Winspire-News-LOGO-2

Winspire News

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

Charity Auction Ideas to Match Your Event Theme [Part 2 of 4]

Posted by Ian Lauth

theme_ideas

Picking a unique and exciting theme for your charity auction gala is helpful for many reasons. It gives you direction for promoting and planning many aspects of the event, helping your committee with decisions about the venue, decor, entertainment, marketing materials and even the food.

Plus, it can make the night magical. A well executed theme encourages audience participation by transporting guests to a special place where they can get 'lost' in the evening. Offering this sort of experience for your donors and creatively tying it back to your nonprofit mission helps drive engagement, generate more bids on auction items and ultimately raise more money for your cause.

Last week we posted this article as part of a four-part series where we list 12 of the most popular charity event theme ideas and matched them with Winspire travel packages. So far, the themes we've covered include...

Charity Auction Theme Ideas

(Greyed out themes will be posted in the next few weeks)

12-Charity-Event-Theme-Ideas-sm
  1. Secret Garden
  2. Masquerade
  3. Black & White Formal
  4. Moulin Rouge
  5. Oscars
  6. Medieval
  7. Under the Sea
  8. Las Vegas
  9. Hawaii/Carribbean
  10. Broadway
  11. Western
  12. Sports

If coming up with a great theme has left you scratching your head, here are three more popular and innovative ideas that should make promoting and planning your next fundraising event a snap:

Read More

Topics: event-production, theme-ideas

Millennial Giving [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth

Winspire-Milllennial-Giving-MAIN

Millennials. Tired of hearing that word yet? Well we're not going anywhere (yes I am a millennial). Defined as the age group born between 1980-1999, this cohort of 'youngsters' is quickly growing in influence as they begin to take on more leadership roles at work and increase their spending power.

There are approximately 80 million millennials in the United States, and by 2017, this age group will account for more total charitable donations than any other age group.

The giving trends among millennials show that philanthropy is pervasive in this age group with 93% of millennials donating to charity in 2010. As this age group continues to enhance their wealth through career growth, the total value of these donations will balloon to immense proportions - which is great news!

With such a large and growing sector of donors, it is important for non-profits to understand this demographic and cater their outreach efforts to the preferences of 20-30 year olds. Remember, these young adults grew up with technology and most notably - the internet. So it's no surprise that the first place they go to educate themselves about a cause is to an organization's website. It's also no surprise that they prefer to donate online through a website over any other donation method. 

Furthermore, they are all completely glued to their smartphones. Which means they will likely be visiting your site using a mobile device, so make sure your website is mobile responsive and can be easily viewed and navigated using a smartphone's internet browser.

For more info on mobile responsive and how to build a website for this future generation, check out the "Positive User Experience" section of this article. For an example, try checking out Winspire News on your phone right now. 

Below is an infographic with some more great stats on millennial giving trends. Check it out!

Read More

Topics: fundraising

12 Charity Event Theme Ideas Matched with Travel Packages [Part 1 of 4]

Posted by Ian Lauth

12 Charity Event Theme Ideas

Choosing just the right theme can be pivotal to your fundraising event's success. Engaging potential donors and building anticipation for the big night is important not only for your current fundraising gala, but for future events as well - and selecting a theme can spark plenty of promotional ideas to generate buzz in your donor community.

Picking a cool theme isn't just about promotion, either. The event theme is carried through to create atmosphere and ambiance, setting the tone and giving you direction for planning many of the event elements such as decor, food, venue and entertainment.

Over the next four weeks we will be sharing a list of 12 of the most popular charity event theme ideas we've seen used at the thousands of fundraising galas we work with each year. We will be posting three event themes each week with planning and promotional ideasalong with a few Winspire travel packages that will generate buzz and bids among your donors.

Charity Auction Theme Ideas

(Greyed out themes will be posted in the next few weeks)

12-Charity-Event-Theme-Ideas-sm
  1. Secret Garden
  2. Masquerade
  3. Black & White Formal
  4. Moulin Rouge
  5. Oscars
  6. Medieval
  7. Under the Sea
  8. Las Vegas
  9. Hawaii/Carribbean
  10. Broadway
  11. Western
  12. Sports

Secret Garden - Charity Event Theme #11. Secret Garden

How about a garden party with a touch of beauty and wonderment? If you don't have access to an actual garden, then create a setting decorated to make your guests feel as though they have been transported to an enchanted garden. Add flowering bushes and twinkling lights to provide a magical, garden touch. 

