Charity Auction Platform

  • Challenge

    Transform charity auctions for non-profit partners through an all-new fundraising tool.

  • Solution

    Smart and efficient product planning and development guided by quality, usability, and scalability.

  • Results

    A consumer-ready auction, bidding, and fulfillment platform built on WordPress for maximum extensibility.

Reimagining auctions for good causes. Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin and his team at GOODBIDS are committed to making charity auctions more fun, effective, and profitable. They came to us with a clear, beta-tested vision for a fundraising tool leveraging WordPress Multi-Site that allows non-profits to host positive auctions – where every bid is a donation. In less than four months, we developed a consumer-ready and code-complete version of GOODBIDS to use with their initial non-profit partners as the team iterates on the positive auction model. 

  • “The hard part is … engaging with the client to be on the same side of the table … to make magic happen. I’ve worked with Viget twice on very big projects and both times that’s exactly what they’ve done.”

    Seth Godin GOODBIDS Founder, Author, and Entrepreneur
  • High-level concept The Positive Auction

    GOODBIDS revolutionizes the fundraising potential of charity auctions through the concept of a positive auction. Every bid in a GOODBIDS auction is a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit, which means charities take in the total amount of all bids placed, and bidders enjoy the satisfaction of contributing to the cause, win or lose.

  • Technical Decisions Crafting the Approach

    The GOODBIDS team had a comprehensive set of requirements and wireframes for their positive auction tool, which they envisioned would be powered by WordPress. To deliver on that vision, we identified an approach that balanced technical complexity with usability, scalability, speed to market, and cost. We extended WordPress with a number of trusted integrations (e.g., WooCommerce, Stripe, miniOrange) and augmented it with React and a Node.js microservice to manage live auction data and interactive bidding. By leveraging off-the-shelf tools, minimizing complexity across the system, and focusing on the highest-value functionality first, we were able to deliver a tool that is user-friendly, performant, and extensible in just four months.

  • WordPress and WooCommerce

    We leveraged WordPress Multi-Site to build the foundation of GOODBIDS, and utilized the robust WordPress plugin ecosystem to support the platform’s custom functionality. WooCommerce, a powerful eCommerce solution for WordPress sites, played a key role in our solution. We leaned into the “out-of-the-box” features in WooCommerce to process all transactions on GOODBIDS, including placing bids, claiming rewards, and invoicing non-profits. We collaborated with GOODBIDS’ lead designer on extending the WordPress Twenty Twenty-Four theme to create a front-end starter kit that non-profits can use to customize their auction site to match their own brand identity. Our solution is backed by the world-class hardware and network infrastructure of WordPress VIP, a premium managed hosting service offered by Automattic.

  • A Dynamic Auction Interface

    Beyond being usable and intuitive, the auction experience needed to feel clear and trustworthy to bidders, meaning auction data had to be updated as new bids were placed, in real-time. We used React to build interactive UI components for the auction pages to cultivate urgency and highlight impact. Bidders can see the time remaining in an auction, the latest bid amount, and their personal contribution toward the charity’s fundraising goals. These components are updated dynamically through asynchronous communication via WebSockets with a lean, dedicated microservice built with Node.js. The result is a user interface that is technically sound, easy to understand, and exciting to watch as the auction unfolds.

  • Lasting Impact

    The GOODBIDS toolkit allows non-profit organizations to quickly set up and start running positive auctions. This streamlined fundraising process means organizations can invest less energy In technical setup and event planning, and instead devote their resources to advancing their mission and serving their communities, ultimately driving greater impact and positive change. Seth and the GOODBIDS team knew what they wanted and recognized our ability to build it. Equipped with a high level of trust, our team was able to quickly define an approach, make informed decisions, and solve problems as they arose. We are proud of the results and pleased to help connect worthy causes with people who are eager to support them.