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Ian Lauth

With an extensive background in marketing development and content design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue. Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals.
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Recent Posts

JUST RELEASED: Silent Auction Luxury Hotel Stays

Posted by Ian Lauth on Nov 3, 2017 8:28:48 AM

Luxury Properties Blog Post-1.png

Successful silent auctions depend on your ability to procure exciting, high quality items - and few items generate as much buzz as incredible vacations.

Today we are excited to unveil our brand-new line of Luxury Properties for 2018-2019 designed specifically for the silent auction tables.

These are stays at 140+ luxury boutique hotels and resorts around the world with lower price points than our Signature Experience packages, which are traditionally positioned as live auction items.

Just like our Signature Experiences, if a Luxury Property item sells in you silent auction, you collect everything above the Nonprofit Cost. Otherwise, if the item doesn't receive any bids, you don't pay a dime. It's that easy!

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Topics: silent auction items, super silent auction, silent auction hotels

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

Posted by Ian Lauth on Apr 19, 2016 7:00:00 AM
10 Deadly Sins of Charity Auctions (And How to Prevent Them) - Webinar

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

Introducing Summy, Our Newest Winspire News Contributor

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 28, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Welcome-Summy-1.pngWe are thrilled to welcome Summy Lau as the newest contributor to Winspire News! With a background in nonprofit development, publishing, copywriting and design, Summy joins the Winspire creative team with loads of practical experience that will help shape the content and resources delivered to your email inbox each week.

Summy’s experience in nonprofit fundraising began in 2011 when she joined the development department of a nonprofit serving Chicagoans experiencing homelessness.

“The organization does amazing, transformative work in the community, and for my first assignment, I was thrilled to help organize their annual 5K run,” recalls Summy.

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Join Us for a Free Webinar with GreaterGiving: Procuring Buzzworthy Travel Packages

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 19, 2016 9:26:47 AM

Procuring Buzzworthy Auction Travel Packages

Winspire and Greater Giving are collaborating on an exciting free webinar for anyone involved with organizing charity fundraising events.

Featuring:

Procuring Buzzworthy Auction Travel Packages Webinar

Join us on February 11 as Tracey Lorts, Community Marketing Manager at Greater Giving, and Ian Lauth, Creative Director at Winspire, discuss how to best utilize unique travel in nonprofit fundraising events based on the experiences of over 20,000 successful charity auctions!

Thursday, February 11th 11am - 12pm PDT

Reserve My Spot →

 

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Topics: travel-experiences

6 Reasons Consignment Auction Items Help Raise More Money

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 13, 2016 10:34:43 AM

6 Reasons Consignment Auction Items Help Raise More Money

A successful charity auction relies on your ability to procure exciting and appealing auction items for your donors to bid on. Even with a dedicated and knowledgeable auction committee, this can be a daunting task. 

One way to simplify your procurement efforts and boost the overall revenue of your event is by presenting your guests with a generous offering of both donated and consignment auction items

consignment auction itemsWhat is consignment? These are items offered by a third party vendor that cost nothing for a nonprofit to reserve and sell at their auction. These items typically have an established cost the nonprofit is aware of prior to placing it in their event, and any money that is raised above the item cost goes directly to the charity. If the final bid doesn reach high enough to cover the item cost, then no transaction takes place - so you only purchase items that actually raise money. 

Consignment auction items are typically high in value and difficult for the average auction committee to procure. Types of consignment items include:

  • Vacation Travel
  • Sporting Events
  • Entertainment (Concerts, Award Shows, etc.)
  • Autographed Memoribilia
    (Sports, Music or Celebrity)
  • Jewlery

One of the most common reasons organizations turn to consignment auction items is because they can be reserved last-minute and zero cost, but committees can use consignment items much earlier in the process to avoid this panicked scramble altogether. 

Try reserving a few consignment items first, then wait to see what kind of donations come in. This will reduce your stress level and give you resources to leverage while you wait for your procurement team to bring in donated items.

Consignment items can have a positive impact on your workload, donor relationships and the overall revenue of your event. Below you will find 7 reasons consignment auction items are an increasingly popular tool that many Nonprofits are turning to in the early stages of event planning.

