Fundraising auctions made easy


  1. Can I use my Mac computer to access

    Yes - you can access the application from a web browser on either a Windows or Mac computer.

  2. Can I access from a tablet?

    Yes - though we do not recommend using a tablet as your primary means of working with the site when doing a lot of data entry.

  3. Can I access from a smartphone?

    The site is accessible from smartphones, but the experience is not yet optimized for a small sized screen.

  4. What fields must I supply to import data via Excel?

    The only required field when importing items via Excel is the 'Title' field. This should be the short description you want to use at the top of the bidsheet. However, we also recommend including the 'Type' field and any pricing or donor information you have.


  1. Can I record cash donations to our organization?

    Yes -- you can track cash donations made by bidders and donors.To track donations from donors, click on the 'Add Donation' link on the donor details page.For bidder donations you can use the donation tab of the 'record bid' page to record a general cash donation. To record a donation for a specific project, create an item with its type set to 'donation'.All bids recorded against a donation item are remembered, and appear on the bidder's statement at checkout time under 'Donations'.

  2. Do I need to record all the bids in the auction?

    In general, no.Charity Auction Organizer only records the winning bids for any given item, there is no need to try and track every bid that happens during your auction. If you make a mistake you can delete a bid from either the item detail or bidder detail screen. Or simply record a new bid for an item to replace any existing winning bid for it.The exceptions are 'for sale' and 'donation only' items. With these types of item every bid is recorded and appears on the bidder's account statement.


  1. Do item#'s have to be numbers?

    No, you can use any text you like at the item# as long as it is unique.

  2. Can I start item#'s at a specific number?

    Yes. On the 'Details' tab of the auction summary there is a setting for the next assigned item#.

  3. Can I track auction tickets sales?

    Yes. Add an item for your tickets and select the item type 'For Sale Item'. To record a sale, enter a bid for this item. All bids are remembered and appear on the bidder's statement at checkout time under 'Purchases'.

  4. Can I track raffle items?

    Yes. You can enter the prizes for your raffle as items with a 'Raffle' type. You should typically enter the raffle tickets as 'For Sale' items. You can then record sales of the tickets to bidders, and also record you wins the raffle items as prizes -- bids recorded on raffle items do not need an amount.

  5. How do I enter baskets?

    Baskets consist of two parts: a basket item, and multiple partial items. The basket item is entered as a normal silent/live/online item with the 'Is basket lot' option checked. Partial lot items are entered for everything that is being sold inside a basket (that you want to track). You can select which partial lot items are included in which basket. See Baskets & Packages in the user guide for more details.


  1. Can I generate 'thank you' letters for donors?

    Thank you letters require a lot of customization, so rather than directly creating them in Charity Auction Organizer we recommend using a normal word processor application, and using the mail merge feature along with the data from Charity Auction Organizer.All reports, including the donor detail report, can be downloaded in a CSV format and imported into Excel and other applications.

  2. Why doesn't the donor information show on the bid sheet or display page?

    Donor information is only displayed if the 'Acknowledge publicly' option is checked for the donor. You can set this from the donor details page, or for multiple donors from the donor list page.


  1. Do bidder#'s have to be numbers?

    No, you can use any text you like at the bidder# as long as it is unique.

  2. Can I start bidder#'s at a specific number?

    Yes. On the 'Details' tab of the auction summary there is a setting for the next assigned bidder#.

  3. Should I enter bidder email addresses?

    It is up to you. Charity Auction Organizer allows you to enter this information, and supports emailing bidder statements to bidders who have an email address defined. Bidders registering online must enter an email address.

  4. Can I print bidder receipts?

    Yes. From the bidder details screen you can choose to download the "bidder statement" as a PDF file. This is also available at the end of the bidder checkout process

  5. Can I checkout multiple bidders at once?

    Yes. Often someone will want to pay once to checkout multiple bidders. On the bidder checkout screen just enter the bidder number under the 'Include bidder in checkout' section.The checkout summary section shows the amount owed by each bidder. By default it assumes the full amount owing will be paid, but also lets you split the payment between them in anyway.

  6. Can I record multiple payments during checkout?

    Yes. Sometimes someone will want to pay part in cash and part by cheque. On the bidder checkout screen simply record the first payment, and then click on 'Record another payment for these bidders' on the 'Payment summary' screen. The payments will be listed separately on the bidder statement.

  7. Can I print bidder name tags?

    Not directly, but you can export the bidder information to Excel and then use mail merge to generate the labels you want in the correct format.


  1. Are fully online auctions supported?

    Yes. You can set up an auction to allow bidder to register and bid for items online.

  2. Is proxy bidding supported?

    Yes -- for online auctions bidders can enter a 'proxy bid' and the system will manage the bid to ensure it remains the winning bid up to the maximum they have entered when another bid is placed.

  3. What do I need to set up to enable online bidding?

    A valid start and end time for online bidding is required to enable bidding in an online auction.

  4. Is online bidding supported for other item types?

    You can set up 'pre-bidding' for silent auction items that you will be offering at a traditional event. This works in a similar way to online bidding, but the highest pre-bid is used as the starting bid on the silent auction bidsheet.

