9 Simple Safeguards to Sidestep Legal Troubles in Your Fundraiser

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 27, 2017 7:10:00 AM

Tovella Dowling podcast cover-2.pngWhen it comes to benefit events, unknown variables come with the territory. You can't know for sure if you'll reach your fundraising goals, get bids in the live auction, smoothly execute the night's agenda and more.

However, if low bids, sloppy mistakes or an unenthusiastic audience seem like worst case scenarios - you'll want to read on.

Ever considered the consequences of holding an unauthorized raffle? What if a donor gets injured on the golf course? How about the illegal or irresponsible sale of alcohol at the annual gala?

We don't like to think about these "what if's", but legal troubles cause much more than a one-time revenue hit - they can put good nonprofits in financial jeopardy.

Fortunately, a little preparation now can spare you major headache down the road. To gain insight, we sat down with Mary Tovella-Dowling, an attorney at For Purpose Law Group in San Diego, Calif., for a recent episode of Winspire's podcast Events with Benefits.

Tovella-Dowling offers invaluable, money-saving preventive measures for charities to take before getting into hot water due to disputes or accidents. Learn why and how to...

  • Seek legal advice
  • Comply with local, state and federal laws
  • Properly insure events (and volunteers)
  • Serve alcohol responsibly
  • Protect yourself with corporate sponsorship contracts

...and more! Learn the actions to take now, to protect your nonprofit's sustainability for years to come.

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Topics: nonprofits

31 Ideas for Unique, Buzzworthy Silent Auction Baskets

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 25, 2017 7:11:00 AM
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If you've ever been involved with a charity silent auction, you know gift baskets are a given. They can range anywhere from $50 to $500 in value, depending on the quality and exclusivity of the items, and are popular for a few reasons:

  • The contents are relatively simple to procure. It may be less intimidating for new donors, smaller businesses and individuals to sponsor part of an auction item or a basket rather than the big-ticket items in a live auction. (Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask!)
  • You can bundle smaller donations into one package greater than the sum of its parts, especially if the baskets are well decorated and displayed.
  • Putting out a variety of themed baskets ensures the auction will appeal to virtually all bidders. There's something for everyone, at all spending capacities.

Last year we curated a list of 26 creative, attractive silent auction basket ideas sure to make a splash with donors. The post generated a huge response from our readers - so much so, we went back to the drawing board for even more ideas!

Without further ado, here are 31 brand new ideas for unique, buzzworthy silent auction baskets, plus free resources and downloads to assist with the procurement process.

Category: Food & Drink

Tea Basket-617630-edited.jpg1. A Spot of Tea. Combine a pretty tea pot with plenty of tea (both bagged and loose leaf) in a variety of flavors: fruit, herbal and black. Include a tea steeper, honey, crackers, cookies, biscotti, truffles and a tea towel. Spruce up the package with fresh decorations to complement the color of the pot and teas, like lavender flowers, lemons or peppermint sprigs. (Pin source: Allison B.)

2. Chocolate Celebration. Who doesn't love chocolate? Curate an assortment of gourmet chocolates, caramels and chocolate-covered fruits, nuts and coffee beans from around the world (check this guide for fair-trade artisan chocolate). Add antioxidant-rich hot cocoa powder and a chocolate fondue set (complete with skewers and melting chocolate) for good measure. Finally, consider including a cocoa-factory tour or tasting to top off an all-around luxurious basket.

3. Cheers to Beer. Craft beer is hugely popular right now, and any basket stocked with high-quality, full-flavored global beers is sure to be a hit.

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Topics: Silent Auction Ideas, event-production, auction item procurement, silent auction items, auction displays

Top 10 Critical Items to Bring to a Fundraising Auction

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM

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To call fundraising events complex would be an understatement.

With so many moving parts and unknown variables, most nonprofits learn from past experience... which typically means sacrificing significant revenue right out of the gate.

While no event is perfect, most common errors can be prevented. Why not learn from someone else's mistakes and close calls to raise a whole lot more for your cause?

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Topics: event-production

April Donation Give-away Winner Announced! Congrats goes to...

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 13, 2017 6:05:00 AM

April 2017 Donation Giveaway Winner: Miracle League Las Vegas

We are thrilled to announce the winner of Winspire's second Donation Give-Away drawing of 2017!

