About Silent Auction Pro


Silent Auction Pro is a cloud-based event management solution designed for charitable institutes, clubs and other nonprofit organizations. It provides tools to manage contacts, track donations, bundle auction items and generate auction progress reports and integrated credit card processing.

Silent Auction Pro covers mobile bidding, silent auctions, online bidding and managing live auctions. It allows event managers to organize contact lists including both donors and attendees and it sends invitation emails to attendees. Organizers can notify bidders when they have won items via email and text.

It can project and display a leader board highlighting current auction statuses. Members can manage their profiles, enter bids and track progress for items they bid upon. Event organizers can also sell tickets online and plan seating arrangements for events. Customer support is offered via email and over the phone.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Web browser (OS agnostic)

272 Reviews of Silent Auction Pro

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.82 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(226)

4 stars

(45)

3 stars

(0)

2 stars

(1)

1 stars

(0)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 272 reviews

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April 2019

Jennifer from Family Promise of Southern Chester County

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2019

Great Support and good for small non profit

I would love to see the other side of the database developed - the expense side. I would like to be able to run true reports revenue verses expenses. I wish Silent Auction Pro would have additional fields that could be labeled however the customer needed them - similar to creating different types of tickets but for other needs related to auction items. Lastly, I have only one complaint about the cost. I understand and accept the cost and 2% for auction items, however, it doesn't seems fair to have the charity pays 2% of the cost of a consignment item (ie. trip, autographed album cover) that cost $1000's of dollars. The charity ends up paying silent auction pro most of the profit they make on the item if they only make a couple of hundred of dollars over the consignment price. I believe the 2% should be on what the charity makes net on the auction not gross.

Pros

This is great software for silent auctions and generally a good value for a small non profit. They have amazing customer support with almost immediate response and the help section is fantastic. The on-line program for auction items is a tremendous feature. This gave us the opportunity to market our auction items in advance of the event and create a buzz. We love the ability to be able to pull up past donations and have the fields autofill - that saved a lot of work the second year we used the software. We also love the scheduled communications. We scheduled an e-mail 2 days prior to the event to go to all attendees with information on parking, dress, etc., as well as an e-mail 2 days after the event thanking people for attending. Lastly, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the e-mail/text notification for auction winners. So many people have commented on how much they appreciate this feature.

Cons

I will say there were a few quirks with ticket purchasing. We had 2 couples buy tickets and have receipts but they were not in the software anywhere. This happened last year as well. Silent Auction has yet to find out why this happened, but overall the ticketing system works well. Since this quirk happened the first year we had a "back up" plan if it happened to anyone this year and how we would handle it. I wish the site was more clear about security of the site and that the credit cards are going through the paypal system, not our computers. Some people get funny about buying items on-line and we have had a few of these instances/complaints. I also wish it was more clear when someone was buying multiple tickets that the first ticket was going to the buyer - and if the buyer was buying tickets for someone else they could change this in the system if they were not attending or already purchased their ticket. I wish there was a way to modify the bid sheet layout. I think the site could easily become more user friendly by creating buttons for some commonly used things - such as create a donor, create a donation - instead of links buried down in the page. So many of the links look similar and can get confusing for people that are not using the software on a regular basis.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Replied April 2019

Thank you Jennifer for the review. I wanted to add a few comments. On the missing tickets - The issue you encountered was caused by Apple's iOS 12.2 release on the iPhone for customers who were using PayPal as their processor. I don't know why but that release broke some basic functionality in Safari that we used as part of the online ticket purchase flow. We did quickly find a work around and have fixed the problem but that's the reason it happened. We did figure it out quickly and fix it. Regarding the security comment - we do provide a link to credit card security and the guest must acknowledge that link before they purchase tickets. Unfortunately in my experience people don't read so they probably just miss that. Regarding the first ticket being assigned to the buyer - The page does clearly show that the first ticket goes to the buyer but again, people don't read. We are also planning on allowing the first ticket to go to a guest.

October 2017

Lara from North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2017

Excellent Choice

Helped us run our best auction to date, with virtually no line at checkout, even though we had almost doubled our attendees from the prior year.

