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

Secure Better Auction Items: How to Host a "Procurement Party"

Posted by Summy Lau

procurement party

One of the first steps in planning a fundraising auction is assembling the procurement committee. This team of dedicated supporters is given one task, and one task only: to procure unique items that cost little to nothing up front and are valuable enough to drive ticket sales and bidding.

Let's face it: The procurement process is daunting, no matter how established your organization is or passionate your team may be. Fortunately, with careful planning and organization, any nonprofit can procure items that fetch high bids.

The first step to curating an auction catalog worth talking about: hosting a "wish list" or procurement party! Read on for helpful tips to make the most of the party and get procurement off to a running start.

What is a procurement party?

A procurement party is a fun brainstorming session for your auction committee. It’s an opportunity for everyone in your committee to get together, kick things off on a fun note, and leave the meeting with an action plan and list of items to pursue. Some tips to keep your party both fun and productive:

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Topics: auction-item, procurement-committe, procurement, event-production, auction item ideas

4 Easy Tricks to Make the Most of Event Emails, Including the Best Time to Send

Posted by Summy Lau

woman_watch_laptop_small.jpgYou've worked hard for months sorting out countless details for your annual fundraising gala and procuring amazing items for the charity auction. Of course you want to spread the word about your event as far and wide as you can.

Email campaigns are the meat of most nonprofits' promotion strategies. In the past few weeks, we have looked at key aspects of effective email campaigns, including compelling save the dates, content strategies and donor segmentation.

However, no matter how compelling or targeted your content is, it's of little good if sent at the wrong time. As the old adage goes, timing is everything!

Fortunately, you don't need to be a tech guru or marketing pro to follow some basic best practices of email scheduling. Read on to learn how to create an effective email calendar, the best day and time to send emails, and how to strategically arc calls-to-action leading up to the big day.

Step 1: Set the frequency of your emails with an email calendar

The best way to ensure emails are sent in a timely manner is creating and adhering to an email calendar. Make a detailed outline of each email’s objective and when it will be sent. Check out our handy sample event email timeline below, and adjust according to your audience and event date.

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Topics: event-production, email marketing

Turn Your Silent Auction into a Luxury Shopping Experience: Infographic

Posted by Summy Lau

silent-auction-luxury-retailer-infographic-header.pngConsumers spend billions of dollars a year on impulse buys at retail stores. The reason: Retailers strategically display products in front of their shoppers.

Just think of the hundreds of people roaming the mall on any given Saturday afternoon. Some of these mall shoppers will purchase items they have been saving for, but many will buy items they are seeing for the first time. That's because mall shelves are stocked with highly desirable items displayed in ways that encourage people to open their wallets.

In other words, people have money to spend if the right products are put in front of them in the right way.

Are you pairing unique, valuable products with a strategic floor plan and irresistible displays at your silent auction?

Raise more money by curating an auction catalog worth talking about. Click here to get the ultimate list of "400+ Silent Auction Item Ideas" and jumpstart your procurement process.

Learn from luxury retail professionals! Check out our infographic below detailing tips and tricks to turn your silent auction into a lucrative, high-end shopping experience.

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Topics: event-production

Donor Segmentation: The Email Tactic that Gets 65% More Responses

Posted by Summy Lau

donor segmentation

In recent weeks we've discussed a few key principles of effective event emails, including how to compose compelling "save the date" invitations and general tips for strategizing an email campaign.

Today let's look at a fundamental best practice that gets more conversionsthat is, more clicks and responses to your emails. This can look like more tickets sold, more social media shares, more registrations, and ultimately more revenue.

So, what's the key to increasing donor participation? Two steps: segmenting your donor base and targeting messaging to each different segment. It's that simple!

A recent survey by email service provider MailChimp shows just how effective this strategy is. They tracked 11,000 segmented email campaigns and found that list segmentation increased email click-through rates by 65% and open rates by 14% compared to their non-segmented emails, while trimming unsubscribes by 9%. Other research suggests 24% of companies that segment lists see increased revenue as a result.

Sound good? Read on to learn how your organization can take advantage of this simple but impactful tactic.

Segmentation Overview

Your donor base is made up of unique individuals. Yes, they all have a common connection—an interest in your cause—but no two supporters are alike. There are obvious differences, like age and gender, but also ones below the surface, like personal background and motivations.

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Topics: donor-relations, email marketing

Does Hiring a Professional Fundraising Auctioneer Really Make Sense? [VIDEO]

Posted by Summy Lau

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Imagine you have a terrible toothache and need a root canal. Would you go to your family doctor to have the procedure done? Of course not!

Now, what if he offered to do the job for free?

Still no?

Fact is, even though they're both doctors, you want the right doctor for the job—the one who specializes in root canals!

Likewise, choosing whether or not to hire a professional fundraising auctioneer for your fundraising auction is one of the most important decisions you'll make in the planning process. Check out this video from our partner and Benefit Auctioneer Specialist Danny Hooper as he explains why hiring a professional fundraising auctioneer not only makes sense—it can mean the difference between an OK event and one that brings in record profits.

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Topics: event-production, benefit auctioneer

WEBINAR: Register for "10 Deadly Sins of Charity Auctions (and how to prevent them)"

Posted by Ian Lauth

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FREE WEBINAR EVENT
Tuesday, May 17th    •    11am PT/1pm CT
Can't make it? Register anyway and receive a recording of the webinar when it's over.

