Can our organization archive the data collected during an auction?

Yes. All data including donor information.

Does MaxGiving accept credit card payments when winners check out?

Yes. MaxGiving connect directly to your merchant account. If you do not have an existing account, you will need to apply. Once the application is approved, the necessary key codes are entered into the system so that credit cards may be accepted through a secure site and paid directly to the organizations designated checking account. At the close of the online auction, the system will prompt winning bidders to “pay online.” Direct links to pay for items will be accessible in the “My Account” page. These services are also immediately available following a “Fund-A-Need,” “Buy Now” and ticket purchase transactions.

How much training will I receive?

We have regularly scheduled Administrative Panel training session webinars providing “step-by-step” instruction on how to customize, use, and wrap up your online benefit auction site. An Auction Specialist is available to personally address questions and assist you with your fundraiser.

What is “Fund-A-Need”?

Fund-A-Need is an option that allows supporters to make direct donations to your organization without bidding on an auction item.

Please Note: The revenue earned through “Fund-a-Need” contributions is excluded from the “gross auction revenue” total and will NOT be calculated as part of the MaxGiving service fee.

After my auction is closed, can I still access my reports?

Yes. The information related to your auction is always available and accessible – simply type in your auction web address (URL) to view the closed auction site.

How are winning bidders notified?

Once the auction closes, an email is sent to the winning bidders. The email will prompt the winner to log into the auction site and go to their “My Account” page to view their auction activity, print their invoice and make a payment. If you have online payments, the online auction system will prompt winners to “pay online.” If you do not have online payments, your “Payment Instructions” and “Winning Bidder Pick-Up Information” will be clearly visible.

How can I increase bidding competition?

Consider adding Bid WarsTM to your online auction. Bid WarsTM brings competitive bidding to the online environment! When a bid comes in during the final moments of the auction close time, the item enters a “Bid War.” The final moments of an auction item’s close time will be extended until bidding competition ceases and no bids have been placed for a pre-set time increment (3, 5 or 10 minutes). The auction close time for each item engaged in a “Bid War” is listed in the “View Bid War Items” listing which will appear on the Online Auction Home Page during the final moments of the online auction.

How can I increase my registered bidder database?

Personally email everyone in your own database. Send an email that includes links to items listed in your auction. Once you create this message, send it to all the members of your committee, staff, or board and ask them to send the same message to their friends. Email blasts should include the auction website address (URL), a message to encourage bidding, the purpose for raising money, and links to specific available auction items. Remember – you can’t repeat your message too much!

Can I communicate directly with my donors?

Yes! Use the “Email Donor Notification” link at the bottom of the page in edit mode of the “Manage Items” page. Just edit the “email” and personalize as you like.
Consider a message asking donors to post their donation listing on Facebook or Twitter. Ask them to use this as a marketing tool of their own to drive their customers to the online auction site, and more specifically, to their donation item! Make it easy for them by sending the link to their item. You’ll be amazed at how effective this is!

How can I use social media to promote my online auction?

Ask 25 people (via email) to commit to posting one item a day on Facebook with at least 8-10 posts for the duration of the auction. You may suggest they post about a variety of auction items to encourage bidding and participation. You’ll be amazed at how effective this is! Keep a record of the 25 people and encourage them with email updates!

Can I lower the starting bid once my auction is “live”?

Yes, but don’t lower starting bids to soon…be sure to look to see how many page views and sponsor click-throughs the item has; you want to assess your audience interest before lowering the price. Try changing the item images or enhance the description. If bidding hasn’t started a few days prior to the close of the auction, go ahead and lower it as needed.

Can our business sponsors be featured on the auction sites?

Yes, absolutely! Business sponsorships are a fantastic way to generate additional revenue for your organization. Business sponsors help drive traffic to your site, adding potential auction customers and increasing your organization’s exposure. The more business sponsors, the better!

What benefits do businesses recognize when they donate to a MaxGiving online auction?

Businesses recognize a real marketing benefit with each donation to a MaxGiving online benefit auction. With each donation they are not only demonstrating to the public their philanthropy and commitment to the community but they also receive logo placement and website link! Also at the close of the online auction, you can send each donor a “Thank You” with automatically generated notifications that include measurable analytics and reporting on the specific item(s) they donated (i.e. page views, and click-throughs).

Where do the donations come from that are listed on the online auction?

Organizations are responsible for soliciting donations for their online benefit auction. Acquiring donations for an online auction is the same as process that organizations follow for a silent and/or live auction. However this time you have a little help! MaxGiving works closely with the organization to help identify internal donations within their own constituency, unique marketing/fundraising ideas based on the organizations fundraising theme and possible donations within the community that might be available.

How long should we run the online auction?

