Donor Donations & Sponsorships

Donor Donations are used for recording donations you receive from Donors in support of an event and these donations are not items you will be including in the auction.

Examples of Donor Donations:

  • cash donations in lieu of donating items or attending the in-person event;
  • sponsorships, often as advertising space in printed or online publications; and,
  • "in-kind" donations, such as goods and/or services provided (catering, printing services, volunteer swag, etc.) by the Donors in return for recognition through the event.

Recording Donor Donations for these will let you track what was received from the Donor and allow you to include them on the Donor Receipts as well as acknowledge the Donor on the event website.


Donations with their payments processed through the auction website (via the credit card processing integration) will create a Bidder Record. All payments processed through the auction website require a Bidder Record to be completed.

Donor Donations vs Bidder Donations

When dealing with cash donations there is an overlap between recording a Bidder donation or a Donor donation. There is no single right answer to which way a donation should be recorded, although here are some guidelines that may help.

In general, a Donation should be considered a Donor Donation if:

  • the donation is made and paid for prior to the event and it is in lieu of donating an item for the auction to be available for bidding on at or through the event;
  • the Donor is not going to be a Bidder participant at the event;
  • you do not need to track the commitment to the donation separately from the payment,
    • with a Donor Donation, you simply record the donation when it is actually made.
    • with a Bidder Donation, you need to record both the donation and the payment.
  • it is a donation of goods or services; or,
  • you want to acknowledge the donation on the auction website.

Donation Type



A Sponsorship is considered a special kind of Donor Donation. When you Add A Donor Donation, you can check the Sponsorship option in the Type section as you record the donation in the Add Donation dashboard to make the donation a Sponsorship.

This will also have the Donor be included in the Sponsors elements (see Sponsors Catalog and Sponsors Row) automatically on the website (subject to the element configuration).

In-Kind Donations

A Donor Donation can be flagged as a Donation in kind which will prevent its value from being counted as income for the event. The "in-kind" flag is never shown publicly or revealed on the Donor Receipts, it is purely for internal purposes.

Sell Sponsorships

It is common to want to Sell Sponsorships online alongside event Tickets.

To sell a Sponsorship online, you would create a For Sale Item (also commonly seen as an event admission Ticket item in this case) and enable its Is sponsorship setting in the "For Sale Options" section. See Add New Item for more information on creating an item.


When a Bidder buys a Sponsorship online they will be tracked as a Bidder and the Sponsorship item will show up on their Bidder Statements.


Using the Is sponsorship option for Sponsorship items will show the Bidder as a Donor/Sponsor and handle the income correctly for these sales.


If you do not enable this option for the Sponsorship item and you want the Bidder acknowledged as a Donor/Sponsor on the website, you will need to manually Add A Donor Donation for the "Bidder" and check both the Sponsorship and Donation in-kind Type options.

By checking the "in-kind" option for these donations you prevent the system double counting the income as the amount would already be tracked as a bidder purchase.

Infographic - Sponsorships: Bidder Versus Donor


An infographic showing the "Bidder" approach provides more "Donor" options.

Last reviewed: June 2023
Donor Donations & Sponsorships