13 Ways Board Members Can Become Fundraising Event Superheroes

Posted by Summy Lau on Jul 26, 2016 7:30:00 AM
Charity Board Member Fundraising

The board is critical to a nonprofit's success and longevity. Board members voluntarily give their time, resources, professional insight and more to support a cause they believe in. They also serve as the public face of an organization, advocating for your work and impact.

Not only do board members participate in day-to-day operations, they're needed to pull off special fundraising events throughout the year. Are you making the most of their time and efforts?

Read on for 13 simple ways board members, with nonprofit support, can become the superheroes every fundraising event needs. (One example: Did you know donors who receive a thank-you call from board members within one day of their gift give 39% more the next time they're asked?)

1. Invite major donors and VIPs over the phone.

Fundraising Major DonorsEnsure your charity's biggest supporters know their presence would be missed at the upcoming golf tournament, gala or auction. They're a lot less likely to reject or ignore an invitation when it's personalized, from one of the leaders of your organization.

Make this as easy as possible for busy board members. Supply a sample script they can reference in the call, with all the important details on registration, ticket sales, the night's agenda and goals.

If you're holding an auction, the invitation call is also a great time to find out what items these major donors would be most interested in bidding on. 

Read More

Topics: donor-relations

3 Easy Ways to Retain Event Sponsors (You'll thank yourself later!)

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 16, 2016 8:10:48 AM

fist-bump-draft.pngIf you've ever been part of a charity fundraising event, you know they can be costly. Sponsorships are a great way to offset expenses, give local businesses and individuals the chance to promote their brand, and build relationships.

Recently we've looked at best practices to create a sponsorship strategy, write proposal letters and follow up with potential sponsors (see below).

After all the hard work you've done to obtain sponsorships, today we'll conclude our sponsorship miniseries by discussing how to retain sponsors.

How successful is your organization at netting satisfied returning sponsors? Check out 3 simple post-event opportunities that leave a great impression with sponsors - come next year, you'll be glad you did!

Charity Event Sponsorship Series

This mini-series is meant to guide you through the process of acquiring and retaining sponsorships to support your charity auction fundraising event.

Part 1: The 2-Step Process to Securing Enthusiastic Event Sponsorships

Part 2: 10 Easy Steps to Effective Sponsorship Request Letters

Part 3: Do's & Don'ts of Charity Event Sponsorship Request Follow Up

Part 4: 3 Easy Ways to Retain Event Sponsors

1. Send an event summary and thank you letters

When the event is said and done, sponsors want to know how it went and, more importantly, how their company’s brand was positively impacted.

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, sponsorships

Do's & Don'ts of Charity Event Sponsorship Request Follow Up

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 9, 2016 10:08:08 AM

Charity Event Sponsorship Request Follow-UpOn Tuesday we shared 10 components of an effective charity event sponsorship request letter, plus rolled out the Winspire Sponsorship Kit templates that simplify the process from start to finish.

So, let’s say you’ve written and signed your letters, printed out the forms and shipped out all your sponsorship proposals. Now what?

Initial requests are only half the story. Now is your chance to maximize the impact of those letters by following up well with prospective sponsors.

Securing corporate sponsorships is a big task, and event volunteers and committee members need to have an organized follow up strategy prepared as soon as letters are sent. To assist, read on for the fundamental do's and don'ts of pursuing charity event sponsorships. Learn how to best position your proposals for success—and even turn a "no" into an enthusiastic “yes"!

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, event fundraising, sponsorships

10 Easy Steps to Effective Sponsorship Request Letters + FREE Templates

Posted by Summy Lau on Jun 7, 2016 9:28:55 AM

Kit-diagram-sneak-peek-circle-with-picture.pngEvent fundraising raises a lot of money in a short amount of time, but the annual gala and golf tournament can be expensive to run as well. Fortunately, securing sponsorships is a great opportunity to offset event expenses while giving companies the chance to promote their brand at your event.

In a recent post, we looked at the importance of acquiring event sponsors, how to set sponsorship levels, ideas for publicity rewards and how to find like-minded potential sponsors.

Today we will go over the nuts and bolts of your nonprofit's most important tool in sponsorship acquisition: the request letter! Check out 10 easy steps to craft a concise, enthusiastic and effective sponsorship proposal letter.

Best of all, the letter doesn't need to take a ton of time. To assist, we are proud to unveil Winspire's latest free resource: a Sponsorship Kit! Click below to download the Kit with sample letters, forms and easy-to-customize templates that simplify the process from start to finish.

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, donation form, sponsorships

Donor Segmentation: The Email Tactic that Gets 65% More Responses

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 26, 2016 10:26:38 AM

donor segmentation

In recent weeks we've discussed a few key principles of effective event emails, including how to compose compelling "save the date" invitations and general tips for strategizing an email campaign.

Today let's look at a fundamental best practice that gets more conversionsthat is, more clicks and responses to your emails. This can look like more tickets sold, more social media shares, more registrations, and ultimately more revenue.

So, what's the key to increasing donor participation? Two steps: segmenting your donor base and targeting messaging to each different segment. It's that simple!

A recent survey by email service provider MailChimp shows just how effective this strategy is. They tracked 11,000 segmented email campaigns and found that list segmentation increased email click-through rates by 65% and open rates by 14% compared to their non-segmented emails, while trimming unsubscribes by 9%. Other research suggests 24% of companies that segment lists see increased revenue as a result.

Sound good? Read on to learn how your organization can take advantage of this simple but impactful tactic.

Segmentation Overview

Your donor base is made up of unique individuals. Yes, they all have a common connection—an interest in your cause—but no two supporters are alike. There are obvious differences, like age and gender, but also ones below the surface, like personal background and motivations.

