Learn the four different donation types and how you can use them to manage your silent auction.
There are three types of Bidding Sheets: bidding sheets which increase in the amount with one winner, bidding sheets which increase in the amount but with multiple winners, and bidding sheets with the same amount and multiple winners. The last is like a party where everybody pays the same, until all the tickets are sold out. Another example is a live auction, 'Fund a need,' where multiple people give a set amount to the cause.
But first we're going to go over all the fields in the donations window and teach you a trick or two.
You may enter more information in a description or title field than the size of the original text box. The box will expand as you type, allowing you to enter additional information.
Since you wish for all of the different components to show on the bidding sheet when printed, only the information from the original text box will be printed. The other information will remain in Pearl Bids for your future reference.
Pearl Bids is built in FileMaker (MAC/WIN), an enterprise level database tool. As such it can be networked and used simultaneously. But for those people who do not have a network, you can share Pearl Bids using a USB stick using a trick. You only need one license. You can walk the USB stick over from one computer to another computer. Here is how:
The trick it to move your data file or primary file on a USB stick. Then trick Pearl Bids into thinking that your file is at the expected location but not working.
1) Install Pearl Bids on all computers you want to have access to.
2) Copy the database file to where you keep your FileMaker database files to your USB stick: The database file can be found at: Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Pearl Bids/Pearl Bids V7.pbg or Pearl Bids V7.pbg7 WIN: ~\Libraries\Documents\Pearl Bids\Pearl Bids V7.pbg or Pearl Bids V7.pbg7
3) Rename it (for example 'Pearl Bids V7.pbg7' to 'Pearl Bids V7.pbg7_BAK' ) and replace it with another file of the same name. For instance you can make a text file named 'Pearl Bids V7.txt' and rename it to 'Pearl Bids V7.pbg7'. This is very important; if you skip this step, Pearl Bids will repair itself. You will need to do this on all computers.
If you start up Pearl Bids now, you will get an error*. After you click OK, Pearl Bids will ask you for the location of the data file. Select the data file on your USB stick created in step 2).
That is it. Please remember to quit Pearl Bids and "eject" the USB stick before removing it from your system, to avoid corrupting your data file. This is basic computer protocol.
* The error message says: 'The primary file "Pearl bids v7" is either not part of this application, is damaged, or is already open. OK'.
Note: some export and backup functions might not work as expected. If you want to backup your data, just copy the file on your USB stick.
Pearl Bids is built in FileMaker (MAC/WIN), an enterprise level database tool; as such the downloaded version it can be networked.*
If you have FileMaker Pro 12 or newer (even the trial version is fine) or FileMaker Server 12, you can open the Pearl Bids database file in FileMaker. Lots of schools already have aFileMaker sitewide license, so ask around. Once opened you can share Pearl Bids with other FileMaker users or on an iPad. If you use Filemaker 13 (or newer) you can access Pearl Bids through WebDirect (Part of FileMaker) in a browser.
The following information might be helpful.
1) Make sure that the 'Auction Master' has a password! Otherwise you will not be able to log in. When you add it, create also some other users with passwords. In Pearl Bids go to: MAC: Pearl Bids > Pearl Bids Setting > Multi Users WIN: Help >Pearl Bids Setting > Multi Users
2) Copy the database file to where you keep your FileMaker database files: The database file can be found at: Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Pearl Bids/Pearl Bids V7.pbg or Pearl Bids V7.pbg7 WIN: ~\Libraries\Documents\Pearl Bids\Pearl Bids V7.pbg or Pearl Bids V7.pbg7
You might have to change the extension from .pbg or .pbg7 to .fmp12 before opening the file in FileMaker of Filemaker Server depending on your setup.
That's it. Now multiple FileMaker and iPad** users can access Pearl Bids through your FileMaker network.
On rare occasions, users will see a window popup with: "Pearl Bids can not create a record". We have only heard this happen for a Windows user with a new install. The error is generated when the authoring software (FileMaker) is not able to write changes to the data file.
The solution is simple:
Browse to the data file in your documents folder and right click the file PearlBids_V_ something_.pbg. Select properties.
Click the tab security and change the permissions for the current user (here 'Ward') to look like this:
Go to 'Library Donations'. Select the donation you would like to change. Click on the 'For Silent Auction' field and select the new auction.
You can also easily remove a donation from your current auction without deleting the donation, for instance when you decide to use the pizza coupon (for example) for another auction. In 'Library Auction' select 'Donations' and click the blue 'X" behind the auction name.
For silent auctions which include a capital fund raiser by raising a paddle, Pearl Bids silent auction software supports entering mutiple offers at the same price.
For a 'Raise the paddle' you can make a couple of donation items. eq 'Raise the paddle $500', 'Raise the paddle $250', 'Raise the paddle $100'. Set the 'Number of Donations" to the number of paddles you are expecting (you can change this anytime*) and set the "Donation Type" to "Each bidder is a winner".
If you have a have a bidding license, you can enter the wining paddles in as you would any other bid, up to the 'Number of donations'. These bids will be included on the bidder's receipt as well.
