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Winspire News

Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising, charity auctions and no-risk travel packages.

Hyatt Now Offering Unlimited Free WiFi at All Properties

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Travelers around the world are doing the happy dance… if they’re staying at a Hyatt Hotel or Resort, that is.  As of mid February, guests enjoy free Wi-Fi on an unlimited number of devices in guest rooms and social spaces.

The best part is that Hyatt has made a commitment to absorb the costs internally and not pass them along to guests in the form of increased rates or added facility fees.  There’s nothing more annoying than learning that the “free” baggage offered by your airline just means you paid more for your flight.

“We continue to evolve our offerings by listening to our guests, and for Hyatt, it didn't feel natural to put barriers around something travelers view as an essential part of their hotel stay," said Kristine Rose, vice president of brands, Hyatt. "Staying connected through technology is a critical part of productivity and keeping in touch with loved ones, especially while away traveling”.

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Topics: travel-tips, travel-perks, travel-experiences, free wifi

Nonprofit Communication & Marketing Trends 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

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As you develop a marketing and communication strategy for your nonprofit in 2015, it is important to have an understanding of industry trends both in terms of key objectives as well as methods of outreach. 

A recent study of 1,535 staff members of nonprofits gathered data on marketing trends and objectives for 2015.  Participants were polled on a variety of topics, including their primary objectives for their marketing efforts for 2015, their preferred method of outreach – using both digital and traditional media, and their expected frequency of outreach to their donor base.

View Infographic →

In addition, the survey data was broken down by job function of the nonprofit staff respondents, which shed some critical insight into how a nonprofit must balance competing interests within the organization in formulating a marketing and communication strategy.

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Topics: nonprofit-marketing, nonprofits, nonprofit communication

Generate Event Sponsorships With a Charity Auction Catalog [TEMPLATE]

Generate_Event_Sponsorships_With_Your_Charity_Auction_Catalog-01-1One of the best ways to offset the cost of printing your charity auction catalog, as well as many other elements of your fundraising event, is to get corporate and/or individual sponsors to underwrite different parts of the event in return for recognition in the catalog.

First, it's important to note that there is a slight difference between "sponsorship" and "underwriting", even though the terms are often used interchangeably:

  • Underwriting: A donor pays for either all or a portion of an event expense directlyAlmost any aspect of an event can be underwritten. An example would be finding a print vendor to pay for ALL printed materials, including banners, tickets, this catalog, forms, invitations, etc. Other sponsorship opportunities include a menu item, like dessert, or other aspects of the event like the centerpieces, the band or the booze.
  • Sponsorship: A donor buys into a sponsorship package offered by the Nonprofit with the funds going directly to the organization to help offset event expenses. Examples include sponsoring a table for 10 or a "presenting sponsorship" where a donor would pay to sponsor - say - the live auction so it would read "The 2015 Live Auctrion, presented by XYZ"

In either case, your objective is to defray the costs or expenses of your event by offering donors various incentives - such as verbal recognition or putting a company's logo on event banners or other printed material. You can offer a range of sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, each with its own level of benefits.

One of the best places to offer potential sponsors some exposure during your event is in your auction catalog. If you haven't already, check out our professionally designed 100% customizable Microsoft Word auction catalog template, which includes space for you to recognize donors at the different sponsorship levels discussed below.

So how should you structure the sponsorship and recognition options?

Sponsorship Levels

One option is to establish different sponsorship levels, each of which comes with its own level of benefits.

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Topics: fundraising, charity auction catalog, sponsorships, underwriting

Build Your Own Charity Auction Catalog [TEMPLATE]

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One of the best ways to ensure plenty of excitement and bidding on your biggest and best charity auction items is by showcasing them in an auction catalog. The goal of an auction catalog is to make your auction items as appealing as possible to entice guests to place more bids, thus generating more revenue from your fundraising event.

A well-designed catalog accomplishes this by:

  • Creating a shopping experience: Donors are sophisticated buyers. A professional catalog lets you attractively feature your auction items, giving guests the opportunity to browse and discuss them before and during the live auction.
  • Educating donors: Guests are going to be more comfortable spending large sums of money on an auction item if they have plenty of information about what they are buying.

It’s common for charity auction catalogs to also serve as the event program and include information on the organization, its cause and the event itself. Here is a list of essential elements to include in an auction catalog:

  1. Cover
  2. Welcome Letter
  3. Event Agenda
  4. Special Thanks/Acknowledgments
  5. About Organization
  6. Live Auction Introduction
  7. Auction Items
  8. Sponsor Recognition

Depending on the size and scope of your event, the catalog can be something simple with only a few pages or it can be far more extensive, with paid advertising space in a professionally designed booklet.

Unfortunately, hiring a graphic designer to create an auction catalog can be prohibitively expensive for most nonprofit organizations... so we want to give you the tools to do it yourself!

