Grant Writing Expert Shares Tips to Snag $30,000 in One Afternoon

Posted by Summy Lau on May 25, 2017 10:36:38 AM

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One of the keys to a successful development strategy is having diverse sources of income. We most frequently discuss event fundraising, but it's wise to have several fundraising "arms" so the loss or decline of one source won't hamper day-to-day operations. Other opportunities include annual fundraising drives, regular or monthly giving, and one we'll cover today: writing grants.

Is grant writing part of your development strategy?

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Topics: fundraising

Is an auctioneer worth 10 times the cost of a local personality?

Posted by Summy Lau on May 23, 2017 10:44:22 AM

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We recently received the following email from a Winspire webinar attendee...


Dear Winspire,

My board feels that paying $2,500 for a professional, highly-trained benefit auctioneer is out of line, considering a local personality has offered to facilitate the live auction for $250. How should I respond?

~ Lisa

Lisa, this is one of the most common concerns we hear from auction organizers across the country, and it's easy to understand why. The number one priority at a fundraising event is to raise money for your cause. When an opportunity to trim costs by 90 percent comes along, you want to consider it!

That said, we've found it's more effective to focus on generating more revenue first - then trim costs where you can.

In today's post we address 5 reasons the auctioneer is not the right place to cut corners, plus tips to hire a qualified benefit auctioneer for free! If you've never partnered with an auctioneer before, you might bookmark this post to discuss with your committee and board.

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Topics: event-production, benefit auctioneer

Top 5 Donor Travel Destinations in 2017 & More Trends: INFOGRAPHIC

Posted by Summy Lau on May 19, 2017 7:42:00 AM


You already know travel is a top seller at charity auctions - after all, who doesn't love a vacation?

Travel providers like Winspire make it easy for nonprofits to offer turnkey travel packages in their fundraising events at no risk or upfront cost. With over 140 unique trips in our catalog, it can be tough to know which items best fit your audience - and are most likely to ignite bidding wars.

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Topics: travel-experiences, infographic

Winspire Hotel Giveback: 30% of bookings go to your cause

Posted by Summy Lau on May 16, 2017 7:23:00 AM

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At Winspire News, we are passionate about helping nonprofits raise more at fundraising events.

Today, for the first time in Winspire history, we're giving your donors a unique opportunity to make additional contributions outside the traditional fundraising event setting.

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Topics: Winspire News

Hot topic: Should retail values be displayed on auction items?

Posted by Summy Lau on May 9, 2017 10:29:03 AM

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Do you post retail values on your auction items' bid sheets, display sheets, auction catalog and more? Do you leave them off? Does it matter?

There's a wide range of opinions, and the decision can have big implications on how much you're able to raise.

Read on to learn why and how organizations determine an item's fair market value; the pros and cons of sharing those values with your donors; and our suggestions on when to display and when to omit prices.

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Topics: event-production, auction displays

This 5-Minute Auction Warm-up Could Raise Thousands for Your Cause

Posted by Summy Lau on May 3, 2017 9:16:35 AM

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Whether it's your first or fiftieth auction, chances are you could benefit from employing some new techniques to extract money from the audience. There's virtually always money left to give, and new strategies give you the tools to raise more without making guests feel nickel-and-dimed.

Today we're joined by Nelson Jay, the "Bowtie Benefit Auctioneer" based in Seattle, Wash. In a recent episode of our podcast Events with Benefits, Jay provided a bevy of ideas from the cutting edge of event fundraising.

Read on as Jay shares a warm-up activity that can generate thousands for fundraising events on the smaller side. As an added bonus, we've included a preview of the full podcast with Jay's tips for closing a silent auction and his take on no-risk consignment items.

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Topics: event-production, benefit auctioneer

9 Simple Safeguards to Sidestep Legal Troubles in Your Fundraiser

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 27, 2017 7:10:00 AM

Tovella Dowling podcast cover-2.pngWhen it comes to benefit events, unknown variables come with the territory. You can't know for sure if you'll reach your fundraising goals, get bids in the live auction, smoothly execute the night's agenda and more.

However, if low bids, sloppy mistakes or an unenthusiastic audience seem like worst case scenarios - you'll want to read on.

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Topics: nonprofits

31 Ideas for Unique, Buzzworthy Silent Auction Baskets

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 25, 2017 7:11:00 AM

If you've ever been involved with a charity silent auction, you know gift baskets are a given. They can range anywhere from $50 to $500 in value, depending on the quality and exclusivity of the items, and are popular for a few reasons:

    • The contents are relatively simple to procure. It may be less intimidating for new donors, smaller businesses and individuals to sponsor part of an auction item or a basket rather than the big-ticket items in a live auction. (Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask!)
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Topics: Silent Auction Ideas, event-production, auction item procurement, silent auction items, auction displays

Top 10 Critical Items to Bring to a Fundraising Auction

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Top 10 Items for Fundraising Auctions

To call fundraising events complex would be an understatement.

With so many moving parts and unknown variables, most nonprofits learn from past experience... which typically means sacrificing significant revenue right out of the gate.

While no event is perfect, most common errors can be prevented. Why not learn from someone else's mistakes and close calls to raise a whole lot more for your cause?

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Topics: event-production

April Donation Give-away Winner Announced! Congrats goes to...

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 13, 2017 6:05:00 AM

April 2017 Donation Giveaway Winner: Miracle League Las Vegas

We are thrilled to announce the winner of Winspire's second Donation Give-Away drawing of 2017!

Congratulations goes to Robin Loyed, Board Member and Game Day Announcer at Miracle League of Las Vegas, a charitable organization that provides children and adults with special needs the opportunity to play baseball in a safe, nurturing environment.

It's our honor to be able to donate a 2-night stay at the spectacular Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, Calif., a Preferred Hotels property, for their use in an upcoming fundraiser.

After the drawing, we reached out to Loyed to find out more about their cause and how the prize can be used to generate revenue for Miracle League. Read on to learn more, plus get a sneak peek at our next giveaway!

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Topics: donation-give-away, donation-give-away-winner, nonprofits

Donation Give-Away

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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 fundraising advice, industry news and insight into charity fundraising with travel.