Summy Lau

As Fundraising Editor, Summy brings hands-on experience in nonprofit development, event fundraising, publishing, copywriting and design to Winspire News. She creates blog content, infographics, templates, eBooks and other resources to help fundraising professionals and volunteers exceed their fundraising goals. Her two favorite perks of working at Winspire: hearing nonprofit success stories and dreaming of new bucket list destinations.
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Recent Posts

Is a Charity Race Right for Your Event? 7 Surprising Benefits

Posted by Summy Lau on Jul 7, 2017 9:26:38 AM
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Ever considered hosting a 5K, "Fun Run" or Walk for charity?

If you've relied on the same black-tie galas and golf tournaments year after year, putting on a race can be an effective way to raise awareness of your organization, loop in new members of the community, gain event sponsors and more.

Read on for 7 short- and long-term benefits of holding a race. Then, sign up for next week's FREE webinar all about maximizing your Fun Run fundraising results.

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Topics: event-production

12 Revenue Enhancers Besides Silent Auctions to Try at Your Event

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 29, 2017 12:27:25 PM

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When it comes to fundraising events, the live auction is almost always the "meat and potatoes" of the night, hauling in an estimated two-thirds of your total revenue.

In addition to the fundraising main course, many events both large and small benefit from employing a variety of revenue enhancers. These are the "appetizers, sides, drinks and dessert" that can translate to tens of thousands of additional dollars for your cause - or at the very least, more fun and participation for all your guests.

In today's post, we've compiled 12 of the best event fundraising add-on ideas out there. From entertaining raffles to creative icebreakers to wine trees (yep, wine trees!) and more, which will you add to your event?

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Topics: event-production

When to Include "Buy Now" Prices on Bid Sheets

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 27, 2017 9:12:42 AM

When to Include "Buy Now" Prices on Auction Bid Sheets

The best silent auction items generate a flurry of back-and-forth bidding until one winner is crowned. Indeed, the competitive nature of bidding is what makes charity auctions such an entertaining fundraiser - and what drives bids higher and higher.

However, what happens to 2nd and 3rd place bidders? When they don't win that coveted Date Night basket or flat-screen TV... those once-pledged dollars often end up walking right out the door at the end of the night.

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Topics: event-production, silent auction bid sheets

6 Tips to Assemble a Procurement Super Team

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 20, 2017 10:37:08 AM

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Successful charity auctions require high quality auction items. Step one: assembling your procurement team.

Like any legendary group of heroes - think Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Super Friends - your committee is faced with a seemingly insurmountable task. To succeed, you'll need driven, creative people who demonstrate tenacity and come from all different backgrounds. Most importantly, they must be willing to step up for your cause when it counts.

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Topics: last-minute-procurement, procurement, event-production, auction item procurement

Donor & Volunteer Current Trends: INFOGRAPHIC

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 16, 2017 9:21:36 AM

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At Winspire News, we strive to keep our readers informed with up-to-date information on the fundraising world. Perhaps no information is more important than understanding the motivations of your donor base.

In today's infographic, we looked at recent Harris Poll survey data from over 2,000 U.S. adults on their nonprofit support and giving habits.

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Topics: donor-relations

4 Easy Steps to 'Feed' Your Auction's Top Spenders

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 12, 2017 9:29:16 AM

4 Easy Steps to 'Feed' Your Auction's Top Spenders

In last week's post, we discussed a simple yet often overlooked principle of fundraising auctions: analyzing the different spending tiers of bidders at your event.

Today we share 4 practical steps to use this information by customizing your live auction with top tier spenders in mind.

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Topics: event-production, donor cultivation

This Simple Concept Is a Game-Changer for Auction Procurement

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 6, 2017 9:53:46 AM

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When nonprofits have hosted the same event for years, it's common to reach a plateau.

Wondering how you can break through a slump and once again generate record profits?

If your event includes a live auction, a big piece of the puzzle is learning to cater to your top tier of spenders. Who has the greatest propensity to spend at your event? And how can you customize the live auction so everybody wants to participate - but only the top few percent can actually afford to?

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Topics: event-production, live auction

How to "Double Up" on Auction Profits by Selling Multiples

Posted by Summy Lau on May 31, 2017 9:05:52 AM

How to "Double Up" on Auction Profits by Selling Multiples

If you've successfully packed the live auction with unique, valuable items that match your audience, multiple bidders are sure to be clamoring for each and every item.

Do you know how to capitalize on bidding wars to sell one item to multiple bidders?

This essential live auction technique, known as the "Double Up," allows nonprofits of any size or experience level to double, triple or quadruple their profits from a single item.

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Topics: event-production, selling multiples, webinar

Grant Writing Expert Shares Tips to Snag $30,000 in One Afternoon

Posted by Summy Lau on May 25, 2017 10:36:38 AM

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One of the keys to a successful development strategy is having diverse sources of income. We most frequently discuss event fundraising, but it's wise to have several fundraising "arms" so the loss or decline of one source won't hamper day-to-day operations. Other opportunities include annual fundraising drives, regular or monthly giving, and one we'll cover today: writing grants.

Is grant writing part of your development strategy?

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Topics: fundraising

Is an auctioneer worth 10 times the cost of a local personality?

Posted by Summy Lau on May 23, 2017 10:44:22 AM

Is hiring a Certified Benefit Auctioneer worth the cost?

We recently received the following email from a Winspire webinar attendee...

EMAIL WINSPIRE NEWS

Dear Winspire,

My board feels that paying $2,500 for a professional, highly-trained benefit auctioneer is out of line, considering a local personality has offered to facilitate the live auction for $250. How should I respond?

~ Lisa

Lisa, this is one of the most common concerns we hear from auction organizers across the country, and it's easy to understand why. The number one priority at a fundraising event is to raise money for your cause. When an opportunity to trim costs by 90 percent comes along, you want to consider it!

That said, we've found it's more effective to focus on generating more revenue first - then trim costs where you can.

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Topics: event-production, benefit auctioneer

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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.