - The tool helps the auction manager develop a project plan and gives a comprehensive dashboard to manage their entire campaign. The auction manager enters in the volunteer team and assigns item solicitation tasks to follow-up with. The system sends each volunteer all-important weekly email reminders while enabling the volunteer to check off tasks when completed giving a full set of optics into how the campaign is doing. It also enables volunteers to capture market intelligence on item donors for follow-on years by providing a notes section for each merchant/item donor.
· Donor Prospect Lists- BiddingForGood's proprietary database of 10,000+ completed auctions allows it to uniquely identify the most generous merchants who give frequently in every metro. These specially built proprietary lists detail merchant prospects for the top 20 metros in the U.S that include key contact name, address, telephone number, and often email address, and is easily exportable into a mail-merge solution.The company believes there is no comparable solution like this in the market. The tool was built with ongoing input from over a dozen of the best auction managers around the United States who are BiddingForGood customers. In this research it became clear that because of the turnover in volunteers there was a need for best practices guidance content. BiddingForGood tapped some of its most innovative and successful customers for ideas and filmed a set of videos that any volunteer can benefit from (e.g. How to Make a Cold Call, Four Tips From a Million Dollar Auction Fundraiser, etc).
It also became clear that auction managers needed a tool to help manage their volunteer teams. Because item acquisition is essentially a sales activity, often involving large numbers of recently assembled volunteers, the company modeled its volunteer management tool after some of the leading sales management systems like Salesforce.com to enable task management, notes, and follow-up reminders. Says one auction volunteer who advised on the design, Katie Grandy, from Menlo Park, CA, "This is a godsend. There is so much coordinating and task management that the market is desperate for this kind of tool".
Lastly, all auction committees are always looking for new item prospects. The company realized that its proprietary database of over 10,000 completed auctions comprising one million individual auction items would indicate which merchants in each metro were most likely to donate. "We realized that many merchants were frequent donors seeing it as a form of grass roots marketing providing a marketing benefit, but fundraisers have no way of being able to identify them", says CEO Jon Carson.
Getting items is a complex set of tasks with many moving parts for every auction committee and auction committees need tools that help organize this process. "On Sept 15th we look forward to bringing the first set of comprehensive item acquisition tools to the fundraising market", adds Carson.
BiddingForGood is the leading cause-related e-commerce platform connecting consumers and marketers to non-profit fundraising events. Online auctions powered by BiddingForGood have generated nearly $100 million for non-profit organizations by allowing them to expand their bidder universe and access a new source of items. Clients can secure more items by better managing volunteers, accessing best practices guidance, and access to proprietary item donor lists. BiddingForGood's Donated Items program also provides access to items by working with dozens of brand marketers to deliver a product advertising program that enables them to efficiently reach affluent donors just as they are spending in a trusted environment. In addition, over 300 retail locations use BiddingForGood's Automated Item Request System (AIRS) to efficiently process thousands of item requests each month. Lastly, over 200,000 registered cause minded shoppers growing at 70% per year help drive an additional 30% more bids for clients expanding their universe of shoppers.
This cause marketplace can be experienced at www.BiddingForGood.com.