Eight Ways to Raise Nondues Revenue With a Virtual Auction

Virtual auctions with donated prizes can help engage your members and raise revenue for your association at the same time. Follow these steps to set up an auction.
Illustration featuring an open laptop with the words 'Online Auction' on the screen

Guest Post: Kelly Velasquez-Hague, The Center for Association Leadership


As we settle into 2021, organizations of all shapes and sizes are adapting to the new normal of pandemic-era engagement and fundraising. For associations, the pandemic and its economic impacts have made staying on mission particularly challenging.

Generating nondues revenue and boosting member engagement have always been top priorities for associations, but the need is especially high now. Associations have found virtual events and activities to be adaptable solutions for connecting with their communities.

Your association has likely already experimented with a range of virtual fundraising and engagement tactics to generate nondues revenue. But here’s one more recommendation: virtual auctions.

Virtual auctions raise money by offering supporters items and packages to bid on. Because items are donated, the association receives the proceeds from winning bids. Similar to traditional silent auctions, virtual ones translate the classic experience to a digital format using bidding software and catalog websites. They also typically take place over an extended timeframe, often a few days to a week.

Reasons to Have an Auction

Virtual auctions are worthwhile events for associations and nonprofits for a few key reasons:

  • They’re flexible and engaging
  • They’re relatively low cost
  • They make it easy to tap into partnership opportunities

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