How Would I do a Paddle Raise / Appeal / Fund-A-Need (FAN)

Call it a Paddle Raise, Appeal (direct appeal) or a Fund-A-Need (FAN)... they are all basically the same thing. This is a direct ask of your donors to support your organization financially.  For this article, we are going to refer to this as a FAN.

The traditional method is to have a benefit auctioneer do the FAN in conjunction with a live auction (either before or after).  In many cases, the plea is to financially support the organization (especially if the bidders had not won anything in the silent or live auction portions of the event). 

To set up a FAN, you will create a series of support levels in Handbid.  These levels correspond with the FAN levels your auctioneer has established.  Your auctioneer starts at the highest level (in most cases) and calls down from there (e.g. $1,000, $500, $250, $100).  At each level, your guests will be asked to raise their paddle ID/bidder number to acknowledge their pledge of this amount. 

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.


In this model, you are going to rely on your benefit auctioneer to run the FAN in the room.  Your guests are going to raise a paddle (or their bidder number card) to acknowledge their pledge. 

To start, you need to have settled on the donation levels with the auctioneer.  Once you have done this, you need to create a for sale item with the following parameters:

  • Name: Amount of the contribution (e.g. $250 Paddle Raise)
  • Check "Is Appeal" (this will mark it as a contribution in Handbid vs. for sale item)
  • Category: Set as No Category (if you don't want to have them appear in the apps) or as a new category you create (i.e. Paddle Raise)

You will need a team of volunteers to record down the bids at each level. We recommend you have a minimum of 2-3 people do this so that they can reconcile (check their entries) against each other prior to entering the purchases into Handbid. 

Once the list is validated, enter in the purchases in Handbid as follows:

  • Find the contribution level you are starting with in the auction manager.
  • Click on the item and then click on the "Shopping Cart" icon in the header on the right side in the item window.
  • The right portion of the purchase window will be filled out.  Just enter in the Paddle ID or name of the purchaser on the left. Let the name fill in and then hit "Buy".  That will complete the purchase. 
  • Wait for a notice to appear on the screen confirming the purchase was made.
  • Then enter in the next number.


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



If you want to forgo the entry of contributions OR if you do not plan to have a person do this direct appeal in the room, you can manage this digitally in Handbid.  Just follow the same instructions above to create the various FAN levels and encourage people to purchase those from their phone or iPad (or web).  

If you want, you can show a live thermometer of the amount increasing.  

We have a video we have done that outlines both options and how to do these in Handbid.  You can view that video here:


Enter Paddle Raise/ Appeals