Benefit Bidding Calendar

January is a great time to start looking ahead to what the new year will bring.  Getting organized and making plans for the year will help you and your organization decide your priorities and help everyone get on the same page.  At the start of 2016, we did a blog post on setting goals.  In this blog post, we will talk about organizing your calendar for the year.

Online calendars are a great way to share dates, times, meetings, goals, and other information to those who need it.  Organizations like yours often have committees, sub-committees, and boards.  Therefore, people in your organization would benefit from a calendar option that allows them to see when things are supposed to be done and help plan for the future.  A great way to plan the year is to start at the end.  Plan the best date for your events and auctions, then work your way backwards on the calendar to set your time table and goals.  Be sure to check out our Consulting Page for a brief look at Benefit Bidding’s timeline to auction planning. is a free online calendar that allows an unlimited amount of users to have access and add thier own dates and times to one team calender.  Each user is assigned a color and can add to the calendar as needed.  This is a great way for everyone to look at who is in charge of what aspect of your organization and to help keep everyone on track.

Google Calendar is my personal favorite.  Most everyone online has a Google account.  This is a great way to have as many calendars as you need to run your organization.  Users see what the person who made the calender wants them to see.  For example, you could make one calendar for the overall organizational goals and limit those who can see it to your executive board.  Committees can have their own calendars and allow access to the board and the committee.  Users can also view their personal calendars, tasks, and organizational calendars together without other people having to view them.  Tasks are easy to organize and prioritize.  Google Calendar is easy to use and can be updated from smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices.

Online calendars are great way to keep your entire organization organized and on track for the year.  When you settle on a date for your auction, be sure to contact Benefit Bidding to start planning!  We always offer free consultations and can help you set fundraising goals for your organization.


social media pinterestIn this series we have been exploring how to make social media work for you.  In this section, we will be exploring Pinterest and every way you can make it a great way to connect with your organization.

Pinterest is an amazing website that allows people to share ideas, projects, wishes, and even dreams.  Users plan parties, weddings, get ideas on raising children, and any diy project you could ever want to make.  As a personal user, it is amazing, but using it for your organization can be phenomenal.  To get started, you need to make a Pinterest account for your organization.  Signing-up is easy and free.  When you sign-up, you can connect your account to your other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.  This can make letting people know about new pins easy and can help cross promote your organization.

When you start, you will want to make boards that give your follower something interesting to look at.  Focus on your organizations wants and needs, make boards that speak to your organization.  Look for inspiration in boards from The Salvation Army or the ASPCA.  Here is a list of other non-profit organizations that are great at making boards on Pinterest.

Once you plan and make your boards, you can start pinning.  You can pin things that have already been pinned, i.e. re-pin them, or you can make original pins.  Pin photos from your meetings and events.  Pin photos of auction items and ideas for things your organization needs to keep going.  Make people care about your organization by pinning things that make your organization personal for them.

You can also follow organizations on Pinterest and re-pin things are passionate about.  Be sure to follow Benefit Bidding on Pinterest for ideas about auctions, games, different fundraising activities, and more!  Pinterest can be an amazing tool that allows people to connect with your organization on a personal level.  It can also be really fun!  So go make Pinterest work for you!

In the past three blog posts, we’ve talked about how to make social media work for you and your organization.  In this post, we will talk about the best way to organize all your social media feeds in one place.  The best product for this is Hootsuite and is available at

Hootsuite offers different pay plans to help organize your feeds.  The very basic, free plan covers up to 3 different social media feeds and I find that is plenty to help me with my social media needs.  There is no need to pay for the plan unless you have many many social media feeds you need to keep track of.  For our business, we have 3 social media feeds which allow us to cover a wide audience.  Hootsuite allows you to see all of your social media accounts at the same time, on one screen.  This makes interacting with people so easy!

There is also a feature that allows you to schedule your posts and tweets.  This is a wonderful way to make sure you get your information out at the right time.  For example, if you were to have an event for the holidays, you could schedule posts to go out reminding people to buy tickets, check auction items, and come to the event without having to make sure you are online at the specific times the information needs to go out.  Scheduling in advance is a great way to stay on top of your message.

Another feature is analytics, which is tracking what posts are actually being looked at by others.  This can help you schedule posts to go out at times when more people are going to see them.  If most of your audience checks Facebook at noon, you will be able to know that and schedule posts for them to see.  Hootsuite also has many other features you can use for free.  Check out for more information.

Social media can be an amazing way to engage with people about your organization.  Keeping your social media feeds organized and making sure you are putting out great information can really help your organization find and maintain people who are interested in helping.

In this series, we are making social media work for you and your organization!  In this blog post we will talk about Instagram and Youtube.  Both of these are great and visually interesting tools to help promote your organization’s goals.

