Many nonprofits are looking for new and exciting ways to engage supporters during these tough economic times.Â Â While direct donations to charity might be down, at the same time online shopping is up.Â Amazon reported sales up by 18% last year.Â More people than ever are now comfortable shopping online and may be looking for a good deal.Â This may be the perfect time for your nonprofit to investigate online auctions as an innovative way to raise funds.
In fact online charity auction provider cMarket reports that in 2008, they hosted 2,259 online auctions for charity.Â That’s a 44% increase from the prior year.Â These auctions resulted in $20,459,687 in funds raised for a variety of causes.
cMarket is ready for an even bigger 2009.Â The company has already booked 58% more charity auctions for the first quarter of this year than the same time last year.
One of the great things about online charity auctions is that you can reach a wider base of supporters, rather than relying on major donors or grants.Â You can cast a wide net, giving people all over the country the chance to support your group.Â Â In addition to bidding on items up for auction, people can help out by donating auction items or becoming sponsors.Â Just like traditional corporate sponsorships, they make a donation in exchange for your group including their information on signage and marketing materials.Â In this case, the company’s logo on your online auction site.
Besides reaching out to your supporters to bid on items up for auction, you could get bids from people that never heard of your organization before.Â That’s because there are over 88,000 registered shoppers on Bidding for Good, the sister site to cMarket.Â They may be looking for something that you have to offer on auction and place a bid.
Jon Carson, CEO of cMarket commented, “The nonprofit sector is suffering on nearly every front, but there is a bit of good news and tangible growth indicators that suggest American consumers are happy to purchase goods and services from non retail sources when their money goes to a good cause.”
Visit cMarket online auctions to find out more about their services, and get a free guide, 50 Ways to Make Your Next Auction a Success.