External Pledges (auctions)

External Pledges is a feature that lets you manage and run a charitable auction through your Spark site. Most of the work to run the auction is done through a spreadsheet csv file that you upload into your site's admin page. You can include tangible items in the auction like you would at a fundraiser, or you can make the auction about winning matching dollars for future donations. We’ve found that most teams like to use it during the giving season to increase the ways that their people have an impact. 

To enable the feature, please contact your Benevity Client Success Manager.

How to create an external pledge (or auction)

After you have the feature enabled, follow the steps below to create an external pledge.

  1. Sign in to your program.
  2. Go to Manage.
  3. Hover over Company Giving and select Manage External Pledges
  4. To create a new auction, select Import Auction.
  5. Add an auction name.
  6. Upload a csv file with header rows that will match the following Spark fields:
    • Item ID: Unique ID number assigned to each auction item.
    • Item Name: Name of the auction item. 
    • Winning Bidder ID: Employee ID number assigned to the top bidder.
    • Winning Bid Amount: Top bid amount in the selected currency of the auction.
    • Fair Market Value: Value of the item.
    • Fair Market Value Match: Winning bid amount less the fair market value.
    • Donor ID: Employee ID number assigned to the auction item donor.
    • Benefiting Charity EIN: Unique employer identification number (EIN) of the benefiting charity. 
  7. Select Next and follow the remaining steps to complete the import.

Send, schedule, and edit auction emails

You can send emails to the auction’s winning bidders and the donors of auction items. These emails can be edited from within the Manage External Pledges pages of Spark. The emails can be scheduled to go out at select times.


Can I add more than one nonprofit to the auction?

Yes, but each nonprofit requires its own csv file as you can only have one "Benefiting Charity EIN" field for each csv. You will need to create and upload separate csv files for every additional nonprofit.

How do winning bidders pay for their auction items?

A payment link is generated from within the Import Auctions page. You can add that link to the email templates you create. People can pay for all their winning items at the same time. The link will only work if the person won an item.

What payment methods can winning bidders use to pay for items?

PayPal is the only payment method supported.

Can the winning bidder edit their match amount?

Yes. They can edit their match amount on the payment page. Regular matching rules apply. For example, if the cause is ineligible to receive matching in your regular Spark program, they also will not be eligible for a match as part of the auction.

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