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Topics: event-production, consignment, consignment auction items

January Donation Give-Away Winner: Morgan Stewart

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 8, 2016 9:48:55 AM

donation give-away

We are excited to announce the winner of our first Donation Give-Away drawing of 2016! Morgan Stewart of San Francisco, California will be using the $1,000 Fairmont gift card donated by Winspire to help raise money for California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) where she works as Special Events Coordinator. 

california_hikers.jpgCSPF is a member-supported nonprofit dedicated to protecting, improving and advocating for all of California’s state parks. Their mission is to deliver innovative solutions to create an excellent parks system by facilitating park improvements, inspiring stewardship, supporting partners, advocating for sound policies, and connecting people to parks.

"Over 75 million people visit California's 280 state parks each year," Morgan explains, "so it's our goal is to ensure that the natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities are available for everyone to enjoy now and for generations to come."

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Topics: donation-give-away, nonprofits

Write Amazing Headlines for Your Nonprofit Blog [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 6, 2016 9:27:49 AM

headlines-infographic-MAIN.png

There’s an old adage in web marketing that “content is king”, meaning that if you have great content (e.g. blog posts, videos, resources, etc.) on your nonprofit blog or website, you’ll attract more visitors, build a stronger following (i.e. more donors) and ultimately increase your ability to make an impact. There is one major caveat, though, and that is if your non-profit communication content is buried beneath bland headlines, your target audience may never discover the greatness of your blog posts and articles!

Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 visitors to a website will only read the headlines. And of those that read a headline, only 20% will read the article below. This shows how important it is to have powerful headlines that compel your users to spend time on your site reading the content.

→  Expert Tip: One excellent tool that you can use to assess the quality of your headline is CoSchedule's Blog Post Headline Analyzer, which give's your blog title a grade and offers recommendations for improving your word selection, character count and sentence structure.

In the following infographic we discover a few simple formulas that will help you to craft outstanding headlines even when you are having a creative block. Try the sample headlines provided below and watch your following grow as your users find out that your non-profit communication content is king!

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Topics: nonprofit, nonprofit communication, infographic

Top 6 Most-Viewed Posts from 2015

Posted by Ian Lauth on Dec 30, 2015 9:11:00 AM

charity auction items

What a year it has been! So many new and exciting things are happening in the event fundraising world, and we have the articles and resources to prove it. 

For this post we compiled a list of the top six most-viewed Winspire News articles from 2015... but our helpful content didn't stop there. This year we dedicated ourselves to covering a wide range of topics designed to help nonprofit professionals improve everything about their fundraising events.

We discovered the top 12 charity event themes and paired them with auction items, highlighted best practices for promoting a fundraising event, published a variety of interesting nonprofit infographics and discussed the importance of tapping into donor travel budgets.

It has been an honor for all of us here at Winspire to be a part of your fundraising journey and help with so many incredible events in 2015. Here's to another successful year!

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Topics: fundraising, nonprofits

Silent Auction Spacing: What to Do When You Run out of Room

Posted by Ian Lauth on Dec 9, 2015 10:30:40 AM

silent auction spacing

You are probably familiar with this common scenario: You’re going along planning your event, the venue has been secured for months, auction items have been procured, programs printed and everything seems to be in place... until you realize that you are running out of space for your silent auction tables!

You have more items to put out, but there isn’t enough room for additional tables - and getting more space does not appear to be an option.

What should you do??

Before you panic, ask yourself a few questions…

  • Are you sure you can’t get more space?
  • Where are the bars located? Can they be moved?
  • Is there another room, hallway or outdoor area that you can use?
  • How about making “islands” of tables in the middle of the room?

As you assess your event space and look for solutions to add more tables, let's make sure the tables you already have set up are done so properly...

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Topics: event-production, silent auctions

Tax Compliance for Nonprofit Event Fundraising [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Dec 2, 2015 7:57:00 AM

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Click here to view the infographic →

You've got enough on your plate with planning your upcoming charity auction, so it's easy to forget some of the tax and compliance standards that are required to run a legitimate fundraising event in your state. Such standards include charitable solicitation registration requirements, special event insurance, documentation for each transaction, accounting requirements and even specific regulations regarding sales tax.

The following infographic lays out a few of the key items to bear in mind as you plan your next charity auction event. These are only a high-level overview of regulation and compliance issues that you may encounter with your fundraising event, so be sure to work with a tax, accounting, and compliance expert that can provide guidance for the requirements in your region.

Please note that the information in the following infographic is provided as general guidelines. Contact a tax or accounting professional for an official opinion on the regulation requirements for your nonprofit organization.

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Topics: event-production, event fundraising, infographic, nonprofit tax compliance

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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.