Charity auctions are brilliant ways to excite your donors and rake in donations, but they’re far from easy to plan.

Between item procurement and seating arrangements, there’s more to do than any one person should need to. Luckily, there’s a plethora of auction software ready to help you through even the most chaotic times of managing your event.

But with so many options to choose from, how can you make sure you select the right auction tools for your nonprofit?

Before determining which auction software provider is best, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the features you’ll need to pull off an effectual event. Here, we’ll cover the following:

And if you’re looking for suggestions, we’ve put together a list of our ten favorite auction software providers. Feel free to skip around to the choices that interest you most, or read along with us from the beginning:

The right auction software can mean the difference between a successful fundraising event and a waste of time and resources. Luckily, we’ve done a ton of research for you and have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you choose the right tools. Are you ready to get started? Let’s jump in!

Let's discuss the basics of auction software.

Features to Look For

If you’ve never shopped around for auction software, it can be a bit overwhelming to know what you’re looking for. In other words, what makes a good auction tool? Here are some characteristics you’ll want to keep in mind as you explore your various options:

Ticketing & Registration

Whether you choose to host an in-person or a virtual auction, ensuring effective ticketing and registration practices is crucial. Here are a few key things to consider for better event planning:

  • Ticketing is an important element of auction software.Will you charge for tickets? If so, how much? While some charity auctions do charge a cover fee for participants, others rely instead on sliding donations or overall bid revenue to raise money. If you do decide to charge, it’s a good idea to keep the price low so as to keep your guests in the giving mood!
  • Will you enforce a registration cap? A registration cap is primarily important for in-person events where you may run out of physical space for your attendees. However, even for virtual events, guest limits can lead to a feeling of exclusivity and urgency when you begin to promote your upcoming auction. If you do decide on a cap, be sure to let your supporters know when you’re approaching your limit so they have the chance to register before it’s too late.

For an in-person event, in particular, encouraging pre-registration allows you to better plan and prepare the venue. For example, you’ll know how many tables and seats to put out, and have better estimates for your catering needs.

Further, for both online and face-to-face auctions, having an accurate estimate allows you to get a better sense of planned revenue and fundraising goals. Therefore, be sure that your registration process is simple and straightforward to get as many guests registered beforehand as possible.

Silent auctions can make use of effective auction software.Online & Mobile Bidding

The way participants bid is arguably the most essential function of any auction software. That is because it is directly through your bidding tools that attendees are able to take part in the auction, placing bids on items they’d like to win.

That being said, the easier it is for participants to bid on auction items, the higher the level of engagement you’ll see, and the more money you’ll raise for your cause. 

It’s crucial that you invest in auction software that allows users to bid from whichever device they choose—whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. For instance, if your software only functions from a full-sized computer, you essentially limit your guests’ ability to participate by excluding mobile users.

The best auction software provides functionality for both online and mobile bidding, so that auction attendees can participate from wherever they are and with whichever devices they have on hand.

Check-Out & Donations

Ticketing and donation functionality is crucial for any auction software.Your check-out process is one of the most important elements of your charity auction because it’s likely to leave a lasting impression on guests. While a streamlined and user-friendly process can leave attendees in a great mood and looking forward to your next event, a poorly designed process can leave a bad taste in guests’ mouths.

Here are a few things to consider when planning your auction:

  • Ensure payments are processed securely. Whichever auction software you decide on, make sure it uses a potent and secure payment processing tool. Otherwise, you risk guest information getting into the wrong hands, which can harm both your supporters and your reputation.
  • Speed up the check-out process whenever possible. An unnecessarily lengthy check-out process is one of the worst things you can do for your auction. Instead, be sure to only require essential information for payments, which can even be collected beforehand in order to continuously streamline check-out.
  • Offer multiple opportunities for additional donations. The revenue coming from auction items is a great way to raise money for your cause, but it shouldn’t be the only way. Make sure guests have the option to quickly and easily make additional donations at your auction, including before, during, and after the event.

Another thing to consider when choosing your auction software is whether it’s compatible with your other fundraising tools. For example, can the data you collect on auction attendees be quickly transferred to your donor database? If not, you may have to consider the time it would take for manual transfers, or else lose out on intuitive data-driven insights.
These are our favorite auction software providers.

Our Favorite Auction Software

To get started, let’s walk through ten of our favorite software providers for charity auctions—whether that’s an in-person event, a virtual rendering, or a combination of the two. You’re sure to find one that catches your eye!

1. Snowball

Auction Software Overview

Snowball’s powerful suite of fundraising tools is expanding once again to effectively tackle the need for affordable, yet robust, auction software in the nonprofit space. In addition to their easy-to-use online donation pages and text-to-give functionality, they now offer the greatest valued auction tools in the market.

This top-of-the-line auction tool provides fundraisers with the resources they need to pull off a successful event in no time. Snowball makes it easier than ever for auction participants to bid from wherever they are, whenever they want, with real-time notifications and mobile bidding tools.

