Below are a list of our frequently asked questions:
Who is GiveSmart and what service do you provide? GiveSmart is made up of a group of executives from several different industry specific organizations, event professionals, charity enthusiasts, and professionally trained event experts. In 2012, these diverse groups merged their experiences into one entity—GiveSmart. Our focus is to provide customized auction and event solutions primarily for non-profit organizations. With the most advanced technology and superb customer service, we help charities maximize the money they raise during the fundraising portion of their events and facilitate their annual fundraising efforts as a whole. GiveSmart US is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, with additional management teams in Indianapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Orange County, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. In 2014, we deployed teams to run events in 37 US states. GiveSmart UK is headquartered in London, with strategic partners throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. To date, GiveSmart has supported nearly 2,000 events worldwide and helped raise over $100,000,000.
What makes GiveSmart different to similar providers? As the industry leader, find out how we set ourselves far apart from the competition here.
Which kinds of organizations do you work with? We work primarily with non-profit organizations of all sizes, customizing our products and services to meet our clients’ specific needs. Our extensive list of clients includes: Ronald McDonald House, JDRF, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. NATIONAL CHARITIES such as: American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen, Make-a-Wish & More. PRIVATE SCHOOLS such as: UCLA, UNLV, Bishop Gorman High School, Oakwood Academy, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, & More. HOSPITALS such as NYU, Advocate, Phoenix Children’s, Grady, Banner, & More. PRESTIGIOUS EVENTS such as: Keep Memory Alive, Pilchuck Glass School, One Drop, Dave Thomas Foundation, Lone Survivor Foundation & More. MAJOR VENUE EVENTS such as: PGA Phoenix Open, WNBA Atlanta Dream, NHL Phoenix Coyotes, NFL
Do you rely on venue WIFI? No, we never rely on a venues WIFI. We’ve designed our system to run seamlessly on a cellular network. However, providing the GiveSmart staff and your guests WiFi access is an additional safeguard to ensure speed and delivery at the event.
Do guests have to download the app onto their phones? No, your guests will never need to download an app. They can access the auction and their personal bidding page via a link that will be sent directly to their phone via a welcome text. Those without internet-enabled phones can bid by replying to the welcome text or with the help of a GiveSmart Professional “Personal Shopper.”
What do you need from me to build the auction? You will be provided with a Client Dashboard to build the auction through a personal training class, FAQ’s, and most importantly a dedicated GiveSmart Technical Support Team.
Can you provide interactive screens linking to AV to promote the silent auction? Instead of AV screens, GiveSmart provides a more sophisticated solution by way of a simple interactive URL that your AV team or a GiveSmart Event Specialist can set up on your screens.
Can you help us run an online auction? Yes, we can create a personalized auction site to run separately from your event for a longer period of time.
Without Bid-Sheets... How Can the Guests See What the Current Bid Is? 85% of your guests will be SmartPhone users, who can simply click on their “Personal Shopping Cart” and see all of the items and their current bids. Those bidding by text can text in the item number to see the latest bid status. We also provide a URL that posts a leaderboard on your monitors at the event. Ideally, we would like your guests to ask one of our GiveSmart Customer Service Representatives in person. They can look up the item using the guest’s name, so all of the their info pre-fills the bid page. At this point, it’s very effective to encourage the guest to make a minimum bid. In our experience, it’s human nature to bid more frequently when most of the work is done for you and all you have to do is agree to an amount.
How do guests know if they have been outbid? When guests have been outbid, a notification is sent to their phone and their “Personal Shopping Cart” SmartPhone interface updates immediately. A GiveSmart Professional can notify them as well.
What happens if the system goes down? In the unlikely event that connectivity to Rackspace is lost, our system automatically switches over to Amazon to allow bidding to continue. Should there be a loss of power at your venue, guests can continue bidding on their smartphones using the cellular network. In addition, our system is based on SMS technology, so even in limited data areas we are able to communicate with your bidders.