Congratulations goes to Robin Loyed, Board Member and Game Day Announcer at Miracle League of Las Vegas, a charitable organization that provides children and adults with special needs the opportunity to play baseball in a safe, nurturing environment.

It's our honor to be able to donate a 2-night stay at the spectacular Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, Calif., a Preferred Hotels property, for their use in an upcoming fundraiser.

After the drawing, we reached out to Loyed to find out more about their cause and how the prize can be used to generate revenue for Miracle League. Read on to learn more, plus get a sneak peek at our next giveaway!

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Topics: donation-give-away, donation-give-away-winner, nonprofits

How One Silent Auction Chair Procures 700+ Items Annually

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 11, 2017 9:12:42 AM

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Whether your fundraising event is in one week, one month or one year, chances are your charity auction could benefit from a few more unique, valuable items.

Are you getting items that will "wow" donors, sell tickets and ultimately generate the bids needed to meet your revenue goals?

If not - how can you equip your procurement committee with the necessary tools for success?

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Topics: donor-relations, auction item procurement, procurement packet

Donor Retention Sinks in 2017: How to Increase Your Rates INFOGRAPHIC

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 6, 2017 11:04:25 AM

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In the business world, you may have heard that attracting new talent costs much more than retaining employees. Did you know the same principle is true for donors?

A recent study by the Association of Fundraising Professional's Fundraising Effectiveness Project concluded donor retention reached a 9-year low of 46 percent in 2016 - despite an increase in revenue and donors overall.

What does this mean for your organization?

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Topics: social-media, donor-relations, donor retention, email marketing

Don't Give Up: Auctioneer Shares Tips to Save a Dying Fundraising Auction

Posted by Summy Lau on Apr 4, 2017 11:08:50 AM

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When it comes to charity auctions, many organizers simply "don't know what they don't know." Unfortunately, a lack of professional expertise is the #1 reason events fall short of their revenue goals.

To help provide the expertise needed for success, we interviewed Cheryl Parker, certified benefit auctioneer specialist in San Diego, Calif., for a recent episode of event fundraising podcast Events with BenefitsParker shares her simple - yet often overlooked - strategies for generating as much revenue as possible at auction events.

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Topics: event-production, live auction, live auction items

Chari-Tee Time: 10 Expert Tips to Host a Flawless Benefit Golf Tournament

Posted by Summy Lau on Mar 30, 2017 9:55:16 AM

10 tips for charity golf tournament.pngSpring may have only begun last week, but it's already time to start thinking about fundraising ideas for the summer. Thanks to a slew of holidays and more relaxed schedules, summer is the perfect opportunty to engage donors with smaller events and short giving campaigns. Even better, you'll be competing with less competition from other nonprofits to stand out in a crowded space.

One strategy is hosting a golf tournament. Why are they so popular?

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Topics: golf-travel-package, golf-experience, golf, event-production

Lessons Learned from Our Top 3 Podcast Episodes (So Far)

Posted by Summy Lau on Mar 21, 2017 9:35:11 AM

Events with Benefits - Top 3 Most Popular Episodes of 2017

What a whirlwind 2017 has been so far! We're just one quarter in, and already we have developed groundbreaking resources in the world of event fundraising.

In a recent Winspire News survey, the majority of readers (52 percent) noted a desire for more visual content, like webinars and infographics. We've since added 3 new webinars to the Webinar Library all about best practices to maximize revenue from live auctions and fund-a-needs.

Another 33 percent of readers indicated an interest in audio content - namely podcasts - so you can continue fundraising education on your own time. As a result, we launched a brand-new podcast in January called Events with Benefits.

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Topics: fundraising, charity auction ideas

7 FUN Ideas for Online Fundraising: Auctions, Webinars, E-commerce and More

Posted by Summy Lau on Mar 16, 2017 9:08:33 AM

7 FUN online fundraising ideas for nonprofit fundraising

Whether you’re raising money for a community project, a research facility or a local animal shelter, there are a number of tried and tested methods for raising funds... so much so, it can be hard to come up with any original ideas for connecting new people to your cause.

Thankfully, the internet has opened up a wealth of new channels and possibilities for fundraisers. 

They key to standing out from the crowd: Keep your online fundraising endeavors both fun and profitable.

Fun ideas like online auctions, hosting webinars and even setting up an e-commerce store work wonders for both organizations and individuals looking to raise money. Here's why.

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Topics: fundraising, online donors, nonprofit websites

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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.