Tip: The printed bid sheet includes your first 10 bidders. Why not put these bidsheets on the table as well? It gets people used to the idea, and guests who might have to leave early a chance to participate.
* Don't overdo the number of expected bids, as these are included in your total marketvalue for your auction.
Select your Auction. Select 'Donations' on the right at the top. Click the plus sign.
Name your donation, fill in a description, the number of donation (usally 1), the 'Market value', the 'Bid starts at' value. If you leave your cursor over the 'Bid step increment', Pearl Bids will suggest a value for 'Bid step increment.' Your goal should be to reach the market value within a few steps. Finally associate the donation with the donor.
Alternatively you can create a Donation by selecting 'Library Donations' and click the plus sign. You will have to associate this donation with an auction as well.
Select 'Libary Donation' and the donation you want to duplicate or reuse. Select 'Donation, Duplicate Donation' from the menu. Edit the donation as needed.
Once a donation is in an auction, specific bids might be assocated with the donation. If you switch auctions for that donation, the bids are no longer in that auction. Therefore, it is better to duplicate the donation and associate the duplicate with the new auction.
However, if nobody made a bid on that donation, there is no objection to swithcing the donation from one auction to another.
It's easy to import your donations or contact info from another file into Pearl Bids. Below is an example on importing donations from an excel file.
1. Select Donations from the left side menu bar. Then, from the top drop down menu, select File>Import donations.
2. Next, you will be asked to slect the file where the data that you wish to import resides. After double clicking on the file name, the Import Field Mapping screen will appear. This screen allows you to tell Pearl Bids where you wish each imported field to reside.
3. When ready, select the Import button. An Import Options screen will appear. The Perform auto-enter option should have a check mark. If it does not, check it now.
4. The next pop-up widow will show your import summary. Choose OK.
5. The Donations Import Review window is your final review before importing. It is easy to add any additional information or make changes in this screen. Once all information is in, select the donations that you wish to import in the left hand column. Then click the Import Check Marked on the top of the screen. Your Donations will now be included your the Pearl Bids program.
To import Contacts into Pearl Bids, follow these same steps, but select Contacts on the left side menu bar as opposed to Donations.
Select the donation. Select the the 'Special' tab and select 'Each bidder is a winner...'
A 'Mom's Night Out' is the type of donation that has multiple tickets for the same price. For instance multiple tickets to a party - all tickets are the same price.
Pearl Bids can print 10 bid-lines on a sheet. Thus if you want to sell 40 tickets, you will need to have 4 donations and donation sheets - 'Mom's Night Out #1', 'Mom's Night Out #2'...,'Mom's Night Out #3' (See How do I duplicate a donation?) and distribute these sheets over various donation tables, and possibly the check-in table or to allow copies for some people to walk around with clipboards.
We did this as we have seen it to be a more effective way to sell tickets at your silent auction without crowding the table and creating a line and discouraging people.
There are two ways to purchase a bidding license that will allow you to enter the dollar amounts bid for each item, generate invoices, and produce reports on the profit of your auction.
You can either go directly to the Donation window, attempt to create a bid, and you will be asked if you woudl like to purchase a bidding license. Or, stay one step ahead of the process and go straight to Pearl Bids>Pearl Bids Settings> on the top menu bar.
2. Go to the License tab and enter the the email under which the original product was ordered. Then click Get a bid license.
3. You will be prompted to enter payment info...
If you have a coupon code, enter it now and click outside the coupon box to have the discount activated.
4. You will then see a window like this:
5. Go back to your auction and select the
6. Go to the License tab and click on the refresh tab.
7. You can then go to the bid page and click the + to enter bids.
To transfer your data to a new computer, simply copy the Backup and open it in the new location.
Create a backup of your current data through the File>Backup Now option on your menu bar. You can then copy this file to a new computer or location.
If Pearl Bids is installed at the new location, open the backup file. Pearl Bids will open and you will see a pop-up window asking if you wish to continue. If so, choose File>Save my Pearl Bids from the menu bar and proceed.
Alternatively, for a Mac:
To move your Pearl Bids from your old mac to your new mac manually is a two step process: 1) Move the application and then 2) move the data file.
1) To move the application. Simply copy the Pearl Bids application to your new mac application folder. You can use a USB stick, airdrop, or any other means. Then run it one time. This should give you an empty database with only the example auction.
2) To move the data file. - In Finder, while holding the option key down, select Go > Library. (Library will only display when the option key is pressed.) - Then browse in the Library window to find Application Support > Pearl Bids - Copy the .pbg file to the new mac using a USB stick or any other means. Don't change the name. - On the new mac, replace the existing file at the same location. again: in Finder, while holding the option key down, select Go > Library. Then browse to Application Support > Pearl Bids Drag the existing file .pbg to the trash, and now replace it with the .pbg file of your old Mac.
When you start Pearl Bids you should have your old data on your new Mac.
Alternatively, you can transfer the Pearl Bids program (without any new data) to another computer. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/Pearl Bids and copy the file called Pearl Bids V7_2.pbg from the old computer to the new computer.