Pros

This is terrific software, especially for a smaller nonprofit. What sold the software to us is that when I inquired about it online on a Saturday, I got an immediate phone call from the owner of the company and software developer. This was very typical of all interaction with this company throughout our use of the software - we got immediate responses from support when we had questions, they understand that auctions happen on weekends and support needs to be available then, and when we found a few quirks in the software they were repaired immediately, often by the developer personally. We previously used Greater Giving and BidPal; all three have features that I like and don't like, but overall SilentAuctionPro is by far the best value for the price. The a la carte pricing is a huge benefit for nonprofits like ours that cannot use all features (i.e. online bidding). Overall, from last year to this year (BidPal to SilentAuctionPro), we went from about 100 to 195 attendees, and from our worst checkout ever to our best. The instruction files, help menus, videos, etc were by the far the best of any nonprofit software we have used. We were invoiced after the auction for the software, which could be of great benefit for a nonprofit just starting out with their first auction.

Cons

I would love to be able to have a website where people can enter their own donations and have them populate as donation items in the system. There were a few quirks like the system not liking quote marks and ampersands. I would like for there to be a bit more explanation on the page about the security of registering your card as many of my guests weren't comfortable doing so at the time of ticket purchase. It would also be great to have more customization options for the ticket sales page. Because of the way we run our auction, I would very much prefer to be able to assign bidder #s to a household rather than to an individual, but this would have been fine if we had noticed it earlier and planned accordingly. I would also like to be able to customize a bit more on the receipts, include ticket descriptions, etc. I would have set up our fixed price items differently than we were advised to as I don't think it was the best option for our auction and was a bit of a hiccup, but in fairness it was something we didn't get to in advance and did on the fly, so it would have been avoidable with a little planning. Although the reports are generally pretty great, I did have to piece together a few to get to what I needed which could be a pain for someone with less Excel experience. Really minor, but because we can't use online bidding, I print our bidsheets on carbonless paper. Would very much prefer that the half sheet option printed as a 2up because I ended up reformatting them in Adob

May 2017

Charisse from Edmonds Woodway Athletic Booster Club

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

May 2017

Tremendous system for making charity auction easier to set up

Set up and run the event solely from volunteer committee without having to contract with other services for ticketing or check in/out. Handle high volume auction and attendee counts with smaller committee.

Pros

Donation entry was intuitive and loved that we could pull up items donated before so that we didn't have to retype everything. Demo environment allowed us to get committee members up to speed quickly and also allowed us to practice on some creative set up to meet our auction needs. Ticketing feature offered a variety of ticket options, some only displaying with a promo code, and love the addition of the asking for the email address for a ticket purchasers' guests - made it simple to reach all attendees with the marketing tools. Allowing the ticket purchasers to select the meal, or any other item we programmed made the table/catering coordination easy. Marketing features to promote the event to our attendees as well as help them feel connected to the event that was a couple months away. We set up an online auction the week before our event and people loved it! The online auction was open to the public so it allowed parents to share with friends and family that weren't planning on attending. We posted the event auction items on the online auction as previews to entice bidders to attend to get a chance at the rest of the silent and live items. Reporting is good, check in/out is all on one page, the system performance is great. Loved working in system even from our smart phone browser to check on things, make changes etc. any time, any where. Customer support was outstanding!

Cons

Special characters aren't allowed in donation title so we had to change once they got loaded as an auction item. Special characters in the description like " for inch threw off the formatting of the data export to excel. Reporting is good, but would have liked a few more reports or the ability to create ad hoc reports. We found one report provided this item, but another report provided this item so we had to export to excel and do look up functions which is tedious to do each time. Would like more options for formatting of bid sheets, and also would like to see some additional options with displaying, leveraging the "Donation Tag" feature which is critical for us as our teams need to be identified. Would like filters on lists as well.

April 2017

AMY from VCHS Foundation

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2017

Silent Auction Pro helped us manage over 400 auction items at our event.

Silent Auction Pro allows us to manage a high volume of donators, donations, auction items, bidders, etc. Customer support is great, they are always available to answer my questions timely. Loved the phone call the day before the event to share the 800 number. Love that we can email receipts to winners. Love that we can notify winners via email or text once a table is processed. Like that you can have multiple users at same time, especially at event day, doing data input, checking in bidders, checking out winners.