REGISTER NOW

 

Join us for our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, May 17th, featuring our good friend and renowned fundraising auctioneer, Danny Hooper. In this webinar, "10 Deadly Sins of Charity Auctions (and how to prevent them),” you will learn:

  • The Do's & Don'ts of organizing your program
  • Proper timing and sequencing of your live auction
  • Commonly missed revenue opportunities
  • Silent auction boo-boos
  • Dangers of losing control of the audience
  • The high cost of using an unqualified auctioneer
  • How to avoid the 10 most costly mistakes

Who should attend?

Anybody associated with a fundraising auction who wants to achieve record-breaking results at their next event and develop a foundation for successful event fundraisers for years to come.

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Featured Guest: 
Fundraising Auctioneer Danny Hooper

Dannys-Book-big.pngSince 1987, Danny has specialized exclusively in fundraising auctions, raising countless millions of dollars at thousands of events for nonprofit organizations across North America.

Danny is the author of EASY MONEY — How to Generate Record Profits at Your Next Fundraising Auction Event. He is also a certified Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) through the U.S. National Auctioneers Association.

Learn more about Danny Hooper at www.dannyhooper.com.

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Topics: event-production, charity auctions

9 Easy Ways to Make Event Fundraising Emails More Effective

Posted by Summy Lau

Megaphone_Email_Promotion_small.jpgAt Winspire, we are passionate about helping nonprofits raise more money. Event promotion, particularly email marketing, plays a huge role in the outcome of any fundraiser.

Last week we looked at what makes an impactful "save the date" email invitation. Striking images, vibrant colors, concise copy and links to a website all encourage donors to mark their calendars for your annual gala, auction or tournament.

But the "save the date" is just the first step in a months-long fundraising event email campaign.

Are you simply sending weekly reminder emails that rehash the same information over and over? Or are you thinking strategically and creatively to encourage as much participation as possible from a diverse donor base?

Make the most of every message with our 9 email "must-do's" to create anticipation and increase revenue at your event.

1. Understand your audience

Writing effective email invites starts with knowing what motivates and excites your supporters. What makes your event stand out? How is your nonprofit making a difference? What do guests hope to get out of the event?

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Topics: event-production, email marketing, event-promotion

April Donation Give-Away Winner: Heather Angstreich

Posted by Summy Lau

16Q2-Donation-Giveaway-Heather-Angstreich-post-image.pngWe are thrilled to announce the winner of our second Donation Give-Away drawing of 2016!

Congratulations goes to Heather Angstreich of Bethpage, NY. Heather is the Special Events Coordinator for Adults & Children with Learning & Developmental Disabilities (ACLD), a leading not-for-profit agency on Long Island that proudly serves the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

ACLD provides opportunities for children and adults with autism, learning and other developmental disabilities to pursue enviable lives, increase independence and foster supportive relationships within the community. Founded in 1957, ACLD serves the needs of more than 3,000 children and adults with learning disabilities, autism and other developmental disabilities, and provides support for their families.

It's an honor to donate a $1,000 Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts gift card for their use in upcoming auctions. See how Heather plans to use the prize, plus learn more about her organization and biggest fundraising challenges, below!

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Topics: Donation Give-Aways, donation-give-away, donation-give-away-winner, donation-give-aways-2

Spring Fundraising Idea: Set Up a "Mother's and Father's Day" Raffle

Posted by Summy Lau

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Spring is in full swing, and with it, a peak time for fundraising events like annual galas, golf tournaments and live auctions. Have you brainstormed ways to keep your events new and exciting?

It's tempting to think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Fact is, fresh ideas are the antidote to donor fatigue, no matter how successful your events have been in the past. Bringing something new to the table can supercharge attendance and revenue for almost all nonprofits.

Here's an idea to get donors buzzing about your annual spring fundraiser: hold a Mother's Day and Father's Day "Winner's Choice" Raffle!

Read on for a quick overview of how a raffle can raise tens of thousands of dollars for your cause, plus see the best raffle prizes that honor the upcoming holidays and take just minutes to reserve.

Ticket-icon.png What is a "Winner's Choice" Raffle?

What could make winning an incredible vacation in a raffle even better? The ability to choose where you go and what you do!

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Topics: raffle, fundraising, fundraising-ideas

"Save the Date" Email Invites: 8 Easy Ways to Make Your Fundraiser Stand Out

Posted by Summy Lau

save-date-chalkboard-graphic.pngThe majority of our winning bidders attend four or more fundraising events each year. This means your annual gala, live auction or golf tournament is likely competing in a crowded space!

It's important to set your event apart from the pack.

Fortunately, with technology it's easier than ever to spread the word well in advance. "Save the date" email campaigns are an easy way to start the conversation about your event, give donors a taste of what's to come, and, most importantly, get them to mark their calendars.

Here are a few general guidelines and tips to consider when crafting attractive, compelling email invitations for your upcoming fundraising event.

1. Use an email marketing service

If you're not already, consider using a free or low-cost email marketing service like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These email programs tell you exactly who has opened your invitation, what links they're clicking on and other helpful information.

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Topics: event-production, email marketing, event-promotion

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 →