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, email marketing

From Fundraising to "Friend-raising": 5 Post-Auction Must-Do's to Grow Lasting Relationships

Posted by Summy Lau on Mar 1, 2016 9:43:33 AM

You spend months procuring amazing auction items, coaching volunteers, promoting the event and planning logistics. On the night of the auction, everyone has a great time and you exceed your fundraising goals. It's almost time to celebrate!

The last piece of the puzzle? Donor outreach and follow-up.

While nonprofits understand the need to thank everyone involved after a big event, not all take full advantage of the opportunity to connect with supporters in other strategic ways.

Here are 5 ways to make the most of your post-event donor outreach and cultivate rich relationships with your supporters for years to come.

1. Learn more about attendees and get feedback.

Sometimes the only piece of information you have about guests, especially new ones, is that they’re willing and able to give to your cause. So finding out more about them is key to connecting in an authentic, meaningful way.

Read More

Topics: auctions, donor-relations, nonprofit survey

How Well Do You Really Know Your Donors?

Posted by Ian Lauth on Feb 5, 2015 11:01:00 AM


How much do you really know about your donor base? Sure, you might know some general facts such as their age and gender, but do you know what their interests are? What they do for a living? What motivates them to support your organization? What they like and don’t like about your fundraising events?

Establishing a positive relationship and learning more about your donors is an important step toward hosting successful fundraising events. When you have an idea of what makes your donors tick, you’ll be able to tailor your events to match their interests and preferences.

So how do you learn about your donors? The best way to acquire as much information as possible is to use several different methods. Here are 4 things to consider:

1. Web search

linkedin-screenshotA basic web search is a great way to start researching donors – especially when you know little to nothing about them. Try a Google search and look at their social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn. While looking online doesn't really qualify as "in-depth research", you still might be able to learn some basic information like where donors work, organizations they are associated with, hobbies and recent vacations they took. Remember... pictures are worth a thousand words

2. Surveys

Surveys allow you to collect information about a large group of people. In your surveys, find out what your donors’ interests and hobbies are. You should also ask supporters what they would like incorporated into future events. That way, you’ll be able to pinpoint what donors liked or didn’t like about past fundraising efforts. A great source you can use to create free online surveys is www.surveymonkey.com

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, donor development, nonprofit survey

8 Ways to Cultivate Major Donors with Experiential Travel

Posted by Ian Lauth on Jan 27, 2015 11:56:00 AM


Special events are the most widely used method for cultivating new major donors. Nonprofits host big events as an entry point for potential high net-value donors to come learn about the cause and meet the people behind the scenes (that's you), planting the seed for a relationship that moves them toward major giving.

The toughest piece of this donor cultivation process - especially at a big fundraising event - is building that relationship. If you're busy running around and you only have time to introduce yourself to a few people, who do you spend your time socializing with?


How can you tell which new faces in the room may be interested in - or have the resources for - becoming a major donor? Even once you've identified these people, how do you go about setting up a post-event meeting to further discuss their involvement?

One of the best ways to zero in on these folks is through offering big-ticket live auction items like Experiential travel packages. Here are 8 steps for cultivating major donors using no-risk auction travel packages:

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, donor development, cultivating major donors, donor cultivation, travel budgets

5 Ways to Develop Donors with a Culture of Gratitude

Posted by Jeff Cova on Dec 2, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Five Ways to Create a Culture of Gratitude

Donor development can be an overwhelming process. The job of cultivating donors, engaging target audiences, building personal relationships and determining the proper timing of "the ask" are all crucial to achieving fundraising success. With each multi-layered step, it’s easy to lose sight of the single-most important part of donor retention: expressing your gratitude. 

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful or the "readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness". This is an important concept that takes a central role in fundraising, but can sometimes get glossed over when the focus falls too heavily on numbers and figures.

Being a grateful recipient shows your charity cares - not only about the mission at hand, but about the people who make it possible. Donors are people, not numbers. They want to feel appreciated for their contribution and reassured that their money matters. Whether they give $5 or $50,000, every gift is a reason to extend gratitude.

Following are five ways gratitude can help you develop and strengthen your donor relationships:

1. Make gratitude the priority

Whether or not someone is going to donate again shouldn't be the primary focus when expressing gratitude. While creating repeat donors is clearly an important part of developing your donors, don't give thanks just to get another gift; give thanks because it's the right thing to do. Donors deserve to enjoy their giving, and by showing your gratitude you let them feel good about their generosity. This is an important part of the philanthropic process and an absolute necessity in donor development.

Read More

Topics: donor-relations, donor development

Importance of Individual Giving [GRAPHIC]

Posted by Ian Lauth on Nov 11, 2014 12:31:00 PM

Importance of Individual Giving!

Individual giving is the biggest revenue stream for most Nonprofits, and it all starts with fundraising events. 

According to Giving USA, gifts from individual donors accounted for 81% of giving in 2010, while only 19% of giving came from foundations and corporations. A more recent study conducted by Giving USA shows that this trend is continuing to grow. In 2014, corporate giving declined 3.2%, while donations from living Americans grew 2.7%. Individual donors are clearly necessary for Nonprofits to thrive. 

For development teams, that means donor procurement, cultivation and stewardship need to be a focus every single day with the ultimate goal of establishing donor relationships that result in lifelong donors.

Here we break down the above graphic to explain the continuum of donor development:

The Donor Continuum

Donor Continuum (Events Entry Point)Events (Entry Point)Fundraising events like dinner galas and golf tournaments are the point of entry where prospective donors are identified and first contact is made through their participation at the event. This could include socializing during cocktail hour or connecting with new guests over an auction item they win during the event.

Read More

Topics: fundraising, donor-relations, donor development, individual giving, donor continuum

Donation Give-Away

Posts by Topic

see all

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.