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Announcing Auctions for Salesforce

The Annual Auction. A theme to pick, venues to discuss, gifts to solicit. Food, wine, entertainment. A chance for a nonprofit to bring its mission to life. And for years, many of the groups we work with have been managing this very important event using a collection of spreadsheets or an out-of-date database system. Well, no longer. We are proud to announce our first official Saleseforce code share release, Groundwire Auctions for Salesforce.

Update: Auctions for Salesforce now available as a managed package on Appexchange.

Auction in Action
Auction in Action. (Photo by David Adam Edelstein.)
The Annual Auction. A theme to pick, venues to discuss, gifts to solicit. Food, wine, entertainment. A chance for a nonprofit to bring its mission to life, a chance to bring the community together, a chance to beat last year’s funds raised. And for years, many of the groups we work with have been managing this very important event using a collection of spreadsheets or an out-of-date database system half of the staff doesn’t quite trust.

Well, no longer. We are proud to announce our first official Salesforce release, Groundwire Auctions for Salesforce. This is a free application any nonprofit with a Salesforce database can install.

The Best Kind of Volunteer

Auctions for Salesforce was developed by Groundwire database consultant Dave Habib. Dave is a volunteer who came to Groundwire through Social Venture Partners of Seattle. He is a former Microsoft development manager who worked on the first two versions of the Access database. After 14 years, Dave moved on from Microsoft and has been volunteering the last decade, building databases for a variety of nonprofits including a multi-year database project for Youth Eastside Services.

Dave came to Groundwire specifically to build a customized Salesforce database for Washington Environmental Council (WEC). During initial planning meetings, Dave and the staff at WEC decided an auction feature would be a great management tool to add to their new Salesforce database.

Party on the Code

Less than a year later, the auction tool has now been released in a generic version to the Salesforce community. Groups can download and install the managed version (which will easily add new features as the tool is updated), or groups can download the unmanaged version and “party on the code”.  This is an open source application that allows any developer to contribute new features to the tool.

The auction management tool fits perfectly into the Salesforce landscape. Groups use the Salesforce database to keep track of relationships important to their organization—managing volunteer history, giving history, household information, email click-throughs and much more in one central location. With Auctions for Salesforce, staff can use the most up-to-date contact records to cultivate and solicit opportunities the same way they manage major gifts and grants in Salesforce.

“When I developed this auction tool for Salesforce, I wanted to make sure the outreach for an auction was easy, that it was easy to record donations, and that it was easy to track purchases,” says Dave.

With Auctions for Salesforce, staff can manage cash sponsorships, auction donations, and the complex task of bundling these donations into auction items. Auctions for Salesforce offers tools to manage tasks like producing bid sheets, item descriptions and end-of-night receipting with a clear distinction between tax deductibility and fair market value. Dave designed the system with an understanding of the fast pace of auction night and the need for the management tool to keep up.

Washington Environmental Council Takes It Out For a Test Drive

Washington Environmental Council beta-tested the auction tool with their auction last fall. Before using Salesforce, WEC was storing data in multiple places and using spreadsheets to manage their auction. Now all of this information is located in one central place, and the staff can take advantage of the Salesforce features they are already using to manage their relationships, including reporting and email blasting.

"Dave did a great job of assessing our current situation and in developing a comprehensive auction module that really fit our needs. We worked together to build something that was exactly what we needed and the team at Groundwire did a great job of pulling together our ideas and systems into one happy auction module," says WEC’s Development Manager, Allison Schulte.

As they organized their auction this past fall, WEC staff used Auctions for Salesforce to record donated items, organize auction items for the event, keep track of sponsors, record ticket purchases, keep detailed information of each attendee, and ultimately track auction purchases. And because all of WEC’s relationship history is already in the database, they could bring up detailed information of each participant. Year after year, staff can go right to a contact record in Salesforce and see a detailed history of each relationship. Salesforce is web-based, so staff can access the information any time and any place with access to the Internet.

See It In Action

Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, Oregon, is currently using Auctions for Salesforce as they prepare for their June auction, and other nonprofits have already installed Auctions for Salesforce into their database.

Watch Dave Habib give a quick tour of Auctions for Salesforce.


Note: Groundwire Labs will maintain Auctions for Salesforce for one year, but will not update this product over its lifetime.

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(206) 286-1235

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