May 02, 2019
Score 8 out of 10
I had the opportunity to use the 501 Auctions site for a recent gala in 2018. This was prior to their re-branding under the GiveSmart name. We are a smaller nonprofit and the software was used by myself as the organization's operational manager and an independent contractor hired to produce the event. As with many auction services and platforms, and based on our financial model, the company provided a low-cost platform and the use of an on-site representative(s) which we felt were worth the cost. Automating the auction process is a definite must for any event and the platform provided these needs. Note: Our organization opted not to use the online bidding feature as our attendees were definitely older than most. We felt this feature was best suited for events tailored to a younger and tech-savvy demographic.
- Attendee List Maintenance: The platform provides an easy-to-use attendee list. Modifying the information is a piece of cake.
- Attendee Check In/Out: Highly recommend the software for their quick and easy access to attendance entries and information.
- Technical and Customer Support: Our representative was very knowledgeable and was able to assist us rather quickly when prompted by email or telephone call.
- Modifying Client Payments: There were too many steps to take when modifying a client payment in the system. Although we could complete the task, one would expect a single step instead of multiple steps from a variety of page views.
- Adding or Modifying a Single item: You would expect the platform to bring you back to the same item for any further modification or review. Rather, the platform took you to the top of the page was rather annoying especially when you have hundreds of auction items.
- Knowledge Base: The platform offers a knowledge base if you know where to locate it. Rather than clicking on a link within the header or footer of the software, we were forced to locate some original emails from the developer which contained a link for the knowledge base. There should be no reason for hiding access to information.
- Sponsor Marketing: Most events if not all of them, are financially successful because of sponsorship revenues. It is extremely important to market these sponsors (or large donors) on the platform. The software does a poor job in emphasizing these sponsors.
Read Paul Rycus's full review
As stated in previous comments, the software platform has the ability to offer a variety of services. It is well suited for all organizations and events. With that said, no software is perfect for everyone and the user should take in consideration both functionality and investment. The platform we used lacked some "ease of use" administrative functions and was not ideal for marketing our sponsors.