Pros

Silent Auction Pro allows us to manage a high volume of donators, donations, auction items, bidders, etc. Customer support is great, they are always available to answer my questions timely. Loved the phone call the day before the event to share the 800 number. Love that we can email receipts to winners. Love that we can notify winners via email or text once a table is processed. Like that you can have multiple users at same time, especially at event day, doing data input, checking in bidders, checking out winners.

Cons

1) Certain characters are not liked by the program (inch symbol, & symbol), especially when exporting to excel. 2) Bid sheet area to write in bids is too crowded, would like options to modify bid sheet layout, not sure if we can or not but would like opportunity to export bid sheets to a file and add "NO BIDS" on back side of page 3) Price went up from last year, both module cost and %. 4) Would like more options to print vs export and when exporting to design what fields and sort order, especially on sold items 5) Dont like that when you create duplicate items that they are linked and then if one is not sold it cannot be deleted without deleting them both 6) When you update an auction item, you go back to the donation, update, then update auction item. It does not always take the updated title from the donation as the new title of the auction item. Cannot figure out why. 7) would like the name on the bid sheets to be larger font, as we had two bidders get the wrong cards and not know that it was not their name at the top 8) Would like bidders to write more clearly :) (I know, out our your control) 9) Would like a quicker way to see what auction items have no bids at the end of the event instead of scrolling through the page

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Replied April 2017

#1 Ampersands have special meaning in HTML and are therefore prohibited in some fields. Using in. instead of double quotes would be guaranteed to work. #4 The Write Letters feature of the AuctionPromoter provides a lot of flexibility w.r.t. creating custom reports. #5 Delete duplicated items using the bulk delete option at the bottom of the Edit Auction Items page. #6 Auction item titles are DIFFERNT than the donation titles. Auction item titles are seeded with the donation title(s) when you first create auction items. From there on if you want to change the auction item title you have to do it on the auction item, not on the donation. #8 Me too! Go to mobile bidding and you won't have that problem! #9 With the AuctionPromoter you can project a leader board that shows all items with no bids. With mobile bidding there is also a special category that shows all items with no bids.

November 2016

Alan from Southern Gateway Chorus

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

2.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

November 2016

Silent Auction Pro - Good, but with some significant reservations

Southern Gateway Chorus used Silent Auction Pro (SAP) to manage our Gateway Gala for 2016, our major fund-raiser of the year. We found much to like about it, but also a few things that could stand improvement. The best thing about SAP is its people and the support they provide. They were right on top of everything. I never waited more than an hour for an answer to a support question. SAP also provides a very nice flow for managing donors and donations, and turning them into auction items. We were also impressed with the ease of checking guests in and out and providing them with paddles and invoices. Data entry for auction results is also well-thought-out, and quick and easy (with the exception of the Fund-a-need auction type - more below). Less useful is SAP's process for managing prospective guests. SAP conflates donors and guests as "Contacts". This means that if a person is both a guest and a donor, there is potential for duplication. SAP has a process for managing duplicates, but the outcome of the choices that you make in that process are not always very clear. Southern Gateway sells many of the tickets to our event through person-to-person contact. We did not find a good way to handle these sales in SAP. We wound up having our list of guests imported, and then using SAP to assign bidder numbers to them. SAP also does not deal well with groups of people (such as couples) who want to register using one credit card and bidder number. Its documentation, and its support personnel, stress the need to have each person have his or own contact record, phone number, email address etc. This is unnecessarily cumbersome. One kind of auction, which SAP calls "Fund-a-need", is not very well handled. It requires that you create multiple phony "donations", and then turn them into phony "auction items". Data entry for these auctions is cumbersome and error-prone. We wound up with a number of duplicate entries, which had to be manually resolved. This should be an easy software fix. Finally, SAP requires that you create a merchant account with Vantiv if you want to accept credit cards, and another account with American Express if you want to accept their cards. This process is not simple. You are also required to use card readers that you rent from SAP. Southern Gateway has a preexisting merchant account, and card readers, from Square. It would have been much easier if we could simply have used that account.

