If you’re looking for an auction-specific software to increase your fundraising potential, Auctria presents an affordable straightforward solution. We’ll say this outright: the platform is not designed for donor management—at least not in the same way a nonprofit CRM might.
Here, activities center around planning an executing an auction. Donors are part of the equation of course and can register for events, bid on items, and so on. But, if you’re looking for a donor management software that does it all, Auctria isn’t the answer.
Compared to other event-specific software, like Gesture, Auctria is more self-service, and allows you to DIY your event website, handles ticket sales, and registration. Gesture, by contrast, offers dedicated account managers, strategy, and even some extra hands on deck.
Below, we’ll look at some of the main pros and cons associated with this platform—keep reading to see how this auction management tool can fit in with your existing donation management process.
What is Auctria?
Auctria is a cloud-based auction management software solution that allows small and mid-sized nonprofits to manage events digitally. Users will gain access to a selection of tools like website management, payment processing, bid sheets, reporting, registration, and more.
This tool allows any user with an Internet connection to manage an view all auction activities—whether they’re on-site or in the office. Donors and bidders can easily view bidding activity—and can bid on the items they’re interested in.
Essentially, Auctria allows everyone—from admins to donors, bidders, and event staff to gain real-time visibility and coordinate with one another, as needed.
Auctria is a great tool for any organization that needs a platform that makes auctions run more smoothly.
Because we’re evaluating this platform as a donor management solution, it’s hard to say we completely recommend the platform—it’s not a CRM or campaign management platform. But, it could be another tool that stands to support a larger strategy.
We didn’t like the real lack of information on the site. They gave us enough detail that we understood what the platform is for—but they didn’t showcase particular features, provide many visuals or videos, and their knowledge base shows an outdated version of the platform.
With all that in mind, customer reviews are generally quite positive. Users liked how simple it was to get started—and noted that this really helped them pull off their last auction. The registration tools, automated bidding features, and the ability to accept payments on the spot were notable benefits.
Streamlines Check-in Process
One reviewer we came across mentioned that the check-in process was always the most stressful part of their events. Auctria helped them get rid of those inefficient lines based on the alphabet—typical registration desk.
The software allows guests to check in with any volunteer, leading to shorter lines, no more paper, and the ability to collect bids digitally. While you might not think about these things much during the event planning process, the ability to make things efficient across the board makes Auctria a real standout tool.
For bidding purposes, there’s a separate check-in screen. The bidder check-in page allows staff to get a headcount before bidding starts, no pen and paper needed.
Easy to Use
Getting started is a matter of completing a three-step process. You’ll create a free account for your organization, add some event details, and start planning.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to find information about how the tool works or what it looks like in action. Auctria’s site contains little details about the features and benefits. Based on several customer reviews we found, it seems that the platform is easy to set up, as promised, and that most people had no issues with registrations, planning, or payments.
Convenient for Everyone
Staff can also print or email receipts to donors and bidders. We saw that a few reviewers found that this platform allowed them to replace their old method of calling the winning bidders after the event so they could claim their prizes. Online payments mean bidders get a receipt and can claim their item that same day—making for a far more convenient experience.
To get started on planning your auction, you’ll create an event within the Auctria platform. Each auction must be linked to an organization—so if you’re working with multiple organizations, you’ll need to specify which one is hosting the event.
Inside the user guide, there’s a short walkthrough for how this works, and it’s actually really simple. You’ll access your settings—choose a date, website address, and name your auction. The tool organizes auctions like campaigns—and you can view the full list inside your auctions dashboard.
From there, Auctria has made it really easy to start planning. Each auction has a profile where you can edit details like start and end time, fundraising goals, and set rules for registration. This area is where you’ll upload images and set bidding rules.
The donors tab allows you to maintain a list of contacts likely to support your organization moving forward. This section provides some donor management features—such as the ability to record donations separate from auction items, create receipts, and even track donor activity.
The platform comes with five donor reports, there you can see active donors, inactive donors, a summary, donations, and donor by solicitor.
While this doesn’t allow for donor communications, you can keep track of whether you’ve acknowledged a gift or sent someone an invite.
Auctria won’t replace a CRM, as its main functionality lies in its event planning capability. But, the tracking features make things easier on nonprofit staff tasked with keeping track of communications.
The expense dashboard allows you to enter expenses related to each auction. You can use this to define categories, add expenses, and track spending by categories. Use this feature to track things like volunteer expenses, advertising costs, and materials for the event.
