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

WEBINAR: Register for "Generate Record Profits at Your Next Fundraising Auction"

Posted by Summy Lau

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Wednesday, June 22nd • 11am PT/1pm CT
Can't make it? Register anyway and receive a recording of the webinar when it's over.


You are cordially invited to join us for our upcoming webinar, "Generate Record Profits at Your Next Fundraising Auction." In this FREE, exclusive one-hour session, renowned fundraising auctioneer Danny Hooper shares his techniques that generate record profits at fundraising auctions, including:

  • The 3 E's of a successful fundraising auction event
  • The best auction items and how to procure them
  • How to structure your event so everyone stays focused on the goal
  • How to secure sponsors, donors and underwriters
  • How to get a top auctioneer for free
  • The hottest new extra revenue generators, such as the Wildcard Auction™, Legacy Auction, Blind Auction, Triple Chance Raffle, and more
  • How to raise more money than you thought possible

This is a must-watch for 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.

Read on to see what other auction fundraisers are saying about our auction webinar series and how your nonprofit can benefit.

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Topics: event-production, webinar

This Charity Auctioneer Script Could Raise Thousands at Your Next Auction

Posted by Summy Lau

Charity Auctioneers use scripts to start bid wars and maximize bid pricesAs experts in event fundraising, we always encourage those procuring auction items to think outside the box. Simply put, one-of-a-kind items that surprise and delight donors bring in the highest bids. Experiential travel is a consistent best seller at auctions—think sold-out tickets to Broadway show Hamilton, a trip to The Masters or 4 nights at an all-inclusive resort—that's also incredibly tough to get donated.

Charity Auctioneer Danny HooperTo the rescue: offering no-risk trips on consignment. Reputable trip providers like Winspire take on the difficulty, time and risk of putting together and fulfilling packages of the highest caliber. Best of all, you don't purchase the trip unless bidding reaches at least the minimum profitable price you set.

A very common question we get is how best to sell consigned items at a live auction. What's the best way to explain consignment to bidders? How is our audience going to react? And how can we get the highest bids possible for each item?

A surefire way to maximize revenue on consigned items is to hire an auctioneer who specializes in charity auctions.

Read on to see how certified Benefit Auctioneer Specialist Danny Hooper engages the crowd and presents the minimum opening bid on consignment items. Consider sharing this handy script with your auctioneer as you strategize a game plan for your upcoming auction.

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Topics: event-production, charity auction, benefit auctioneer

The 2-Step Process to Getting Enthusiastic Event Sponsorships

Posted by Summy Lau

Securing event sponsorships is a win-win!If you've hosted a fundraising event in the past, you know how important it is to find sponsors. Sponsorships can come from individuals, local businesses or large corporations, and many events rely on sponsor support through cash, volunteer or in-kind donations.

Though we know how important this process is, many nonprofits have trouble getting started or expanding their reach. Fortunately, sponsorship done right is a win-win for both parties!

Read on for the two best questions to answer before seeking sponsorships, plus practical tips for setting sponsor levels, brainstorming unique incentives and more.

Step 1: How will sponsors benefit? (Hint: publicity!)

Think of your favorite sport: basketball, baseball, football, hockey. Imagine you're in the stands, overlooking the court, field or rink.

Now try to imagine the scene without any corporate logos! Seems bare, doesn't it?

Fact is, corporations shell out millions to sponsor events, plaster their logos on equipment and even buy naming rights to whole stadiums for one reason: It works.

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Topics: event-production

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 fundraising event 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


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.

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Topics: event-production, benefit auctioneer

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

Posted by Ian Lauth

10 Deadly Sins video thumbnail

Winspire is proud to present a free recording of our recent webinar, "10 Deadly Sins of Charity Auctions (and how to prevent them),” featuring our good friend and renowned fundraising auctioneer, Danny Hooper. In what could easily fill a 2+ day workshop, Danny covers the following topics:

  • 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
  • ...and more!

This is a must-watch for 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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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

eBook: Introduction to Procuring Quality Charity Auction Items


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

starter kit underline


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 →