Winspire News

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

6 Foodie Tips for Planning the Best Charity Event Menu Ever

Posted by Ian Lauth

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 Bid Levels and Developing Stronger Donors

Posted by Ian Lauth

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!

The 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

Local or Exotic Travel Auction Packages? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth

Local getaways or exotic destinations – which kind of travel auction package is the best for your next charity fundraising event?  The answer – both!

Click here to view the infographic →

Exotic travel packages - such as those with an airfare component or to a different country - bring the most advantages to the live-and-silent-auction table. Mainly, the higher price point means higher return for your nonprofit. Some exotic travel packages can bring more than ten times the return of a local package!

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Topics: travel-experiences, travel auction packages, travel

12 Theme Ideas Matched with Auction Items [Part 4 of 4]

Posted by Ian Lauth


In this four-part series we are showcasing 12 of the most popular fundraising event theme ideas and offering recommendations for food, entertainment, decorations and attire. We're also taking this opportunity to show how easy it is to incorporate Winspire auction items with almost any theme you can think of. 

So far, the themes we've covered include...

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Topics: event-production, theme-ideas

Can Auction Software Help My Fundraiser Make More Money?

Posted by Ian Lauth

The auction is over, receipts are in and thank you letters sent out. You can breathe a sigh of relief and take a much-deserved break. But as you look back over all the preparation and hard work that went into your auction, do you wonder if it could have been done a little easier and a lot more efficient?

What about that swanky Hawaiian vacation everyone was eyeing? Did it really bring in much revenue? How do you know? Auction software helps you determine which items actually made money and which weren’t worth the effort of procuring them. 

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Topics: event-production

BizWorld Lesson #6: Overhead Ain't Bad

Posted by Ian Lauth


This article is part of a series titled "Lessons from the Biz World" where we explore valuable aspects of the for-profit sector we can apply to nonprofit management and translate into a more efficient, stable and successful organization with a greater impact. 

There’s a big double standard when it comes to overhead at for-profits and nonprofit organizations. Where investment decisions regarding overhead might be no-brainers in the for-profit sector, they often come with much scrutiny in the nonprofit arena.

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Topics: nonprofits, biz-world-lessons

12 Event Fundraising Themes Matched with Travel Experiences [Part 3 of 4]

Posted by Ian Lauth

It's been a couple weeks since we posted our last article with theme ideas for event fundraisers... so I guess it's time for another one! 

In this four-part series we are exploring 12 of the most popular charity event theme ideas and offering recommendations for food, entertainment, decorations and attire. We're also taking this opportunity to show how easy it is to match up a variety of Winspire Experiences with almost any theme you can think of. 

So far, the themes we've covered include...

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Topics: event-production, theme-ideas

Americans Need to Learn How to Take Vacation

Posted by Ian Lauth


The long weekend has come and gone, the kids are back at school and you’re back at your desk (*sigh*). Hopefully you had some time to relax and recharge during the Labor Day holiday... or maybe you didn't take any time off and you were working through the weekend, ironing out the details of your fall fundraising gala. 

Well - you're not alone. Many Americans today ton't get enough "R&R", and it could be hurting how well we're performing at our jobs. The same goes for your donors, who will be attending this year's fundraising gala looking for an escape - and possibly a vacation - to help them unplug and recharge. 

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Topics: travel-experiences

Most Charitable States in America [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth


Donating both time and money has long been an integral part of American society.  According to the World Giving Indexthe United States was the only country to rank in the top 10 in 2014 for each of the three categories they use to measure charitable behavior, including volunteering time, donating money, and helping strangers. 

The National Philanthropic Trust states that 95.4% of U.S. households donate to charities, with each household’s average annual donation a robust $2,974.  Total U.S. donations to charity amounted to $331 billion in 2013, with 72% of that coming from individual donations.

Below we look at charitable giving trends by state. The top five most charitable states are located in the middle of the country, with Utah ranking #1 overall and ranking near the top in just about every measurement of charitable giving.  Interestingly, other than the consistently strong showing of Utah, there is quite a bit of diversity in the states that ranked high in each metric below.

Click here to view the infographic ↓

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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 →