Web based Auction Management software for non profit and charity gala auctions helps connect members and build community within your organization as you raise needed funds.
Follow this link: Together Auction Sample Website to see the auction website for First UU Columbus (testimonial below). Please don't sign-up as a member if you are just looking though, OK?
Together Auction was written for us at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus Ohio, and we have used it sucessfully since 2005. We have about 600 members, and draw about 200 to our annual auction, which many members describe as the party that kicks off their social calendar for the year. Jim also wrote an MS-Access based system that we used 3 years prior to that. The system has evolved over time to support more features - we especially like the newest email sending features. Our auction revenue has more than tripled over that time from around 10K to our highest-grossing ever auction that raised 38K for us. We can't say it's all due to Together Auction, but it's certainly helped free us from technical details and allowed us to focus more on decorations, publicity, and other important aspects of a successful fundraising auction. We'd recommend it to any non-profit organization with a team of 4-8 volunteers who can devote their energies to building community and raising money with a fundraising auction.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead met their budgeted amount using Together Auction with less computer hassles and better print outs for results than ever before for their 3 auctions since giving TogetherAuction a try for the first time for their March 27 2010 auction. Perhaps Bill Smalley might have something positive to say about it.
Tom H. in IL says: "Now I know what the greatest thing since sliced bread is. TogetherAuction made our auction management so much easier. Our auction grossed $30,000, offering 137 items in the Silent Auction and 28 items in the Live Auction. We had 14 group entertainment events with between 10 and 40 spaces for each one. We were pleasantly surprised that 90 percent of our donations were entered on-line, and it was easy for the team to enter the donations from those who preferred the comfortable old paper contract. We had very few hiccups getting started (remarkably few, compared with what you expect in implementing a new system) and Jim was available to answer our questions and help us get underway. What we didn't foresee was that, freed from the paperwork burden we had resigned ourselves to over the years, we had more time and were able to enjoy relating with people, seeing to the set-up and decoration of the auction space in our Sanctuary, and to the atmosphere we were trying to create on Auction Eve. Many participants told us the entire event just had a good feeling to it. After the auction, instead of staffing the contract table in the lobby for up to four Sundays, we were done after the second Sunday, because our follow-up is so much easier. I was able to check the payments-due screen and accomplish follow-up from my computer desk at home, coffee and snacks close at hand. While I am usually one of the last to embrace the newest computer innovation, I cringe at the thought of ever going back to our old way, and the auction team is in hearty agreement."
Carol M. in NC says: "UUTC (Unitarian-Universalists of Transylvania County) in Brevard, NC decided to hold their first auction in 8 years and to use modern technology this time around. As Auction Chair I searched the web and found Jim Pinkham's Together Auction software which turned out to be exactly what we needed and more importantly, I found Jim who was exactly the tech support I needed! Good software that does the job you need and good technical support meaning knowledgeable, patient and affable is a miracle in this day and age, but I got both. That this software actually makes your catalog for you makes it worth the price of admission! The MS merge mail needed for the catalog is tricky until you do it a few times which Jim has no control over but he will walk you through it and he has worked hard to provide very thorough training guidelines for every aspect of the software. I LOVE this software. Use it and you won't regret it and contact me anytime regarding. Feel free to visit our site: http://togetherauction.com/uutc and click on the catalog tab so you can see it. We only had 80 items and still made $5200 after expenses with both a silent and live auction with an outside auctioneer! We couldn't have done this without Jim and his great software!
Jean P. in IL says: "I have to admit this is the smartest investment I've ever made. While we didn't make as much as some other churches, we did attract 89 households - filling our UUSG sanctuary - and made about $8500, which is 2-3 times what we have made in the past. I got TONS of compliments on the efficiency of the software. THANK YOU!"
Marc G. in WI says: "Together Auction completely revolutionized the way we conduct our auction at UUCW! I received numerous compliments from church members and volunteers about how easy it is to use, and how much it improves both the preparation for and conduct of the auction. Everyone loved the online catalog, especially being able to view photos, and the ease of making donations. As one of the organizers, it certainly made my job much easier, and the check out process was the smoothest it's ever been. I was also very impressed with the support and responsiveness from Jim Pinkham."
Steve M. in NC says: "At CCCHUU we got a lot of positive feedback about the site. People generally found it convenient and easy to use. From the point of view of the service auction committee, it was a great step forward. Entering the auction results was very quick and easy."
Karen B. in MA says: "Jim – so many people complimented the system and how easy this year was compared to years past, and we did almost $14K this year – I think a congregational best! I have a couple suggestions for you, but nothing major – like including what you see in the description of the reports (like you can see who paid and who didn’t in the Statement summary). I may take on writing some more procedures at some point (like how to print bid sheets step by step) and I’ll upload them to the wiki if I do. In sum, I think we can say we are very happy!!"
An article in the UUA's Interconnections newsletter just came out. It mentions TogetherAuction™ and another package called EasyAuction from a very nice woman in Colorado who also sells a book about auctions.
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Together Auction is a Java J2EE web application written by Jim Pinkham of Columbus Ohio using AJAX enabled Wicket 1.5 Java web framework and offered for sale by his
Together Software Ltd.
|It also uses MySQL, Apache Tomcat, and SpringFramework. It runs Ubuntu on a privately hosted spiffy new server.|
|We had some outages in October 2011 due to a new report system, but since then it's been rock solid. Here is a graph showing our uptime percentage for the last 30 days:|
It is a hosted turnkey system, which means no technical headaches for you. Your organization will have it's own auction website with your own database of members, items, categories, and so forth.
Your auction can be run with Together Auction as the main bookeeping system. The flow looks something like this:
Some groups print statements for later mailing along with a sale summary report (using fast printer/copier) on which they write payments for later entry - this also allows for deferred sale entry.
Some groups have a post-auction leftover sale (The system allows you to add sales & payments from buyer's statements without needing a bidding paddle).
It's only $395 to setup, plus an annual $50 fee each subsequent year. I'll import your Excel membership data so that guest check-in is mostly searching and selecting rather than data entry.
The only reason it isn't a lot more is that I can only offer limited phone support - but if you can plan ahead and have some training sessions for your volunteers and do a dry-run before your event, you should find the online help is detailed enough that you shouldn't need to call for support much.
The Together Auction™ web based auction management service is being offered by Together Auction Software Ltd to churches and other organizations seeking to combine fundraising with community-building. Contact us for details.