What support will I receive on the night? A dedicated Event Coordinator from GiveSmart supports you from start to finish. You will also have Dashboard access that is managed and monitored by our Technical Support Team. At the event, our team of fully trained, experienced GiveSmart Professionals are ready to help make your event a success. Our GiveSmart Pros help with everything, from check-in to check-out and facilitating all of your fundraising needs in between. To encourage bidding, we actively engage guests— we build rapport with these guests, and energy in the room as “personal shoppers.”
What happens to the data you collect? First of all, this data belongs to you…not GiveSmart. We simply gather it into a post event report so that you can review your fundraising activity, and then we safeguard it for your future use. Furthermore, we agree contractually to never sell or use your data as a marketing tool.
Can you take bids from guests over the world? Yes, our system allows you to open your auction up to anyone. Your supporters can bid internationally before, during and after the event. This service is completely unique to GiveSmart.
Can we use your service if we do not have an event but want to raise funds Don’t be scared to ask, whether you need support with a video, brochure or website. If you have a requirement we are here to fulfil it. We can even help you with additional services like videos, brochures or digital ads. Whatever you need, we can make it happen!
How much more will we raise using technology compared to using a paper based silent auction? Traditionally we realize a 30%-50% increase.
Protection of Funds
How are payments collected and how is our money protected? We collect about 80% of the credit cards upon check-in, in addition there is a checkout where guests can pay with the card on file, use a new card, split payments, or pay with cash or check. All cash and check payments will be presented to the charity the night of the event. Credit cards are processed and the proceeds from your event are deposited into a designated bankruptcy protected account. You will receive the funds within 10 business days of your event.
Will people end up using their phones all night? We have never had a complaint about this at an event. Because we have outbid alerts, people don’t need to monitor the auction constantly. We find that the interactive nature of our mobile bidding technology actually helps increase interaction between guests and the charity.
What about the guests that don’t know how to use technology, do not have a phone or just don’t like the solution? The ones who do not like technology or don’t want to use their phones are our favorite donors! Typically they are more mature guests, who have discretionary income, and are upset because they are actually excited to bid and unhappy with the new system. We love these guests because we can calm them right away and introduce ourselves as their “personal shoppers”. They love the attention! We build great rapport with these guests, and ultimately they bid a lot more! You would be amazed by all of the hugs and kisses we get at the end of the night from those guests... because they had so much fun bidding with their “personal shopper”.
How do you charge for the service? Do you take a percentage? Here’s the best part…we charge a flat rate. So no commissions or taking a percentage of your revenue. Our passion is to help you raise more money, not line our pockets.
I am only a small charity with limited budget, is your service suitable for me? Our product is so flexible that we can tailor our pricing to fit all shapes and sizes of events. From BBQs for 60 to the Phoenix Open with 600,000 guests, we’re happy to do it all!
Mobilize Your Donors. Expedite Your Fundraising.
We think like donors and fundraising teams.
We are constantly innovating to make giving easier
and event management and administration more efficient.
What Our Customers Say
As you know this was the first time that our Temple has used a bidding company during our annual auction. I can't tell you how happy I am that we did so. You service is more than efficient and easy to use. Having our auction online made us more money than we would have, had we done the traditional silent auction. Most of all it was all less work for me and I actually got to enjoy the event.
Thank you again so much for making the Foothill High School Marching Band Silent Auction such a success. Allowing anyone with a smartphone or computer to participate in the Silent Auction is truly the next level of charitable giving. You were positive and motivating right from the start. You made what seemed like an overwhelming task possible.
During my time with LLS, I have not experienced working with a vendor with such a high level of customer service, before, during and after the event! The GiveSmart team enhanced our revenue generation during every process of the event. We continued to use this service with our Man Woman of the Year® campaigns in 2015, and look forward to having their services at our upcoming events!
This was our first experience with mobile bidding and Give-Smart did a great job explaining how the mobile bidding system would work, what was expected of us, and the advantages of its use. The Give-Smart employees that we talked to were very friendly, easy to work with from the planning stage weeks before the event to the end of the evening. On the night of the event, check-In was a breeze, bidding went smoothly, and check-out was quick and simple. Very impressed with Give-Smart and would definitely use them for next years Silent Auction.