Auction Platforms Integrated, Rebranded

Technology provider Community Brands has integrated the three online auction platforms purchased earlier this year and will call the combined platforms GiveSmart, the name of one of the acquisitions. The other two firms were 501 Auctions and Gesture.

The three firms were the platforms for approximately $500 million in activity during 2017, according to Michael Piotrowski, media relations manager, corporate marketing at Community Brands, based in St. Petersburg, Fla. Financial details of the acquisitions were not disclosed. The three firms had a combined 225 employees.

During the first half of 2018 the firm reported a 27 percent year-over-year increase in fundraising events collectively using the three auction and event products, supporting more than 3,700 events and that raised $400 million during the first half of 2018.

The new platform is slated to be unveiled this month during the 2018 American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago. All proceeds from an onsite auction will benefit ASAE Foundation.

“Online and mobile giving data suggests that donation preferences are shifting to digital tools,” said Erin Shy, executive vice president and general manager of Nonprofit Solutions, Community Brands. “We’re investing in technology that helps organizations stay ahead of the mobile expectations donors have and allows individuals to give in the manner they prefer.”

There are now 10 brands in four divisions of Community Brands, all targeting the nonprofit space in some form. The divisions include membership, career and learning with vertical job boards, K through 12 education market and the fundraising and fund accounting vertical.

Shy said there is an opportunity to handle as many as 100,000 auctions when used across the Community Brands group of platforms. “This is not an exercise in consolidation,” she said. The effort will be to “more easily make data be seen across multiple platforms,” turning one-time events into year-long contacts with potential donors, she added.