A garden party, featuring elegant attire (depending on the venue and your guest list. you might consider casual attire, too) and live music, allowing this theme to fit well with almost any fundraising event. Add to the entertainment with a stage for theatrical performances. Think about capturing the enchanting themes characteristic of the well-known novel The Secret Garden... 

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”
- The Secret Garden

Here are some live and silent auction ideas to that are a good fit with your event theme:

Read More

Topics: event-production, theme-ideas

6 Must-Have Volunteer Duties for a Successful Charity Event

Posted by Ian Lauth

Volunteer

 

Charity event chairs (great tongue twister!) love to have as much help as they can get when planning and executing events. Whether planning for a large gala this fall or a golf scramble this summer, utilizing volunteers will help your event thrive and benefit your nonprofit organization in plenty of other ways too.

Volunteers already have a passion for your mission, and they are willing to work for you – for free! Take them up on their willingness and assign them a task or two. There are several roles available for volunteers, depending on their time and availability.

Following are six of the most important duties your volunteers can perform before, during, and after your next nonprofit fundraising event:

Volunteer-auction-item-procurement1. Auction Item Procurement

A successful silent or live auction relies on unique and exciting items secured on behalf of your cause. This is an excellent activity for your volunteer corps. At least three months in advance of your event, arm them with a wish list and the proper forms (click here for help on the forms you will need for your auction). Make it interesting for them by adding a reward challenge for the most donated items or the most expensive item. Everyone likes an incentive!

For more on auction item procurement, check out these articles:

Volunteer-event-check-in2. Event Check-In

Have your most seasoned and trained volunteers work the check-in table. From greeting your guests to handling money, this is a first impression opportunity that requires top notch volunteers. Spend some extra time planning for the check-in and registration process. To learn more about event day volunteer roles, check out this article:

Read More

Topics: event-production

8 Ideas for Securing Incredible Charity Auction Items Early

Posted by Ian Lauth

Ideas-Securing-Auction-Item-Early

Take the heat off by preparing for fall live and silent auctions now. Call your auction committee for happy hour by the pool and devise a strategy to round up the best items using these tips:


BUILD-Procurement-Team1. Build your procurement committee 

Assemble a team of capable, connected and committed individuals to go out and acquire the items you want for your auction. Don't be afraid to be selective but make sure you give all interested parties an opportunity to get involved. For more on this, see:


2. Host a wish list party

Wish-List-Party-1One of the best ways to get the ball rolling with procurement is to gather your committee and have an informal gathering to brainstorm ideas. Make it fun! Host it outside the office and provide food and drinks as an added incentive for team members to show up. The idea here is to create a festive atmosphere to get your team in the right mindset to discuss the event. For more on this, see this article:


3. Consider incentives to motivate your team

procurement-incentivesReward your committee members for their efforts by setting goals and awarding prizes for outstanding acquisitions. Start by talking to your team about potential incentives – they know better than anyone what motivates them. Then set procurement goals based on either the number of silent auction items or the dollar value of donations acquired. You can set goals and allocate prizes for individuals or for the entire procurement team, depending on your preference. For more incentive ideas, check out this article:

Read More

Topics: event-production

Engaging Stakeholders in Shaping Your Next Charity Event

Posted by Ian Lauth

Engaging Nonprofit Stakeholders

Nonprofit stakeholders are vital to the development of a sustainable and profitable fundraising event. As an event organizer, they are an invaluable resource as you seek to improve your event and reach ever-higher fundraising goals and expectations. Surprisingly, despite the value of stakeholder input, many nonprofits overlook the simple act of gathering feedback and using it in their planning of future events. 

But first, who are stakeholders? Stakeholders are any individual or group of people who have a vested interest in the success of your nonprofit in fulfilling its objective. This includes any affected person or entity who doesn't necessarily serve a specific role within your organization, including individual donors, event patrons, business services, volunteers and even the beneficiaries you serve as part of your mission. 

When was the last time you reached outside your organization for feedback to help you improve your event? If you are guilty of avoiding the steps necessary to engage your stakeholders and actively seek their input, it's time to put a plan into place to involve them in shaping your next fundraising event.

The payoff will be greater excitement in the weeks leading up to your event and a resulting boost in participation. Longer term, you will have stronger ties with people who are key to your organization's success. 

