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What Does CommuniBee Suite Mean for Bid Beacon? 

Bid Beacon has just released its biggest update ever! Our main goal is to give fundraisers complete control over all areas of their fundraising events. With over a year in the making, our team has dedicated countless hours working towards this exact goal. And now, we can proudly announce CommuniBee Suite (CBS).

Read on as we touch on the CommuniBee Suite, how it works with Bid Beacon, and most importantly, how it can benefit you and your fundraising efforts.

CommuniBee Suite, What Is It?

You can think of CommuniBee as a multi-purpose community management suite. As the name suggests, we are offering a suite a tools that fundraising organizations like yourself can use all year round. Before, Bid Beacon was simply a point solution to help you run your silent auction, but now, you will have the opportunity to do so much more. 

Here is a quick summary of features found within CBS that fundraisers can take advantage of: 

  • Create events, sell tickets, manage attendees, facilitate check-ins, and more. 
  • Accept donations and sell merchandise throughout the year. 
  • Create fundraising campaigns to share with your audience. 
  • Set up a website or supplement your existing site with our webpage builder. 
  • Promote newsletters & posts, fundraising activities, upcoming events, and more, all with customizable email campaigns. 
  • Host 50/50, Cash, and Non-Cash raffles that can support either online or offline draws. 

The best part of it all is that you can choose which features to use. So, if you simply want to run an online auction and only use Bid Beacon, you can do just that. And don’t worry, there’s no need to register for a new account. If you have an existing Bid Beacon account, you can use those credentials to sign into CBS. We prioritized making a seamless connection between Bid Beacon and CommuniBee Suite, so even if you start out with just Bid Beacon, our suite of tools will always be just a few clicks away!

What’s Changing With Bid Beacon?

Bid Beacon is still our beloved silent auction app and will work no different than it does today. We are simply giving fundraisers more tools, through CBS, to help you plan, manage, and execute fundraising events easier than ever before.

Removing Build Your Auction Plan

Since the introduction of our Ultimate Risk-Free plan back in 2022, we’ve heard from our customers that majority prefer this type of auction plan. From unlocking all of Bid Beacon’s features, to having zero limitations on the size of the auction, many admins loved the ease-of-use that came with this plan. We also found that for many fundraisers, scaling up their auction through purchasable add-ons was difficult and frustrating to plan out. This was especially true for those who were organizing silent auctions for the very first time. As a result, we noticed admins spending more on their auctions than they would have if they selected the Ultimate Risk-Free plan.

For these reasons, our team has decided to retire the Build Your Auction plan. Our Ultimate Risk-Free plan is staying and will be the only paid plan available. With this in mind, we have decided to rename Ultimate Risk-Free to now be called the Full Auction plan. With this plan, you will still have access to all of Bid Beacon’s features with zero limitations on your auction size. We will also offer a Demo Auction plan for those who want to test out Bid Beacon and our features before committing to a Full Auction.

And even though the Build Your Auction plan is going away, we will still support alternate online payment options like Stripe, Square, and PayPal. The only change to the Full Auction plan (formerly Ultimate Risk-Free) is to the platform fee which is increasing from 3.9% to 4.9%. This might seem like a drastic hike but don’t worry. With CBS, you will have the ability to lower this fee, and we are also introducing platform fee caps for all your silent auctions. Continue reading for more information on reducing platform fees, receiving a platform fee cap, and enabling alternate payment options.

New Feature: Quick Extend

Upon popular request, our team is giving admins the ability to quickly extend their entire auction at the click of a button. For many auctions, the final minutes leading up to the end is when bidding activity is at its highest. This feature will allow you and your organization to capitalize on the bidding wars that take place at the end of your event. Ultimately, the more bids you receive, you more you can raise for your cause!

The Quick Extend feature will be accessible from the Overview tab within your auction’s dashboard, and you can now choose to extend your auction anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes at a time. There will be no limitations on how many extensions can be triggered, and guests will be notified whenever an extension is made.

Introducing CommuniBee Suite Subscriptions

With CommuniBee Suite, we will be offering three paid subscription tiers that can help you retain revenue, not just from Bid Beacon auctions, but from all your fundraising activities. For each subscription, you have the choice to pay monthly or commit annually and receive 2-months free. Our goal was to make these subscription tiers as simple and easy to understand as possible, so ultimately, the higher your tier, the more you can save.  

With each tier, not only will you receive a lower platform fee, but you will also unlock a platform fee cap for your auctions. Depending on the tier you are subscribed to, your cap can be anywhere from $999 to $699.  

For example, if your auction raises $50,000, you are guaranteed to only pay up to your tier’s platform fee cap. So, let’s say your auction’s platform fee was 4.9% and your cap was $999. Since, 4.9% of $50,000 is $2,450 and greater than the $999 cap, you would only pay up to the cap, saving you $1,451 in fees! 

And there’s still more! For all paid subscription tiers, you will unlock the ability to use the following alternate online payment options: Stripe, Square, and PayPal. We know a lot of our customers who used the Build Your Auction plan, did so because of these payment providers, so we wanted to make sure they were still available. By default, the Full Auction plan will use Express Banking through Stripe Connect which requires guests to enter their credit card prior to bidding and payments are processed automatically once the auction ends. If you have an active, paid CBS subscription, you can continue to use your preferred payment provider (Stripe, Square, or PayPal), or accept payments offline if you prefer that method instead. To learn more about these subscription tiers, visit CommuniBee Suite’s pricing page. 

In the end, Bid Beacon as a silent auction app isn’t changing a whole lot. The changes we have made can help you and your organization not just raise more but retain more as well. And with CommuniBee Suite, you can now manage all areas of your fundraising event within a single platform. This means you can do away with having multiple subscriptions to manage events, email marketing, web hosting, eCommerce management, and more. CommuniBee Suite can be your all-in-one platform that puts the fun back into fundraising. For those who are interested, please check out the full list of CBS features and what’s upcoming.

Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with our team!

Have questions about CommuniBee Suite? Our team is happy to help. Reach out by filling in the form below. 

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