Pros

Capturing information about donors and donations
Creating auction items from donations
Checking guests in and out, and providing them with invoices
Bid entry (except for Fund-a-need)

Cons

Handling reservations and guests, especially couples and other groups
Formatting bid sheets - very little control over this format
Handling creation and bid entry for fund-a-need
Requirement to create a merchant account with Vantiv

May 2016

Stephanie from Amana Academy

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Customer support

5.0

May 2016

Silent Auction Pro Thought of Everything!

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this software. I was totally immersed in it, learning every possible feature and application, to ensure that we got the maximum use. Pro's: 1. The Help section is extremely well documented, and the customer support is amazing. The You Tube videos were very helpful for training both me and my volunteers. Any time of the day or night when I sent an email, I had an immediate response. 2. The options available were extremely comprehensive and knowledgeable about the mechanics of a benefit fundraiser. I cannot think of anything that I wanted to do that I couldn't do. From donor setup, to bidding styles (purchase of ticket parties for Teacher Experiences, to Silent Auction bidding, setting different minimum bids etc) to performance tracking, exporting info, everything was there. 3. The buzz that we created with the auction was definitely a boost to our event. We doubled our attendance vs. last year, just by starting the auction 4 weeks before the event, and creating excitement about the items that we offered early. 4. I am now set up for next year, with over 50% of the input work established already (donors, pictures and logos, bidders, etc). Next year should be a lot easier! 5. Auction Day section is powerful and easy to use - The check in was easy, online bidding was easy, and checkout was VERY easy, especially for those who had already registered their credit cards online. I could just click "auto process" for a batch of auction items, and with a click of the button, 20 people were checked out at once. Then I just looked up the auction number, passed out the gift envelopes or baskets, and done! "Be Awares" - I won't say Con's! 1. The upfront setup in the first year takes some time. Start early, and I strongly encourage you to read all of the "Help" sections before you start. Even then, tread carefully as you craft your setup, and re-read some of the Help sections. I ended up re-doing a few of my entries as I thought about the structure, and crafted it for maximum efficiency and reporting. 2. Engage team members to do their own data entry as they gather donations. This will save you a lot in data entry time, especially if you have a lot of auction items, and especially in the first year. 3. Train your "auction assistants" well, before event day. This includes check in, auction bidding assistance, and check out, but is especially true for Check in. Overall, very pleased!

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Replied May 2016

Thank you Stephanie for your detailed review. I'm sure potential customers will find this very helpful! On the "be awares". As you point out, our system is very comprehensive. We encourage people to play around in the demo group sandbox to help learn the system while not affecting the data in your own group. We're also happy to coach users on the best practices via email or a phone call. As you pointed out there are a bunch of great tutorial videos too! Thanks again for the great review! Jim

March 2017

Cindy from Simi Valley Education Foundation

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2017

A Software that DEFINITELY Helps you Raise More Money

This was our first use of this software and we were very satisfied with the results we achieved the night of our event. The software is relatively easy to use - the modules are marked but you do need to take you time to make sure you are on the right page. The customer support was fantastic. Every time I had a problem or a question they were there to answer it. They were able to go into my site, analyze my problem and help me solve it. I did not use the registration part of the software since I purchased it too late to really get the benefit of that part of the program. However, I was able to push my guests to the site to register their credit card prior to our event. On the day of our event as our guests checked in we had a few banks of computers with people manning so that if our guests had difficulties they were there to assist. (I would recommend that for anyone using the program.) During the event, we were able to showcase our fundraising live as it happened. This aspect definitely helped generate more bidding and involvement of our guests.

Pros

This was our first use of this software and we were very satisfied with the results we achieved the night of our event. The software is relatively easy to use - the modules are marked but you do need to take you time to make sure you are on the right page. The customer support was fantastic. Every time I had a problem or a question they were there to answer it. They were able to go into my site, analyze my problem and help me solve it.

I did not use the registration part of the software since I purchased it too late to really get the benefit of that part of the program. However, I was able to push my guests to the site to register their credit card prior to our event. On the day of our event as our guests checked in we had a few banks of computers with people manning so that if our guests had difficulties they were there to assist. (I would recommend that for anyone using the program.)

