Hotel donations that give back

Mobile phone technology just got the best of me!

At a recent charity event I was caught off guard noticing attendees were nowhere near the stunning display of items being auctioned to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Instead a majority of the attendees were seated at their assigned dinner tables (earlier than usual) and absolutely glued to their phones.

Like most charity events where crowds are typically immersed within the chaos surrounding the silent auction clipboards and bid sheets, a mobile bidding app was the cause of a sedate auction table and an elaborate dining experience that was experiencing an unexpected interruption.

With a feature allowing guests to place bids within a specific limit so the app could bid on their behalf yet transmit an alert whenever the designated number was exceeded, guests were absorbed in the moment and upping bids with a level of intensity exceeding even what the former bid-sheet-and-pen process would typically encounter. 

As I overheard one attendee actually on a call inviting a non-paying attendee to go to the event’s bidding link and place some bids on the spectacular wine collection is when the light bulb went off. The attendee was also an auction donor who was delighted at the attention and exposure her business was getting via the mobile bidding process, which is exactly why I felt compelled to share the hidden benefits behind this trend. Hotel gift certificates are usually one of the best auction sellers and typically draw some of the highest bids. So besides the feel-good aspect of the charity donation itself, auction gifts are now being viewed as another means to market your business.

Although the tried-and-true fundraising auctions have been transitioning to high tech for quite some time, my recent observation made it clear that charity auction donations are truly on trend due to the benefits for all, which is not magic. In fact, it’s relatively simple math. The greater the number of bids for a certain item, the greater the number of brand impressions for the donor, which in turn equates to more money for the nonprofit!

Next time someone approaches you to make a donation — and yes, you do need to decipher which donation requests make the most sense for your property — be sure to inquire if cellular bidding will be used at the auction. If so, it’s a benefit that should qualify and assist as you approve what I am sure is a stack of donation requests.

What are your current thoughts on the benefits of mobile bidding and hotel certificate donations? Do you partake in either?