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How to Conduct an Appeal

This article will provide information on how to conduct an Appeal online and offline, create appeal items, and how to enter donations through the back-end.

Whether you call it a Paddle Raise, Appeal, Direct appeal, Fund-A-Need, an Ask or Donation Moment, they all mean the same thing. This is a direct ask for your donors to support your organization financially. Throughout this article, we will refer to it as an Appeal. 


Article Index

To skip ahead, click on a section below.

  1. Appeal Flow Overview
  2. Conducting an Offline Appeal 
  3. Conducting a Live Digital Appeal 
  4. How to Create Appeal Items
  5. How to Enter Appeal Donations into Handbid

Appeal Flow Overview

The traditional method usually includes hiring a benefit auctioneer to conduct the Appeal in conjunction with a Live Auction (either before or after the appeal).  In many cases, the ask is to financially support the organization's cause. It's a beat practice to begin the Appeal once the Silent Auction has closed and in some cases, when the Live Auction is over. This is recommended because it will benefit you more, especially if the bidders had not won anything in the silent or live auction portions of the event. This will give them a final opportunity to support your organization.

To set up an Appeal, you will create a series of donation levels in your Handbid site.  These levels correspond with the Appeal levels you and your auctioneer have established.  The auctioneer will start with the highest donation level (in most cases) and will continue down through the lower levels (e.g. $1,000, $500, $250, $100, etc).  At each level, your guests will be asked to raise their hand, paddle or bidder number to acknowledge their pledge of the amount. 

As your auctioneer announces donation levels, it's important that you have volunteers and/or staff act as spotters. Spotters will write down the paddle numbers under a corresponding column on a sheet as the auctioneer is announcing the paddle/bidder numbers. The auctioneer will then call out these numbers with the bid amount.  These need to be written down so the pledges can be recorded and billed. 

So how would you set this up in Handbid?  There are two ways.


Conducting an Offline Appeal through Handbid 

Using this method, rely on your benefit auctioneer to run the Appeal in the room.  Your guests will raise a paddle (or bidder number card) to acknowledge their donation. 

To start, you need to determine donation levels with the auctioneer.  Once you have done this, you need to create an Appeal Item with the following parameters:

  • Name: Amount of the contribution (e.g. $250 Donation)
  • Price: Input the amount of the donation (e.g. 1000 - do not use special characters in this field)
  • Category:  If you don't already have a donation category, you can create a new category (i.e. Paddle Raise). Or, set as No Category (if you don't want to have them appear or hide them).

You will need a team of volunteers to record the paddle/bid numbers at each level. Depending on how large your crowd is, we recommend you have a minimum of 2-3 people do this so that they can audit (check their entries) against each other prior to entering the donations into Handbid. 

Once the list is validated, enter the donations in Handbid:

  1. On the left-hand menu in the Auction Dashboard, click on ITEMS and search the donation level you're starting with.
  2. Next, click on the item name (e.g. $100 Donation) and then click on the "Dollar Sign" icon in the top right tool bar. This will open up a window.
  3. Once that window appears, enter in the paddle/bidder number or name of the purchaser in the "Bidder" dropdown. Select the bidder then click the green "Add to Invoice" button. 
  4. Wait for a notice to appear in the upper right-hand corner of the screen confirming the purchase was made.
  5. Then enter in the next paddle/bidder number.

Can I do this on an iPad?

Yes! Provided the Appeal items are in a category, you can enter these as well on the iPad app.


Conducting a Live Digital Appeal in Handbid

If you want to forgo the entry of contributions or, if you do not plan to have and auctioneer or organization member conduct the appeal in the room, you can still manage an Appeal digitally in Handbid.  Just follow the same instructions above to create the various Appeal levels and encourage people to use those items to donate from their phone or iPad (or web).  

If you'd like to display visuals, you can show a live thermometer to highlight the donations being made in live-time.


How to Create Appeal Items

To create appeal items, follow the simple steps below: 

  1. Log in with your Auction Manager credentials, select your auction and go to the Auction Dashboard.
  2. In the Auction Dashboard, click on the 'Gift Box' icon in the tool bar at the top of the page.
  3. When the window appears, select the Appeal item type.
  4. In the item settings window, enter in:
    1. Item Name: For instance, "$100 Donation"
    2. Item Cost: Again, that would be $100, or the amount of the level you're creating.
    3. Category: You will either create a Appeal/Donation type category, or add it to an existing Appeal/Donation type category. Items must be in a category in order for them to be visible on the site.
    4. Add an Image if you'd like.
    5. Then proceed with item settings by deciding to enable or disable the checkboxes listed.
  5. Once you've completed the settings fields, click the green CREATE button to finish.
  6. These appeal items will appear on the BROWSE ITEMS and DONATE tabs on the front end.

How to Enter Appeal Donations into Handbid

Below are two different ways you can enter your paddle raise or appeals into Handbid. The first video is going to show you how to enter the information collected from a traditional paddle raise. In a traditional paddle raise, you will write down paddle numbers that correlate with a donation amount given


The second video is going to show you how to do it through the mobile interface using the Handbid app to place the donations and Handbid TV to display the donations.