 

Read More

Topics: event-production

Experience Spotlight: Wimbledon Tennis Championship

Posted by Sharon Ruback

Experience-Spotlight-Wimbledon-Tennis-Championship

What started in 1877 as the Lawn Tennis Championship, at what was then known as the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis, has become the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.  Known today simply as “Wimbledon”, this spectacular event is the only Grand Slam still played on grass.

Experience_Spotlight_Wimbledon_Tennis_Championship_2015-07-23_08-44-23All eyes were on Serena Williams earlier this month as she entered Wimbledon as the overwhelming favorite to win a fourth straight major tennis title. She did that, in her usual impressive fashion. She bested her sister, Venus Williams, narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of unseeded Heather Watson, took down the tough Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals and absolutely dominated No. 4 seed Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. In the finals, Williams defeated Spanish rising star Garbine Muguruza in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Williams, 33, wins her 21st Grand Slam title and becomes the oldest female winner of a major. Williams has now won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2015. Only the U.S. Open remains. She’s looking to become the first person to win a calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988.

Read More

Topics: travel-experiences

U.S. and Canadian Travel Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth

Travel-Trends-MAIN

Americans and Canadians are some of the largest spenders on international travel, with residents of both nations ranked in the top six worldwide in terms of average annual expenditures on international travel.

Travelers from both countries most commonly make the easy intracontinental trips, with the U.S., Canada, and Mexico all registering as top travel destinations.  In addition, millions of travelers every year from both of these countries make overseas journeys to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and even Cuba!

When Americans and Canadians choose to stay closer to home and travel domestically, the most popular destinations are primarily the higher populated cities and warm-weather climates.  For the most part, when Americans and Canadians cross the border, their travel patterns mirror those of the domestic travelers in that nation. Interestingly, the main difference between the travel preferences of the two nations is that Canadians also frequently travel to some of the more remote U.S. states, such as Maine, Vermont, and Montana.

In the following infographic, we explore these unique travel trends which exist between our two neighboring countries... 

Read More

Topics: travel-experiences

Ssshh... Have You Heard About The Super Silent Auction?

Posted by Ian Lauth

Super Silent Auctions - Have You Heard of It?

 

When planning your charity gala’s live and silent auctions, have you ever had an item or two that seemed a little high priced for the silent auction tables but did not quite have the appeal for your live auction? Or perhaps you already have too many items in the live auction, but there are some other special items you want to call attention to. It can be confusing trying to figure out how to best utilize these items, and the super silent auction may be the best answer to this dilemma. 

What is a Super Silent Auction? 

A super silent auction is a subset of your normal silent auction and includes higher priced and/or special items that did not make it into the live auction. These "super" items are usually showcased separately on tables made more visible with extra lighting or signage to call attention and maximize bidding. 

The ideal size of a super silent auction is between 1-3 items. Limiting it to three helps maintain the exclusivity your offering and makes it much easier to hype the items before and during the event. 

Some examples of super silent auction items include:

  • Gas grill or Big Green Egg®
  • Consignment travel packages or a weekend trip
    (Check out our new Silent Auction Starters)
  • Home entertainment system or smart TV
  • Fine jewelry

It's entirely up to you what you want to include. Just make sure there is a special appeal to the item(s) you select. There is nothing "super" about a gift basket. 

Check out our new Silent Auction Starter travel packages!

How do I set up my Super Silent Auction? 

Your super silent auction table needs to be an obvious feature at your event. This will make it easier to generate additional buzz about the items that is separate from your live and silent auctions. 

Read More

Topics: event-production, super silent auction

Congrats to our July Donation Give-Away Winner: Julie-Anne Lambert

Posted by Ian Lauth

Q3-Donation-Give-Away-Winner-JULIE-ANNE

We are excited to announce the winner of the July 2015 Donation Give-Away drawing! Julie-Anne Lambert of Hudson, Quebec, Canada will be using the Napa Valley Wine Tour Experience to help raise money for The Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence Foundation (VSPCRF) where she is the Assistant Executive Director of Fundraising. 

VSPCRF was founded in 2005 to provide professional palliative care in the community, free of charge. Their mission is to offer a home where serenity, warmth, comfort and relief are provided with an approach to excellence in palliative care, thanks to a passionate and professional team of employees, volunteers and partners. 

Read More

Topics: donation-give-away

eBook: Introduction to Procuring Quality Charity Auction Items
winspire-twins-blog

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

starter kit underline

Starter-Kit-Logo-sm

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 →