During the event, we were able to showcase our fundraising live as it happened. This aspect definitely helped generate more bidding and involvement of our guests.

Cons

The modules could be designed to be easier to differentiate.

June 2016

Celia from Garden Co-Op Nursery School

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2016

Saved Us Time, Trouble And Confusion!

Before finding Silent Auction Pro, we were doing everything by hand. It took up a lot of everyone's time and led to a lot of frustration. After a very stressful night of having people waiting for us to hand calculate their winning bids and asking us every five minutes if we were ready, we decided there must be a better way to do this. A fundraiser should be fun! It has fun in the name! So I found Silent Auction Pro. It made such a difference to not have all of those people waiting for us to give them their winning items and invoices. And, checking out was quick. I highly recommend for events like silent auctions.

Pros

You can enter your donations one time and duplicate them if you have more than one or if you are repeating the same items the next year, you can see where your volunteers are in the process of getting their donations and they can mark their status, you can bundle lower value items together to make a larger basket and it is easy to do, the check in and check out at our event was fast! And, I was able to enjoy the actual event for the first time.

Cons

Not really a con, but a suggestion if you use this software: have a designated person in charge of using the software and train everyone to enter the information consistently. I think their best practices was helpful'it saves time to make sure you take that step so you don't have to edit a bunch of things later.

December 2016

Emily from Friends of Falls Church Homeless Shelter, Inc.

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

December 2016

Auction software - JUST PERFECT FOR US!

Three years ago was the first time we used SilentAuctionPro. And we used it again for this year's event. SAP handled our 450+ donations with five users, 200 auction items, online bidding by 225+ guests and the raffle ticket feature. We were able to train our volunteers on the AuctionDay features, and questions were quickly answered by the support staff via phone or email! The extensive help section allowed users to familiarize themselves with the various features, too. Tips for future users: start on soliciting donation early & use SAP to keep track of it all! We plan to use it again for our next silent auction event in two years. Great program, Silent Auction Pro. Leaps & bounds better than the days of paper bidding!

Pros

Add donor, add donation item, save! The extras are great:logos & pictures for displays, the communication tool saved us & we were able to message our bidders with auction highlights.

Cons

After our 2nd event, the system usage seemed more intuitive. We didn't realize how many features we could have used that first time! Would love the system to accept AmEx, not just Visa/MasterCard.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Replied December 2016

Hi Emily - thank you for the review! FYI - You can accept AmEx, you just need to set up an AmEx account and give that number to Vantiv. Once it is set up just check the "Merchant Accepts AmEx" checkbox on the "Configure Merchant Account" page and AmEx will show up in the credit card select lists.

October 2016

Amy from Amy Juba, CFRE

Company Size: 1 employee

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2016

Silent Auction Pro is the BEST value available with amazing customer support!

As a nonprofit consultant, I have worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations on their gala auctions. I recommended Silent Auction Pro to a nonprofit pre-school for their gala. We utilized all of the features offered by SAP, including a live and silent auction, the mobile feature and the event planning features with a very user friendly table assignment function. The product is very responsive and intuitive, and helped this organization raise over $79,000 above sponsorships and ticket sales the night of the gala! Silent Auction Pro is without a doubt the best value of all auction products available. Jim Donnell and his team at SAP are extremely informative and helpful and are available for customer support nearly 24/7. I never had a question that wasn't answered politely and patiently on the first call. You do need to be a self-starter and allow enough time to self-train and train your committee members using the helpful You Tube videos, but their Support people are always available for questions and troubleshooting. If your organization is on a budget or just doesn't want to pay a lot of money for the auction and event features, Silent Auction Pro is for you!!

Pros

It is intuitive and and easy to learn. Support team is very responsive and is constantly updating the product. It offers the absolute BEST value of any auction software I have used or researched! The mobile product is clean and user-friendly.

Cons

Some of the functions are a bit hard to find. You do have to be a self-starter to research all of the functions and know exactly what is needed before the gala night to check in, check out, and close the auctions. I had to contact customer support several times throughout the evening for assistance.

November 2016

Heather from Sheboygan Service Club

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality