Winspire News

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

The 6 Best Thanksgiving Infographics of 2015

Posted by Ian Lauth



Throughout the year, Winspire provides resources to help you and your Nonprofit with maximize your event fundraising revenue through live and silent auctions, raffles and our no-risk travel packages. As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, we thought we’d take a stab at talking turkey and share some information graphics (a.k.a "infographics") that may be of interest to you. 

Below we threw together six of our favorites from around the web. Definitely check out the “How to Fold A Napkin Turkey” section and use it to impress your guests or maybe the in-laws this year.

We hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

 - Your Winspire Team

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Topics: infographic, thanksgiving

The Pitfalls of Creating a "Buyer's Market" at Your Silent Auction

Posted by Ian Lauth


As you prepare items for your nonprofit's next silent auction fundraiser, you would be inclined to think more is better. After all, who doesn’t want table after table of auction items for donors to bid on? More items means more bids means more money... right??

Well, not really. In fact, having too many items can be counterproductive and actually hamper the performance of all the items in your silent auction. 

Problem: Having more auction items than bidders

Offering guests too many silent auction items can cause decision-making fatigue, where guests end up shopping too much - instead of actually placing bids. Just like a kid in a candy store, they spend all their time running around trying to pick their favorite instead of actually spending the money in their pocket.

With too much to choose from there is also less competition for each item. If there's something for everyone, what's the point of bidding?

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Topics: event-production, silent auction items

Choosing the Right Event Fundraiser for Your Nonprofit [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth

With a limited number of fundraising events each year, it is important for nonprofits to choose events that will maximize their revenue while minimizing their expenses.

A survey of roughly 100 nonprofits who had conducted at least one major fundraising event in the past year showed that while Fun Runs/Walks can be an easy revenue generator, charity auction events still generate the most money.

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Topics: fundraising

8 Email Campaign Tips for Promoting a Nonprofit Fundraising Event

Posted by Ian Lauth


Designing an effective email campaign for your nonprofit’s fundraising events doesn’t have to be daunting. Knowing a few of the components and understanding the strategies behind what constitutes a compelling email can help guide you to success through more ticket sales, higher demand for auction items and more overall excitement for your event.

All of these design tips and more are demonstrated in this video tutorial, where we walk you through the creation of a promotional email campaign using Constant Contact. If you have any feedback, we would love to hear it! What are your biggest challenges when creating email campaigns for an event? Are there things you wish you could do better? Please leave a comment below and let us know!

Following are the 8 design tips for creating an effective email campaign for your next fundraising event:

1. Demand attention

Remember that every word and component you use should be engaging and demand attention. The average email user gets 416 promotional emails per month, and that doesn’t include personal or work emails. Your email has to capture a subscriber’s attention to make the cut and get opened.

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Topics: event-production

Create a Professional Email Campaign For Your Charity Fundraiser [VIDEO TUTORIAL]

Posted by Ian Lauth


→ Click here to view this video tutorial.

For a nonprofit, email marketing is an ideal way to initiate and nurture relationships with donors. Not only is email cost effective, but it can reach a large number of recipients in a timely and relevant manner. 

Email marketing is especially useful for promoting charity fundraisers. A promotional email campaign can be used to generate excitement, drive ticket sales, highlight big-ticket auction items and remind your supporters about the impact they can make by attending your event. 

Here are some more reasons to consider email marketing for your next charity fundraising event...

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

Going, Going ...Gone? Why Selling to the Highest Bidder Doesn't Always Make the Most Cents

Posted by Ian Lauth

Using consignment travel to supplement your charity auction is beneficial for many reasons - it saves time, adds variety, helps identify new donors - but what about raising money? 

The fact is, consignment travel packages can be extremely lucrative for your nonprofit, especially if you can sell a trip to several people and make a few hundred dollars from each sale

The best way to maximize fundraising dollars using travel in your live and silent auction is to take advantage of the multi-selling strategy. It is the most lucrative part of using no-risk travel: 

  The ability to sell any package to as many bidders as you want - with no limit!  

Using the multi-selling strategy with no-risk auction items benefits your event in a few ways:

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Topics: fundraising, selling multiples

16 Fundraising Best Practices for Preventing Donor Fatigue

Posted by Ian Lauth

Combat Donor Fatigue

Donor fatigue describes the unfortunate situation where key contributors either reduce or stop donating to a nonprofit they had been consistently supporting in the past.

Early signs of donor fatigue include:

  1. Reduced frequency of donations
  2. Smaller donation amounts
  3. Unresponsiveness to calls or letters

Why does donor fatigue happen and what can nonprofits do to prevent it?

First, it helps to understand the reasons for donor fatigue. There are some circumstances, like a change in the donor’s own financial situation, that you can do little about. In most cases, however, donor disengagement can be resolved with a heathly dose of sincere gratitude and a focus on improved communications.

Let’s take a closer look at some ideas to minimize and prevent donor fatigue for your nonprofit.

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Topics: fundraising, donor fatigue

6 Foodie Tips for Planning the Best Charity Event Menu Ever

Posted by Ian Lauth

Selecting the best menu for your charity fundraising event

Selecting the perfect menu for your charity event is more than just about food. Whether it's street-style food trucks or an elegant buffet, the food you serve can leave a lasting impression - whether it's good or bad - and have a powerful effect on the success of your next fundraiser.  

Especially in today's "foodie culture", what you serve and how you serve it sends a message to your guests and potential donors. Hyping it ahead of time, including it in your pre-event promotional material and generally building excitement for the event is what sets the stage for a successful fundraiser. 

Your menu also tells people what to expect from the event. Is it formal or casual? Festive or serious? Is it unique and exciting and something attendees can look forward to? Or is it just... blah. Rubber chicken, for example, doesn't do it for most people. Give them something out of the ordinary!

Here are some useful tips for planning a menu that will delight guests and leave donors salivating for more fundraising events from your organization for years to come.

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Topics: event-production, food and menu planning

October Donation Give-Away Winner: Imanni Burg from Moscow, Russia!

Posted by Ian Lauth

We are excited to announce the winner of the October 2015 Donation Give-Away drawing ...and boy were we in for a surprise when the winner turned out to be from Moscow, Russia!!

Imanni Burg serves as the Executive Director and Development Director for MPC Social Services. Since 1991, MPC Social Services has supported poor and marginalized people in Moscow, Russia by providing:

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Topics: donation-give-away, nonprofits

3 Ways Group Vacations Are Reaching Higher Bids and Developing Stronger Donors

Posted by Ian Lauth

Group vacations for higher bids at your auction fundraiser

Strolling through the streets of Paris with your sweetheart is the perfect way to celebrate your anniversary. But your 50th birthday calls for a party… Imagine you and some of your close friends on the beach in Cancun, enjoying an all-inclusive luxury resort. Or maybe your father-in-law is retiring and you want to get the family together to celebrate with a long weekend in Napa, staying in a 3-bedroom cottage at a winery.

Point is, there are times when a shared experience is right for the occasion, which is why offering group opportunities for traveling with family and friends to your donors can dramatically increase the money you are able to raise in your live auction.

It's a big trend!

group trips for auction fundraiser eventsThe latest trend that we’re seeing from nonprofits across the country is more travelers asking about group trips that include four or more people. Why? Because people love traveling in groups!

Group experiences are popular for people of all ages - whether it's a couples retreat, family trip or a group of girlfriends celebrating a special life event.

A few examples include...

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Topics: fundraising, travel-experiences

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 →