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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

AuctionMaestro replacement

  • 1.  AuctionMaestro replacement

    Posted Sep 22, 2018 11:47
    Hi braintrust!  We have our annual gala this evening.  Last night my staff and I were doing a final practice run on the qcheck add-on to a piece of software called AuctionMaestro.  Well, it was working fine until it wasn't (after the customer service hours of the iATS merchant services company).  Needless to say, it's the latest in a whole series of troubles with the software: poor integration with Raisers Edge, clunky database, no import of last year's donors or other merchandise settings.  Don't get me wrong, the people at the company have been great and patient and friendly -- no complaints there.  The system is just not working for us.

    So my question is -- at this point in the auction tech world (silent/live/online/raise the paddle), what systems are other orgs using that you love?  We need to implement something new for next year and at this point I'm willing to pay for quality.  Open to suggestions.  Thanks for your input.
    Mary
    PS -- wish us luck tonight as we go old school, low tech.

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    Mary Boden
    Executive Assistant and Administrative Manager
    American Horticultural Society
    Alexandria, VA
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  • 2.  RE: AuctionMaestro replacement

    Posted Sep 24, 2018 11:07
    Edited by Molly Trerotola Sep 25, 2018 14:15
    Hi Mary - Are you looking specifically for auction tech? If you're exploring other on-site fundraising tools Give Lively has a high-tech and free Text-To-Donate with Live Display that's really popular at nonprofit events. Don't be put off by "free"; our tech is free because our org is funded like a foundation. Try texting "WOMEN" to 44321 to see how it works (FYI this is a live page). Would be happy to hop on a call or send you more information!

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    Molly Trerotola
    Media & Communications Manager
    Give Lively
    New York, NY
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  • 3.  RE: AuctionMaestro replacement

    Posted Sep 26, 2018 12:58
    Hi Mary - It has been a few years, but my previous organization used BidPal and we really liked it.  People could use their own smartphones and if we had their cell phone numbers, we were able to text them a link the day of that logged them in to the mobile site (they did not have to download an app).  It was easy for people to sign in themselves if we weren't able to text them the link as well as to accommodate guests whose names we didn't have ahead of time.  We also requested from BidPal to have some extra mobile devices on hand in case people did not have their phones, and we had some people stationed with iPads logged in as well in case attendees didn't want to carry anything.  It did not integrate with our CRM but I am not sure if that was from the BidPal side or the DonorPerfect Online side at the time.  We were able to get reports the evening of, including the ability to download the csv afterwards, to have a live chart up on the screen for the donations, and to get itemized receipts for having people pay at checkout at the end of the evening or send as invoices after.  We also had BidPal staff on site for the event, which as extremely helpful.  It was certainly not cheap (I wasn't the event manager so I did not handle the contract), but we typically had about 800-900 guests and often raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from our auction (live and silent), so it was well worth it in terms of efficiency for staff and ease of use and efficiency for our event attendees.  Our development director really loved being able to announce the amount raised and auction proceeds at the end of the evening--impossible do accurately when you're going by hand.  I do not have experience with other auction services though, so my only comparison was from doing it manually with Excel spreadsheets and paper auction bids so this was obviously a huge upgrade.  I'm sure there are many more options available out there now as well and more of a range depending on what your requirements/usage will be like.

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    Janice Chan
    Co-Organizer, NTEN Nonprofits and Data group
    Writer, Wethos
    SH/FT+SCAFFOLD
    Baltimore, MD
    Twitter: @curiositybone
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  • 4.  RE: AuctionMaestro replacement

    Posted Oct 05, 2018 21:24
    Hi Mary,

    I work for a company called Greater Giving who's products were built specifically for fundraising events. We offer 100% cloud based solutions and the ability to pre-swipe credit cards at check-in. Best of all we are the only nonprofit software company that is both the software provider and the merchant services provider which means all support with Greater Giving is under one roof! We have over 10,000 clients and have been used at over 50,000 nonprofit events since we started in 2002.

    I would be more than happy to send you a reference or two in your area if you would be interested! We would love to help streamline your event and take away all the software headaches it sounds like you had this year!

    Thank you for your time,


    -Shane Tennyson
    Area Marketing Representative
    Greater Giving