  5. Can bidders pay online?

    Yes -- you are able to process credit card payments through our integration with

  6. Can I calculate shipping & handling fees?

    No. There is currently no support for adding shipping or handling onto an item.

  7. Can bidders purchase for sale items online?

    Yes. On the items details page for a 'For Sale' item you can indicate whether it should be shown to bidders during registration and/or on a separate 'Purchases' page.

  8. Do bidders have to pay for items purchased online with a credit card?

    No. If you haven't integrated credit card payments then you can allow bidders to purchase items and add them to their account. This must be enabled from the online settings options page.

Credit Card Payments

  1. Can I process credit card payments?

    Yes. You can process credit card payments through integration with

  2. Are there any fees for credit card processing?

    There is an additional charge of 0.5% that applies to all credit card charges processed through our site. This is in addition to the normal processing fees. the payment is not processed by our site then there is no additional fee, in the same way that there are no fees for taking payments by cash or check.

  3. Can I process credit card cards through our existing merchant account?

    Direct integratation with other card processing options is not supported at this time. However, if you process a charge through you existing account you can still record this payment on our site and there is no additional charge for this.

  4. Can I use Square card readers at my event?

    You can definitely use Square for processing credit cards, and many customers do, but there is no direct integration supported. You will have to enter the amount the bidder owes into the Square app and then record the payment on our site. There are no additional fees for handling payments this way.

  5. Can I accept payments through PayPal?

    There is no direct integration at this time, but you can use PayPal alongside our site.

  6. Can credit cards be processed by the offline client?

    No. You must be online in order to validate and charge credit cards.

  7. Can credit cards be captured in the offline client and charged later?

    No. For security reasons you must be online to validate the credit card and securely store it so it can be charged later. The offline client is not able to do this.

  8. Can I use a card swiper to capture credit card numbers

    Yes, we support a couple of USB card readers. See the section on credit card readers in the user guide for more details.

  9. My card reader producing extra characters when used on a mac.

    On a mac you may need to configure the card reader as the right type of keyboard: Plug the swiper into the USB port of your computer and make sure you have a credit card handy to run a test.From your desktop open the System Preferences.Select the "Keyboards" option.Select the "Change keyboard type" option.Click continue.When you are notified to press a key, swipe your credit card.Select the language.Click okay.

Sales Tax

  1. Can I track sales tax?

    Yes. You can track up to 3 different sales taxes, and create multiple sales tax categories to apply different rates to different items.

  2. Is sales tax included in the bid amounts or extra?

    You can configure the system either way. The default is to charge sales tax on top of the amount a bidder bids, but you can set the sales tax mode to be inclusive.

  3. Can I mark bidders as tax exempt?

    Yes -- a field is provided to identify tax exempt bidders.

Offline Client

  1. Do I need internet access to run my auction?

    No. Many auction venues don't provide internet access, and you don't want to have to rely on a working internet connection during your auction. Charity Auction Organizer provides an offline client that allows multiple users to access your data without an internet connection.

  2. I have internet access at my venue, should I still use the offline client?

    If you have internet access for your auction then it is not necessary to run the offline client, you can simply access the web site online.However, for extra peace of mind you can install the offline client and use it even with a working internet connection. This way if something interrupts your internet connection your auction will not be affected.

  3. Can I install the offline client on a Mac computer?

    No - you must install the offline client on a maching running Windows XP or later.If your Mac computer has Windows installed via bootcamp then you can install the offline client into the Windows partition.

  4. I have the offline client installed on a Windows computer, can a Mac on my local network access it?

    Yes - only the computer running the offline client needs to be a Windows machine. Other machines on the same local network are able to access the offline client without any additional software being installed and just use a web browser.

  5. Do I need to disable my firewall?

    In order for the offline client to be accessible to other machines on your network it must open up a specific port on your firewall. The client will attempt to do this automatically if you are running the default Windows firewall. If you have different firewall software installed then you will either need to open up port 9001 or disable it while using the offline client.Since you are likely using the offline client whilst disconnected from the internet there should be no danger in disabling the firewall temporarily.


  1. How do I customize the look of the bid sheets?

    There are a number of options available for customizing the layout of the bid sheets: number of columns, column titles, etc. These are found on the bid sheets options page.Further, bid sheets, and other forms and reports are customized using 'stationery'. A stationery file is a PDF document you provide that acts like a letterhead for the bid sheet. For more details see the user guide section on 'Working with stationery'.

  2. I uploaded my PDF stationery file, but it still isn't being used in the bidsheet?!

    This can occur with some newer versions of PDF files. Typically it happens with files produced directly from Adobe Acrobat. These files are currently incompatible with the software we use to merge the stationery file and the bidsheet.To avoid the problem you can try saving the PDF file as an older version and uploading that, or creating it using one of the free PDF printer drivers. If you can not generate a file that works the please send a copy to and we will attempt to upload it for you.


  1. If I upgrade my account do I lose my data?

    No -- all the data you have entered before upgrading is preserved.

  2. What happens when my license expires?

    On expiry your account will revert to a 'Lite' license. You will not be able to add any more information to the account beyond the limits of the lite license. However, no data will be removed.