Better yet, 4 out of 5 Snowball donations result in a card on file for future giving—effectively allowing for single-click gifts going forward. Not only that, but supporters from anywhere in the Snowball network can seamlessly donate across organizations (including nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and schools) without having to constantly re-enter their payment information.

Key Features

Snowball is the best choice for auction software.

Snowball offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Ability to accept additional donations via Snowball account
  • Online event registration and ticketing tools
  • Unlimited app-based auctions with unlimited auction items
  • Mobile and online bidding options offering contact-less participation
  • Online tools supported by all major browsers and devices for increased accessibility
  • Text-to-bid functionality optimized for live (virtual and in-person) events
  • Streamlined checkout process and automated email receipts
  • Photos and descriptions of items
  • Email and/or text notifications when a guest has won or been outbid
  • Compilation of all auction data in one location along with a display of real-time stats and fundraising updates
  • The choice between automatic countdown functionality and manual beginnings and ends
  • Ability to save, edit, and restart previous auctions
  • “Purchase Now” option for raffle tickets or instant item purchases
  • Flexible payment gateways, with choice of bringing your own or using the dedicated Snowball payment processing tool
  • High-quality customer support available in both English and Spanish

With these tools and functions, your fundraising team will be well-equipped to run a successful auction and raise more for your mission.

Pricing

Snowball is at the top of our list because it offers the best value of any auction platform out there. Choose from several free fundraising tools with their Essential Plan, or feel free to explore their more comprehensive Premium Plan for $549/year.

Then, be sure to add on their auction software package for an additional fee onto either account. Even better, they offer bundle-and-save discount pricing for Premium Plan upgrades! If you’re looking for the most robust tools for the lowest price, Snowball is definitely the choice to make.

2. OneCause

Auction Software Overview

OneCause is an overall fundraising platform that specializes in helping nonprofits maximize the impact of their charity auctions.

Their software simplifies the planning, execution, and wrap-up of your charity auction event. With such tools, you’ll be able to raise funds for your organization and build out donor relationships.

Key Features

OneCause is a good choice for auction software.

OneCause offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Auction item management and procurement
  • Online ticket sales
  • Seamless registration process
  • Donation appeals, raffle ticket purchase, and max bids
  • Instant checkout and automatic email receipts
  • Post-event analytics and reporting

From item procurement and registration to emailed receipts and reporting, OneCause will help your organization host an incredible event from start to finish with their comprehensive solutions.

Pricing

OneCause offers four auction software packages, ranging from a Do-It-Yourself plan up to a Full-Service plan. Feel free to contact their team to get a pricing consultation for more information.

3. Handbid

Auction Software Overview

Handbid is an online silent auction software platform that works with nonprofits to pull off successful events. Together, your teams can bring in higher amounts of revenue and better engage your guests and supporters.

Their software is great for hosting virtual events, especially in a time when traditional in-person offerings are no longer feasible options. With Handbid, your fundraising team can even run the entire show online from your own home offices with ease.

Key Features

Handbid is a good choice for auction software.

Handbid offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Web-based and live event bidding
  • Auction management tools
  • Display of real-time stats
  • Add-on ticketing functionality
  • Custom training and on-site staff availability

This auction software provider is a great choice for organizations that want to bring their virtual events to the next level.

Pricing

Handbid’s auction software is available in five pricing packages, beginning at $695/year. Depending on the number of events you’d like to host each year, you may want to look at one of their more expansive plans. Plus, Handbid offers substantial discounts to organizations that sign on for multiple years at a time.

4. Qgiv

Auction Software Overview

Qgiv is a comprehensive nonprofit fundraising toolkit with an extensive fundraising auction functionality. With an app-based auction platform, the Qgiv team is ready to help your team pull off a successful charity auction whenever you’re ready.

Along with peer-to-peer fundraising tools, online donation forms, and extensive data reporting, Qgiv’s auction software is able to bring in increased fundraising revenue for any nonprofit organization.

Key Features

QGiv is a good choice for auction software.

Qgiv offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Unlimited app-based auctions
  • Mobile and offline bidding
  • Online sales of raffle tickets, refreshments, etc.
  • App-based or QR code check-in and checkout
  • Tracking and display of fundraising goals

With these auction tools and more, you can begin raising money through dynamic fundraising events in no time.

Pricing

Qgiv offers basic fundraising tools for free, although their auction software begins at $229/month. Or, you can invest in their all-in-one plan (including mobile fundraising, peer-to-peer, and auction software) for $399/month.

5. Bidding Owl

Auction Software Overview

Bidding Owl is a dedicated auction platform that can help your nonprofit team get up and running with auction fundraising without huge investments of time, money, or effort.

Not only do they provide the tools you’ll need for a successful auction, they even get you set up with your own, fully customizable auction website. They can even help you raise thousands before your event begins!

Key Features

Bidding Owl is a good choice for auction software.

Bidding Owl offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Auction site-building tools
  • Ability to accept donations online
  • Online ticket and raffle sales
  • Previewing and pre-bidding functionality
  • Text notifications
  • Automatic invoice processing

This auction software can simplify the steps involved in planning an auction, before, during, and after the event.

