I’m the Executive Director and only staff member for Union County Education Foundation. I work closely with volunteers and board members to support students and encourage educators. Prior to using Qgiv, we weren’t using an online fundraising platform and were only utilizing eTapestry, our donor management software. We had never hosted a gala or an auction before, but I decided it was time to expand our reach beyond lunch and breakfast events and dip our toes into an evening event in order to host an auction.
I determined an online platform would be key in order to support virtual bidders; however, I was nervous about being locked into a long-term contract since I didn’t know what to expect with engagement for the event. I was really excited to discover Qgiv because of the online auction functionality, the flexibility when it came to not being trapped in a contract, and the ability to integrate with eTapestry.
I loved how sleek our auction event site was! It was amazing to be able to customize the site with our branding and to put all the information in one place. I really enjoyed the ability to customize auction packages and assign clever names that would grab our bidders’ attention. Also, it was easy to upload sponsor logos with the sponsor widget and add descriptions. The Facebook and Twitter live feeds were great additions to the site—all in all, it was so easy and intuitive to design thanks to being able to drag and drop. I took advantage of various features, such as video widgets and the campaign thermometer, to show how close we were to our goal.
A great feature Qgiv offers is the ability to open your auction whenever you’re ready. We opted to do so about a week prior to the in-person event. It was a great way to engage supporters that were not able to attend in person. I loved that I could report funds raised in real time to volunteers the night of the event thanks to Givi and the Virtual Terminal. As far as our results are concerned, we raised almost $34,000, which got us 98% to our goal. Not too bad for our first auction!
After the event, I called Customer Experience to make sure I did everything to import the gifts into eTapestry correctly. All in all, it was easy, which was a lifesaver. I had no idea how long it would take or if it would be complicated. It wasn’t, and that was fabulous! Speaking of Qgiv’s support, their customer service is excellent! The customer experience team kept reaching out to me and was so proactive. I experienced exceptional customer service— unlike different service providers I’ve worked with for other things.
In addition to an amazing support team, Qgiv has a robust help desk with tutorials and videos to help you get started. There were even some resources for bidders that I was able to embed on my auction site to help acclimate supporters to the site. I’m all for using Qgiv again and can’t wait to try out the new onboarding process that was just released for next year’s event!