The status field can help you get organized; three statuses are used by Pearl Bids: Open, Closed and Delete.
Auction: When an auction status is Open the auction can accept bids. When the auction is Closed, it does not. When an auction status is Delete the auction will be removed (as are all other auctions with status Delete) when you click the trash can and all the donation statuses of donations in that auction will be set to Delete.
Donations: When a donation status is Open, the donation accepts bids.When the donation is Closed, it does not accept bids. A donation needs to be closed to be shown on a printed or emailed receipt. When a donation status is set to Delete the donation is removed (with all other donations with status Delete) when you click the trashcan. Note that you easily open/close a number of donations (All , by Table, Marked) when you select Closing .
Contact: A contact in 'Libary contacts' can have a status of Current, Old or Delete. A contact is removed from Pearl Bids (as are all other donations with status Delete) when you click the trashcan. The other statuses are for your reference.
Attendee: A attendee is a contact attending your auction. When you select the status Remove from auction, the attendee is moved to the bottom of the list of the auction.
A. Go to your auction and from the very top menu bar, select View > Auction- Tables
B. Once on the Tables page, from the drop down “printer” bar (at the top of the image below) you can choose to Print a Table Flier or a Simple Table List for each table. Simply choose which flyer has the amount of information you wish to use and create a great catalog.
Pearl Bids can be used to easily create letters to any of your silent auction donors or attendees. You might wish to create letters to request a donation, thank yous for donations, or announcements to attendees.
Under Library (on the left hand column) select Contacts.
A list of all of your contacts will appear. Put a check next to the name of any contacts whom you wish to write. Then click on the pencil at the top of your screen.
Type in the text that you wish to include in your letter. When your letter is printed, the contacts names will display on the top. If you wish to personalize parts of the body of the letter, insert the substitution tags shown.
You can preview you letter, or go straight to printing, from the drop down bar on the top of your page.
When finished with your text, click Done and you will return to the Contact screen. The text will be saved for use the next time you enter the Letter Editing Screen (titled Request a donation).
A. Select your auction on the left hand column and then go to the attendees page.
B. Above the top menu bar, you will see a small printer with a pull down available. You have an option of a couple of different labels/nametags to print. Select the attendees that you want included by checking the box next to their name.
Delete a donation item from a silent auction. To avoid accidental removal of a donation item, deleting is a two step process. First change the status of the donation items to delete. Next, go to library donations and click the trash can to remove all donation items with status 'Delete'.
Pearl Bids can be used to easily export your silent auction donation data for use in a database or mail merge.
There are two ways to export the donation data: 1. Open Pearl Bids so that AUCTIONS is highlighted on the Library menu bar on the left hand column, then go to the top of your screen and choose File > Accountant reports > Email the donations report - CSV
This will pull up an email message with a CSV file in it that will include the donations. You can click on the file top open it, or save it as wanted.
2. Open Pearl Bids so that AUCTIONS is highlighted on the Library menu bar on the left hand column, then go to the top of your screen and choose File > Accountant reports >Preview the Donations Report. A preview will appear from which you can export the datat as an excel file.
It is easy to import your silent auction data from another program into Pearl Bids.
From the left hand sidebar under Library, select Donations or Contacts, depending on what you would like to import. From the top of your screen, then select File, Import. You can then select what type of file you wish to import.
Follow the screens to import and select the desired data. If you run into an snafus, let us know (email@example.com) we are here to help!
Entering your bids* from the Silent Auction in Pearl Bids allows you later to print receipt, email receipt with a 'Pay Now'-PayPal button, and print/email an accountant winning bids report (PDF or CSV).
Pearl Bids can handle the bids which increase in amounts, bids with the same amount and multiple winners, and bids with increasing amounts and with multiple winners.
Here we will show you how to enter a bid, delete a bid, and how to manipulate a bids and the bid order.
Keeping track of who attends your auction, who gives at your auction, and who bids at your auctions will gain you valuable insights over the years. Pearl Bids keeps every contact in a library so that you can reuse his/her record. Pearl Bids Silent Auction Manger will maintain a record of who gives what each year and who bids how much each year.
The contact record is used to recognize the donor on the bid sheet, both for the purchases/receipts* and for the attendee sign in sheets to thank them their current and previous participation.
Most people find it useful to organize the silent auction donations by table. For example, you have your 'Spa table' with body lotions and spa gift certificates, your 'Travel table' with weekend get-aways, and your 'Just for Kids table' with with after school gift certificates. Oh, and don't forget your 'Parents Night Out table' with romantic dinners and babysitters.
See how to organize this within Pearl Bids for easy printing.
A silent auction in Pearl Bids states a status for each auction. You also find a status designation for each Donation and even Contact and Attendee. Pearl Bids only three different status designations: Open, Closed and Deleted. Other status designations, such as "To pickup" and "Received" are also included for your use while you collect your donations.
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Alternatively, you can give us a call (415-507-1623) and we will be happy to process your credit card over the phone.