Why we are doing this?

We have been running silent auctions for almost 20 years. It started with the Harvest Festival at our local elementary school. We raised $100 here,.. $1,000 there... and suddenly we were talking real money. After a few years we raised $12,000 - $14,000 dollars for the Arts and Music programs at our kids’ schools. When our kids became part of The School of Environmental Leadership, we were running silent auctions, renting bigger venues, and raising even more money.

The first two years we managed with an Excel sheet and printed bid-sheets using Word. But last minute changes were needed, the market value changed, the starting bid was too low, the sheets started to look inconsistent and unprofessional… updates kept springing up. These last-minute changes made the whole process hectic.

We looked around for a company who made Silent Auction software, and we found a few but many had limitations. The software was old, not intuitive, and taking a class was imperative just to get started; also it was expensive ($500 PLUS 9% of earnings). For our event, that would have been $1,800 that would NOT go to the students’ education. We only wanted to spend the price of a couple of pizzas... So we decided to write our own software.

After using Pearl Bids for a few years, it occurred to us that other people could also benefit from what we had created. During the next few years we re-wrote the software to make it simpler to use and to include more reports. We then added Accountant Reports, Sign-in Sheets, and we integrated Pearl Receipts in Pearl Bids. This allows you to email invoices using a PayPal button. In the years the followed many features and enhanced functionality has been added.

Now, we hope that YOU will enjoy using Pearl Bids, and that you will raise a lot of money for your cause.


Ward Bouwman
President, Pearl Bids