Jun 14, 2022

Auction Off an Immediate, Exclusive Experience

GiveSmart_Dessert Bar Blog

Add excitement to your event with a tableside, decadent dessert cart or staffed, stocked bar cart

Few things sink a fundraising director’s heart more than looking toward the bar or food tables and seeing your dedicated, generous donors waiting in long lines. Eliminate the wait. 

Allow your guests and golfers the opportunity to get a personal, staffed bar cart for their table or foursome. Less time in line results in a better experience for your donors AND allows them more chances to give at your event. 

Is a bar not the right fit for your event? Consider a dessert cart with a variety of candy bars, cotton candy machine, or chocolate fountain.   

According to our Ultimate Silent Auction Study, exclusive experiences like these raise big! They are nearly the most successful category in terms of the number of bids and return on fair market value. Some of our partners have netted thousands live auctioning off a dessert or bar cart.  


Set It Up

Let your supporters know about any exclusive experiences that will be available for bidding at your gala or golf outing. Hopefully, you use auction management tools that allow you to showcase an item before it is open for bids. GiveSmart does! And, winners can pay right away online, starting your event with an exciting revenue generator.   

Make sure you write an engaging description and include both photos and video to spotlight your item(s). Highlight the exclusivity of these experiences—only guests who get multiple dessert options tableside and with no lines! 

Live auctioning off your dessert or bar cart at the beginning of your event will start it off on a lively foot. It sets the tone that generous giving is happening and encouraged, too.   

Tips for Success

Contract Conditions

Ask your caterer if they have a bar cart you can use. No? Can you set up a VIP area and give your winners passes? Take a look at your caterer or event space contract conditions and see if you can shift the labor and cost of one passed appetizer or other fees to staff and food or drink for your cart.  

Sponsored By

Consider offering this live auction item as a sponsorship activation. As it would be auctioned off right at the beginning of your event, any company would have a captive audience. If a sponsor underwrites the item, you could even outsource some exciting elements like high-end candy, whiskey, and more!  

Social Media Preview

Preview your exclusive items via social media for your support network. Virtually hosted auctions allow bidding from anywhere. While a bar or dessert cart only makes sense for people in the room, sharing exciting, exclusive items encourages everyone to engage with your entire auction catalog.   

Double Up

Use this tried-and-true auction strategy when you auction off your dessert or bar cart. Give the bidder who lost out a chance to buy a surprise duplicate item for the highest price they had bid before losing. 


Make it easy for your committee and board to share information about your event. Give them images for social media posting, as well as draft text. Virtually hosted auctions allow people from near and far to support your mission! 

Starting your event off with a fun, exclusive, revenue generator not only pleases your donors but also sets your organization up for fundraising success! Looking for a way to easily offer your auction online? Check out GiveSmart today


June 16, 2022

How Accepting Digital Wallet Payments Benefits Your Nonprofit

Digital wallets, also known as e-wallets, are a secure and convenient way to allow donors...

Read More
February 3, 2022

19 Fundraising Event Planning Tips (You Wish You Knew)

Fundraising Event Planning Tips and Tricks from the Experts Preparing your fundraising event plan for…

Read More
October 27, 2021

What to consider before selecting your event ticketing software

Selling tickets to customers is one of the most crucial steps in the fundraising process….

Read More

What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County