The Nonprofit Sector in Brief [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Feb 17, 2014 10:03:00 AM

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief infographic summarizes and expands on The Nonprofit Almanac 2012/2013 prepared by the National Center for Charitable Statistics and published by the Urban Institute Press.

Both publications highlight the growth in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities, as well as key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering. It presents trends from 2000 to 2010 but special attention is paid to 2008 through 2010 to see the impact the recession had on the Nonprofit sector and nonprofit auction items.

Click Here to view infographic >

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Topics: nonprofits, competition

Event Planning: Stay On Track 1-3 Months From The Event

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 31, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Event Planning: Stay On Track

As your event draws near, stay on task by creating to-do lists to keep track of everything you still need to accomplish. Here are four things you will want to take care of in the 3 months prior to your event:

Recruit event volunteers: You are going to need plenty of help on the night of the event to free up your time so you can  socialize with donors. It’s always better to have too many volunteers than too few. Volunteers can help you with the event registration; greeting guests as they walk into the room; assisting with the auction; item pick up; decorating; and cleaning up. Try utilizing different social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to advertise that you’re looking for help. Ask board and committee members if they have family members or friends who would like to volunteer. Perhaps someone’s granddaughter is in a community service club at her high school or college. Many local companies have community service teams who look for ways to help out in the community.

To ensure you are free to talk with donors during the event, try appointing someone on your committee with enough knowledge about the event to manage your group volunteers. Establishing a point person for your volunteers to go to will make it so you only have one person coming to you with questions during the event instead of the entire group.

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Topics: event-production, time management, competition

Event Planning: Attracting Attendees 3-6 Months Out

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 29, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Event Planning: Attracting Attendees

Once you are three and sixth months from your fundraising auction, it’s important to narrow your focus toward attracting attendees. Make sure the following tasks are on your to-do list and you are well on your way to getting them done: 

1. Determine Guest List: Creating a guest list will help you remember to invite all potential and important donors. Look at last year’s guest list to get started. Be sure to include those who couldn’t attend last year as well as those who showed up without a direct invitation. Compile the list and make sure you have complete contact information - including email and mailing address - for each guest.

2. Identify Your VIP Guests: Begin personally reaching out and confirming the attendance of your VIP guests who usually spend the most at your events. These "big spenders" usually have friends or colleagues who have money to spend, so take the opportunity to encourage your VIPs to bring new guests. You can offer free tickets and even entire tables for those who promise to bring groups of guests, but be careful how many tickets you give away. Your VIP donors know you are trying to raise money, so don’t hesitate to discuss with them the spending propensity of these new guests. 

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Topics: event-production, time management, competition

Event Planning: Five Key Accomplishments by 6-12 Months Out

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 28, 2014 9:12:00 AM

Event Planning 6-12 Months Out

Savvy event planners know one of the most important factors of success is starting early. That means six to twelve months prior to the big date, you should be busy creating your to-do list and checking off tasks as you accomplish them. Following are some of things you should have completed - or be well on your way to completing - by the six month mark:

1. Event Chair: The first step is to appoint an event chair. This will be the point person throughout the entire process, so make sure he or she has the time and passion to do the job right. Look for a "champion" who is motivated to help the entire organization succeed and understands the bigger picture. Many organizations elect two co-chairs to share the responsibility of organizing the event, but this depends on the size and scope of your operation. Once you've selected your Event Chair(s), it's time to start forming a committee of key volunteers – such as board members and staff – that can help throughout the planning process.

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Topics: event-production, time management, competition

5 Tips for Using Auction Items to Generate Buzz For Your Event

Posted by Ian Lauth on Dec 6, 2013 3:02:00 PM

Generate Buzz Using Auction Items for your charity event fundraiser

The steps you take before an auction event can largely impact attendance levels and increase your chance for success. One way to pique your audience’s interest is to share information about a few of your charity auction items before the event.

Promoting auction items will get donors talking and help spread the word about your fundraiser. Plus, sharing items ahead of time gives attendees an idea of what to expect and prepares them to spend money.

Follow these 5 tips for generating buzz using your auction items:

1. Advertise your best items

To increase attendance at your action event, advertise only your big-ticket items beforehand – leave out that selection of baked goods no matter how delicious they look. Your goal here is to make the event stand out and excite attendees about what is to come. Items worth advertising are typically unique or big-ticket in some way, such as travel packages, unique experiences or tickets to an awards show or concert.

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Topics: event-production, competition, event-promotion

4 Unique Ideas for Brainstorming Exceptional Auction Items

Posted by Ian Lauth on Nov 20, 2013 8:34:00 PM

Auction ItemsWhen it comes to auction item procurement, the goal is to acquire items that cost little to nothing upfront but are still distinctive enough to attract high bidding. It’s easy to get stuck in the auction rut of gift certificates, jewelry and themed baskets which can make your auction feel cluttered and won’t garner high fundraising numbers.

It’s time to think outside the benefit auction boxRather than seeking material items - or “stuff” - for your auction, focus on offering experiences for your donors to bid on. Experiences appeal to a much wider audience and cut down on the kind of donor fatigue that results from the same old items appearing on your auction table.

While the big money is going to come from auctioning off once-in-a-lifetime travel Experiences like those we offer here at Winspire, it's easy to put together a few local experiences that might raise a few extra hundred bucks at your event. These types of auction items can also create the kind of "buzz" in your community that generates more interest in your cause.

Consider these four ideas for coming up with unique local experiences that are sure to inspire high interest levels and fierce bidding:

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Topics: event-production, auction item procurement, competition

Supercharge Your Charity Event: Include a Benefit Auction

Posted by Ian Lauth on Oct 30, 2013 12:29:00 PM

Winston & Winnie go to a Benefit Auction

It’s no secret that hosting a large event once or twice a year is a great way for Nonprofits to increase awareness and raise money. The possibilities for these special events are endless; you can host a golf tournament, dinner gala, variety show, musical performance, bake sale, fun run or walk, car wash, festival, a wine/beer tasting party, or any other exciting event that brings in a large crowd.

It’s a simple equation: The bigger the event, the larger the crowd; the larger the crowd, the more money you bring in. Unfortunately, a bigger event usually means higher upfront costs, so it’s important they turn out successfully. Furthermore, large crowds are great if you have a high ticket price, but what about getting these guests to spend more money at the event?

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Topics: fundraising, event-production, competition

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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.