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[FREE TEMPLATE] Download the pre-designed 100% customizable Microsoft Word auction catalog template.

 

If you’re going to give it a go on your own, here are a few tips for how to design an effective catalog...

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Topics: event-production, fundraising templates, charity auction catalog

How Well Do You Really Know Your Donors?

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How much do you really know about your donor base? Sure, you might know some general facts such as their age and gender, but do you know what their interests are? What they do for a living? What motivates them to support your organization? What they like and don’t like about your fundraising events?

Establishing a positive relationship and learning more about your donors is an important step toward hosting successful fundraising events. When you have an idea of what makes your donors tick, you’ll be able to tailor your events to match their interests and preferences.

So how do you learn about your donors? The best way to acquire as much information as possible is to use several different methods. Here are 4 things to consider:

1. Web search

linkedin-screenshotA basic web search is a great way to start researching donors – especially when you know little to nothing about them. Try a Google search and look at their social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn. While looking online doesn't really qualify as "in-depth research", you still might be able to learn some basic information like where donors work, organizations they are associated with, hobbies and recent vacations they took. Remember... pictures are worth a thousand words

2. Surveys

Surveys allow you to collect information about a large group of people. In your surveys, find out what your donors’ interests and hobbies are. You should also ask supporters what they would like incorporated into future events. That way, you’ll be able to pinpoint what donors liked or didn’t like about past fundraising efforts. A great source you can use to create free online surveys is www.surveymonkey.com

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Topics: donor-relations, donor development

5 Ways to Pick the Best Live Auction Travel Packages for Your Audience

Get the Best Live Auction Travel Packages from Winspire

Tapping into your donors’ existing travel budgets is an excellent strategy for raising money. It gives your supporters the chance to use money they already have set aside for vacations to take an exciting trip and support a good cause at the same time.  

While offering live auction travel packages can benefit your Nonprofit, it is important that you choose them strategically. Select the packages that will perform best in your live auction by following these five tips:

1. Find out what your audience likes

Pique your audiences’ interest to encourage bidding by selecting the right mix of items for your attendees. In order to pick items for your audience, you’ll have to do a little research beforehand. Take a look at the demographics for a general idea of what they might like. Then dig deeper and survey attendees, asking them to share their interests and more specifically, what destinations are on their bucket lists. Most donors will share which items they might want to bid on at your event… you just have to ask!

Learn More: "Why Surveying Donors Can Boost Fundraising Revenue at Your Next Charity Auction"

For example, if you know many of your guests enjoy golf, provide them the opportunity to bid on tickets to the PGA Championship. To excite an adventurous crowd, offer unique experiences like the opportunity to become a Fighter Pilot for a Day and take the controls of a real aircraft in the middle of a simulated dogfight.

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Topics: event-production, live auction items

5 Money-Saving Tips for the Nonprofit Event Organizer

cost-savingsWhen a Nonprofit fundraising event is managed efficiently and effectively, it can be a highly successful platform for raising money for your worthy cause. However, an event that is poorly planned or mismanaged can quickly become a losing proposition that costs your organization more money than it earns. Here are five simple tips to keep your good event from going bad.

1. Defray Hard Costs with Creative Sponsorships that Deliver Marketing Value

Instead of appearing in front of a business and asking them to sponsor your event, present them with three value-driven sponsorship packages tailored specifically to that business. Your sponsorship presentation should not only cover your organization, who you help and why the business should join you; it should also clearly spell out why the recommended sponsorship packages will benefit the business.

Market your event by providing potential sponsors with any available information that includes demographics, such as ages and incomes, as well as any other relevant details about your attendees, supporters, committee members and board. Be prepared to fine-tune the offer based on feedback from business.

2. Utilize Volunteers to Reduce Staffing Costs  

Many non-profits tell their employees it's “all hands on deck” when it comes to staffing the numerous menial jobs required to run an event. In some cases, however, these employees will end up working overtime and driving up event costs. Instead of over-working your staff, be sure to use free labor from volunteers to staff your event whenever possible.

For more info on managing volunteer teams, check out:  The 6 Most Important Volunteer Duties for your Auction Day Team

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Topics: fundraising, cost-saving, charity auction event

eBook: Introduction to Procuring Quality Charity Auction Items
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Meet

Winston & Winnie

The Winspire Twins

Winston & Winnie love to help Nonprofits raise money for amazing causes. They also love to travel and have a bucket list of amazing Experiences they are determined to complete in their lifetime. Winspire News is the result of this shared passion, offering you fundraising advice, industry news and explorations into each of our incredible travel packages

Auction Item Procurement
Starter Kit

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A free resource with helpful templates to get the auction item procurement process off the ground.

- Donation Form TEMPLATE
- Procurement Letter TEMPLATE
- Procurement Letter Example

Download Starter Kit →