While this won’t integrate with your accounting software, you can create expense reports to make things easier on your accounting team.
Bidding and Sales
The bidding and sales page in Auctria allows you to record a bid for an item, enter purchases, record cash donations, and include payment details for each type of transaction.
We like that Auctria provides a way to separate different transactions. Your organization might sell products like calendars or tickets and run auctions. This separation allows for easy reporting, so you can track your fundraising efforts by channel.
Auctria comes with a bidder tab, a feature that allows users to handle registration, bid offerings, close-outs, and more from the mobile app. You can also decide things like who gets to sit where at an event. Or, send out invitations and set limits on how many people can attend the auction.
We should mention that the website management feature does not cover the management of the user’s actual website. Rather, it allows users to create a website for each auction or event.
The examples they’ve included, unfortunately, are not especially attractive—as evidenced by the example below. You can, of course, customize the branding with the usual drag-and-drop editing system.
Pricing is actually pretty affordable. The tool comes with four pricing packages and you’ll pay an annual subscription price, not a monthly fee.
The entry-level plan is $89.95 per year and does not allow you to track sales tax or consignment items. This plan supports $15,000 raised per auction, three users, two auctions and unlimited bidders. Credit card processing fees are 0.5%.
The most expensive plan, clocking in a $349.95, allows up to 99 users and unlimited funds raised. You can run unlimited auctions and credit card fees drop to 0.2% per transaction.
Auctria also mentions that they do not charge performance fees—which means they won’t take a percentage of the funds raised during the event.
If you run more than one or two events per year, it might be worth shelling out for the top-tier plan. This way, you can add as many users as you want (well 99) and run unlimited events. So, even if regular event planning isn’t on the agenda just yet, you’ll still be able to host online auctions to support your charitable efforts.
Auctria is a cloud-hosted system that runs auctions online and in-person. Online auctions are hosted on the donation site, while in-person events are supported through the app on site.
Who is this For?
Auctria is made for any organization that hosts fundraising events. So, schools, nonprofits, churches, and so on, can benefit from using this platform. Because the pricing is so reasonable, this could be a great add-on to any donor management platform.
If you host auctions and events, Auctria is worth considering. The platform has included just about anything you could think of involving event planning and implementation. Still, if you host events, without an auction component, you might find that many of the features are not needed.
Auctria supports Stripe.com and Authorize.net for payment processing. It’s important to note that the fees outlined in the above section apply to Auctria’s processing charges, you’ll still be on the hook for whatever you owe your merchant processing company.
Auctria doesn’t provide a phone number for users who wish to get in touch, but they do provide an email, a web form, and social media handles for customers seeking help.
The site features some FAQs, as well as some content aimed at helping users navigate the auction planning process.
Here’s a summary of what we found on the site:
When we first took a look at the Auctria website, we found that the home page was lacking in descriptive content. We got the gist of what the tool was for but didn’t learn much about how it works, or all of the features that were included with the software.
That said, we found the help center and were pleasantly surprised at the highly detailed look at all of the features—and how to use them.
In short, this is one of the best knowledge base centers we’ve seen—it’s informative, easy to understand, and comes with plenty of screenshots.
The fundraiser articles function as Auctria’s blog section. Here, you’ll get some tips and tricks for hosting themed fundraisers, some #GivingTuesday posts, and some ideas for your next auction.
They’ve also included some posts that aim to help users get a better handle on using the platform. For example, there’s a post covering the anti-sniping features for a more honest bidding experience.
The content is pretty good, but it seems that the company only posts articles a few times a year.
In any case, the site offers a ton of content that’s worth a look.
What’s the Verdict?
Well, Auctria is pretty impressive. We didn’t love the look of the website and initially assumed that the technology would be somewhat outdated. In looking through the user guide, we found that this platform was just brimming with features.
Most notably, we were impressed with the level of detail included in the planning process. It was clear Auctria’s designers thought of everything. Like, the fact that organizing online auctions is different than a live event. Or, that a silent auction works a little differently in the platform than a traditional auction.
Instead, we found that this platform is a great option for people looking for event planning software with some added elements built in. The fact that they’ve added some donor management features, plus expense tracking, and the ability to create multiple types of auctions makes this a real standout.
In all, Auctria stands to be an excellent choice for users operating in the nonprofit space. It’s not a replacement for a more comprehensive donor management software, to be sure. However, adding Auctria to your software arsenal stands to help you stay organized during the event planning process.