Pricing

Bidding Owl’s auction software pricing is based on a percentage (5%) of total revenue collected by your event. In other words, if an item sells for $100, Bidding Owl collects $5 for their performance fee.

6. ClickBid

Auction Software Overview

ClickBid has been a pioneer in auction software since the rollout of mobile bidding tools in 2002. This dedicated fundraising auction platform provides the tools and the resources any organization needs to ensure a successful event.

Despite its extensive functions and comprehensive offerings, the ClickBid software is intuitive and easy-to-use, even for auction beginners.

Key Features

ClickBid is a good choice for auction software.

ClickBid offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Early bidding functionality
  • Mobile bidding
  • Registration and check-in tools
  • Private auction platform
  • Silent or live virtual auction
  • “Second chance” auction to clear out inventory

Plus, if you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid event, the ClickBid team has the tools to engage participants in real-time through effective live-streaming practices.

Pricing

ClickBid’s auction software starts at $795 for an annual license good for up to 4 events in a year. They also offer additional add-on services such as event live-streaming, mass messaging, and ticketing or landing pages.

7. RainWorx

Auction Software Overview

RainWorx‘ dedicated auction software, AuctionWorx, is a dedicated fundraising platform that empowers nonprofits to create their own charity auction websites with ease. With the available auction tools, you can quickly get your auction site up and running to start selling as soon as possible!

Then, you can decide whether to allow other businesses and community members to sell within your site, or you may decide to be the sole seller for your auction.

Key Features

RainWorx is a good choice for auction software.

RainWorx offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • As-is or customizable design
  • Ability to list own auctions or enable multiple vendors
  • Fixed price and make-an-offer functionality
  • Choice between single seller or multiple seller modes
  • Sales invoicing, sales tax, and shipping options

You can even use their online demo to really get a feel for their auction software functionality!

Pricing

AuctionWorx by RainWorx can be purchased for a one-time licensing fee of $2,995. This includes access to the auction software package along with 12 months of standard support services.

8. GiveSmart

Auction Software Overview

GiveSmart hosts a variety of auction software products, including event management, mobile bidding, and silent auction tools. Plus, their comprehensive fundraising platform goes as far as to include intuitive online giving pages, text-to-give fundraising, and integrated live-streaming tools.

With the GiveSmart auction software, you’ll have everything you need to plan and host a successful charity auction for your cause.

Key Features

GiveSmart is a good choice for auction software.

GiveSmart offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Unlimited DIY events
  • Tech support with extended hours
  • Online training academy and onboarding services
  • Ticketing and seating charts
  • Event equipment

Plus, the GiveSmart team is ready and able to provide unique insights and dedicated customer support at varying levels, depending on the auction package you choose.

Pricing

GiveSmart has three service plans, including Do-It-Yourself, Standard, and Premium packages. Request a demo from the GiveSmart team to learn more about their offerings and pricing levels.

9. Auctria

Auction Software Overview

Auctria is a complete auction software provider that can be used to pull off fundraising events of all shapes and sizes. Its platform is easy-to-use for fundraisers and auction participants alike, providing a seamless experience to all.

Plus, their reporting tools are top-notch, allowing you to collect and analyze fundraising data that can be used to provide valuable insights into your performance strategy.

Key Features

Auctria is a good choice for auction software.

Auctria offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Track item procurement process
  • Bidder automation from registration
  • Printed materials generation
  • Streamlined checkout
  • Mobile and online bidding

From the beginning of the planning process to beyond the completion of your event, Auctria has the tools and features to help.

Pricing

Auctria offers a free auction software plan known as the Explorer, which includes basic online bidding tools and other auction resources. However, you may want to look into one of their more comprehensive plans such as the Emerald for $300/year or the Diamond for $600/year.

10. BidJS

Auction Software Overview

BidJS provides intuitive auction software from a dedicated platform that allows nonprofits and fundraisers to bring in more for any cause. The BidJS team prides itself on being one of the most accessible auction platforms, as it’s supported by all major browsers and devices, along with being multilingual-friendly.

Key Features

BidJS is a good choice for auction software.

BidJS offers the following features within their auction software package:

  • Timed auctions (including options to bid, buy now, or make an offer)
  • Live auctions through real-time webcast tools
  • Custom styling and branding
  • Multi-device and mobile-friendly
  • Data collection and management

The BidJS software is easy to install on any website, but in case you have trouble, they even have a team of partners worldwide that can help you out!

Pricing

BidJS refers to themselves as a “pay as you go” auction software package. With no set-up fees or commission, they offer monthly fixed-price contracts instead. Be sure to contact their team to get a quote.


Your upcoming auction has incredible potential for both strengthening donor relationships and increasing fundraising revenue. Investing in the right auction software solution can help your organization better manage your event from start to finish. All that’s left to do is get started!

For more information, take a look at our other informational guides to powerful fundraising tools and strategies:

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