Instagram is a great way to post photos and share information about events.  This social media platform is best used in real time, meaning, you upload photos and information as it’s happening.  All you need a smartphone with a camera or a tablet computer with a camera.  It’s easier to use these than try to upload photos later.  Instagram is amazing at letting multiple people upload photos to one account.  You can give the username and password to multiple people at an event and each can upload fun and interesting photos.  You can also post amazing photos of the people and things your organization helps with. You can also follow other people, companies, and organizations on Instagram.  Follow the link to see 16 or the Best Brands on Instagram article from Hubspot.  Be sure to post frequently so your subscribers always have something to look forward to.

Youtube is a fun and easy way to upload videos.  Videos can range from personal, informal, interviews with your members to scripted short shows that focus on your organization’s goals.  The best thing about Youtube is the fun you can have imagining all the things you can put on your channel.  You also don’t need any special equipment.  Any smartphone with a video camera will work!  Check out the channel for the Museum of Modern Art, which features art restoration projects, interviews with curators, and artists making art.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium features a walk through of their facility, live animal cams, and cute videos of baby animals.  You can really do anything with Youtube.  Your message can be anything you want to portray.  Follow the link for Tips on Increasing Youtube Subscribers.  Sign-up at  Be sure to follow Benefit Bidding on youtube as well!

Posting on social media can be fun and increase awareness in your organization.  Be sure to check out our other Make Social Media Work for You posts.  You never know, you might find something to help your organization gain followers!

Welcome to the second part of our series about making social media work for you!  This month, we will talk about blogs.  This is an amazing opportunity to let people everywhere know about what your organization is doing and how they can help facilitate your goals.

Blogging is a great way to provide information to people.  It provides a casual environment where people can read at their leisure.  There are many free blogging sites online including,, and many others.  Look for one that provides statistics on who looks at your blog.  This gives you great information on how many people are reading your blog and allows you to improve how you advertise your message over time.

First, before you begin your blog, make a schedule of your blog posts will help you maintain an audience and keep readers coming back for more. An easy way to do this is to make a calendar of your events, schedules of meetings, and any other activities that are important to your organization.  Second, decide how often the blog will be updated.  You should update your blog consistently.  If you want to post every month, make sure you post every month on the same day at the same time.  Once a week is as often as you should post.  More than that will make your readers feel overwhelmed.  Once a month is the least you should post.  Less often will require you to work very hard to have readers come back for new information.

Writing a blog can be an intimidating thought.  Luckily, the internet has some great writing prompts to help get you started.  The calendar and schedule you made will also come in handy to write about upcoming events.  You should avoid posting about the minutia of your organization.  People who are not attending your meetings do not need to see your meeting minutes or know what snacks your served.  Begin by thinking in broad strokes to make your blog accessible to every reader.  Be sure to add pictures from the public domain to avoid violating any copywrite laws.  You can find a list of websites that provide photos here.  You can have one person write the blog posts, or you can have many members write posts.  It is helpful to have one person schedule the post, proofread the material, and check for grammar and spelling issues.  This ensures your blog post will be professional and posted on time.

When you have a blog post published, make sure to let everyone know.  You can send out a Facebook post and a tweet (on Twitter) about your post.  Including the link of where to find the post will let readers get to in easily.  The easier it is to get to, the more readers you will have.  Be sure to send all the members of your organization the link and let them know how often the blog will be updated.

Blogs are a great way to keep your readers informed of what is going on in your organization.  With these tips and tricks, your blog can be amazing and fun to read!

How do you make social media work for your organization?  It’s difficult to keep up with every social media application out in the world and know how to use it as a fundraising booster.  This series of posts will tell you how to use various social media to boost your online auction sales and advertise your fundraiser event.

Facebook, with 1.1 billion users, and Twitter, with over 300 million users, are great ways to get the word out about your auction.  If you don’t already have one, you will need to set-up a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  Here are some directions on how to get started on Facebook.  To set-up a Twitter account, follow the directions here.

Facebook can help you network, send out invitations to events, and update members of your organization and fans.  After you make a page, you will need to start posting things about your organization.  Invite your friends, from your personal Facebook page, to like the organization’s page.  Make sure to tell your organization’s members about the Facebook page, too.

Making events on Facebook can really help your members and fans know what is happening.  Events are easy to create from your organization’s page.  You can type in the basic information, and send it out to your members.  It is a great, informal way to let people know what is coming up.  Members can RSVP to events, giving you a headcount for your events.  Click here for directions on how to set-up an event invitation.

Twitter is another wonderful way to update people on what is happening in your organization.  On Twitter, it is easy to update a wide varitey of people, who may, or may not be members of your organization.  To gain followers, you need to follow other people and organizations most like yours.  This is also a great way to network with other organizations.  You can learn from their tweets and they can learn from yours.  You can also use the direct message system to contact people about events and keep them updated on news.  Click here for a list of 25 tips to make using Twitter worth your time.

The most important thing about social media is to keep your audience engaged.  Be sure to post daily and keep things interesting!

Social media can be confusing and intimidating.  Benefit Bidding can help you navigate and understand the best way to engage others to make sure you have an amazing and profitable fundraising experience.