MaxGiving recommends running your online auction for at least 2-3 weeks. If your auction is in conjunction with a Gala Event, run the auction at least 4-5 days beyond the event. You want to promote the online auction at the event but still allow yourself a few days post event to recover!

How should we advertise our online auction?

If your online benefit auction is not timed with a Gala Event, a direct email campaign to your customer base combined with a social media blitz will be your best strategy. In addition, consider the “power of print.” Create posters, stickers, or for schools, send home letters and/or bookmarks with the students.

How far in advance should we start planning our online auction?

Setting up your online auction site with MaxGiving is easy and fun and takes just a few days! However, just like with any fundraiser, you must allow plenty of time to plan, solicit auction items, advertise the event, and enter the donated items into your website. The sooner you start, the more time you have to achieve success!

What is the highest transaction amount I can process?

There is no limit to how much volume you can process. Please inform our office if you will be processing a one-time transaction over $100,000.00.

Can I get updated each time a donation goes through the portal?

Yes! We can add virtually any email address you would like to the email notification list. When a donation occurs through the portal, the chosen addresses are notified in addition to the portal user. We suggest a maximum of 3-5 addresses for convenience and clarity.

Can we accept eChecks through our donation portal?

Yes! Just let us know that you’d like to accept eChecks as a donation choice and we will make sure your account includes that option.

We put on multiple events throughout the year. Do we need a separate registration portal for each?

Not necessarily. We suggest having a general “Events” portal created that can be updated to reflect whichever event is happening at a given time. This cuts down on reporting confusion and leaves you with one URL to keep track of instead of several.

We have multiple portals through MaxGiving. Can we see all the reporting info in one place?

Yes! If you would like your reporting information merged, we can easily set that up. Instead of multiple different logins, you can login once and see each portal’s reporting information on its own respective tab. New portals and reporting information can easily be added to the merged group.

Does it cost more to add a second portal?

No. If you are an existing client of MaxGiving and already have a portal, just let us know that you need another and our design team will create it for you. When requesting an additional portal, remember to include all of the necessary information and let us know if donations from the new portal(s) will be going into the same account as previous portals.

If you need a new account set up, our Service Team can walk you through the steps and get you what you need.

Our organization changed our website. Can you update the portal to match?

Yes! Simply email with the new website URL and any other updated items (logo, pictures, etc.) and our design team will update the portal to match. Don’t forget to include the URL of the portal you’d like updated.

How do I request a change on my donation portal?

Simply email with your request and we will get back to you promptly. Don’t forget to include the URL of the portal you’d like updated.

Our organization doesn’t have a website…can we still have an online donation portal created?

Yes! Simply send us your logo (if you have one) and/or give our team a general sense of what you are looking for (i.e., “Please create a donation portal with a “fun” look using blue as the primary color and a picture of children playing.”). Our design team will create something for you from scratch that can be updated to match a later website.

My event participants need to sign a medical release before/during their registration. Can we put that on the portal?

As long as the release/information is hosted on your organization’s home website, we can easily add a link to it on your portal and provide an “Electronic Signature” section for the registrant.

However, we cannot embed a form into the portal itself.

Does it cost money to use GiveStorm?

There are no setup fees or subscription costs for setting up a fundraiser via GiveStorm. It’s easy to sign up and get started!

GiveStorm simply offers a small percentage on all contributions made through the site. These fees go to site administration, future development, network costs, and credit card processing fees.

How is GiveStorm connected to MaxGiving?

GiveStorm was created by the same team that brought you MaxGiving. They are both committed to aiding nonprofit organizations and charities with their fundraising efforts and providing the best customer service around.

I am an individual that would like to raise money on behalf of a cause – is GiveStorm the best solution for me?

Yes! In addition to being a fundraising resource for charities and nonprofit organizations, GiveStorm is geared toward helping individuals raise money for worthy causes. We’ve all been there – school tuition, disaster relief, having a friend in need – and GiveStorm is the perfect, easy-to-use resource for helping you raise funds toward your individual cause.

Are GiveStorm donations secure?

GiveStorm operates from a secure server and all donations are processed via certified merchant providers. For more information on these providers and their respective privacy & security policies, please visit their websites below.


Are GiveStorm donations tax deductible?

You should always consult a qualified tax professional regarding tax contributions. If you are giving to a verified 501(c)(3) charity, the donation is usually fully tax deductible for individuals residing in the U.S.

Donations given to a cause that is not a verified 501(c)(3) charity are not typically tax deductible.

All charities with a 501(c)(3) status are listed on the IRS website at

Can the MaxGiving team help me set up a GiveStorm fundraiser?

Yes! Just let us know that you’re interested in the GiveStorm crowd giving solution and our team will get you set up with everything you need.