7 Tips for Promoting Your Christmas Charity Auction Online


Christmas is the season of giving. People tend to be more generous during this time of the year, with no qualms about donating to different causes and joining fundraising events. This makes it a unique opportunity for your nonprofit to benefit from the spirit of giving.

If you are holding a charity auction this time of the year, get more from this widespread sense of generosity by using the right seasonal promotion strategies. By marketing this event with the holiday in mind, you can generate more hype, get people interested, and receive more bids this season, thus, ensuring the success of your charity event.

How to Market Your Holiday Charity Auction Online

To effectively promote your charity auction this season, follow these seven tips:

1.     Create targeted messages

Since your website and social media are two of your key marketing platforms, you have to use their full potential to your advantage.

A good start is to make sure your messages and content catches the attention of and resonates with your target audience. You can do this by creating these based on their needs and interests.

Use your knowledge of your supporters and donors to craft content that will draw in your audience. If you conducted surveys or case studies in the past, consider the results in creating your promotional messages and materials, and planning your marketing strategy.

By reaching out to your audience in a personalized manner and tying your content with the season, you can be sure that your messages will stand out and catch the attention of more people.

2.     Update your homepage strategically

If you want to make some changes to your website to reflect the holiday season, be sure to have it highlight your year-end efforts. However, don’t go overboard with the design or add too many features that will overshadow your cause and your upcoming charity auction. Keep it simple and draw attention to your fundraiser.

Make sure that your holiday charity auction is front and center on your homepage.

You also have to create a bold CTA that leads to your charity auction or campaign page. It should be something that visitors find hard to ignore and encourages them to heed the message.

Lastly, be careful not to bury your CTA under banners and other buttons on the homepage. Visitors need to see your CTA immediately so that you can drive them to take the action you want them to make. Just for the Christmas season, make sure the campaign is front and center.

3.     Create and use a holiday campaign hashtag

Hashtags are crucial elements of social media marketing campaigns today that help bring your posts to a wider audience. You need to optimize them during this season, as well.

Create a hashtag that defines your charity auction. Use it to find and monitor messages that mention your campaign quickly.

To get the most from this your social media marketing campaign, always keep up with the conversations. Reply to all comments and questions as soon as possible. Don’t forget to show your appreciation to your supporters by liking, commenting on or sharing their messages.

4.     Use pictures

Images increase engagement on social media significantly. Use this knowledge to your advantage to get more out of your online marketing strategy.

Adding pictures or videosof people, animals, and places that benefited from past charity auctions or will receive funds raised to your posts will draw a person’s eyes immediately. These images will also touch the hearts of viewers, which can then inspire them to be more generous.

These photos and clips will also bring to life the impact of the viewers’ support, making it easier for them to understand and appreciate how they can help uplift the plight of the recipients of the funds.

Aside from photos and videos, you can also add infographics or other graphic elements. Remember to brand these to reflect your holiday campaign to facilitate brand awareness and to motivate people to join your charity auction.

5.     Update your social media account profiles and cover photos

Get everyone visiting your nonprofit’s account into the holiday spirit by changing your cover and background photos in different social media platforms to reflect your holiday fundraising campaign.

With this simple step, you will increase awareness and encourage profile visitors to learn more about your event.

Don’t forget to include links to the charity auction or campaign page in the image descriptions.

Additionally, pin a well-thought-out message and branded image about the auction at the top of your feed on Twitter and Facebook. By doing so, you will ensure this post will be the first thing visitors see when they visit your page.

Do the same on your personal social media accounts to boost awareness of your campaign, as well. Encourage your fellow staff to follow suit, too.

6.     Implement a well-planned email marketing campaign

Email marketing is still one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to promote your charity auction. You will reap more benefits from this strategy if you plan it well.

Send three emails to let your supporters and other people know about your event. Your first correspondence should inform the recipient of the date of the auction. By sharing this information, you are giving them the opportunity to plan ahead.

Your second email should serve as an event reminder and something to pique the curiosity of the reader. It should contain details about the items up for bidding, the process for bidding and claiming of prizes, and other key information about the auction.

Your third and last email should be written in a way that it creates a sense of urgency in the reader to boost last-minute bids or RSVPs.

When creating your emails, keep them short yet informative. Add photos to boost the interest of the reader. Don’t forget to add a CTA and link to your homepage or charity auction page.

Make sure the emails you send are mobile-friendly, as well, since most people use their handheld devices to open this type of correspondence.

Don’t forget to thank your supporters for following you during the year and supporting the holiday campaign.

7.     Highlight your Christmas charity auction in your newsletter

Lastly, if you send monthly newsletters, don’t forget to include your holiday event in your December issue. It should give subscribers details about your charity auction, including the items up for bidding, when the auction will take place, and how they can join.

However, don’t make the auction the only topic or content of the newsletter. Make sure the circular still focuses on the mission of your nonprofit and the year in review.

By doing so, your newsletter will still remind readers of your charitable cause.

With Christmas just around the corner, ensure the success of your charity auction this season by following the online marketing tips shared above.


Darran Brown is the CEO and Founder of Go Charity. A graduate of UMASS Amherst, Darran has spent the last 20 years managing auctions across the United States. Having run some of the most successful live and silent auctions in the US, Darran has the insider know-how to every aspect of the industry. From memorabilia to trips and experience hospitality to fundraising 101, Darran is the leading expert on auction management and fundraising success.

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