Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising and charity auctions.

Ian Lauth

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.

Recent Posts:

The Pitfalls of Creating a "Buyer's Market" at Your Silent Auction

As you prepare items for your nonprofit's next silent auction fundraiser, you would be inclined to think more is better. After all, who doesn’t want table after table of auction items for donors to bid on? More items means more bids means more money... right?? Well, not really. In fact, having too many items can be counterproductive and actually hamper the performance of all the items in your silent auction.  Problem: Having more auction items than bidders Offering guests too many silent auction items can cause decision-making fatigue, where guests end up shopping too much - instead of actually placing bids. Just like a kid in a candy store, they spend all their time running around trying to pick their favorite instead of actually spending the money in their pocket. With too much to choose from there is also less competition for each item. If there's something for everyone, what's the point of bidding?

  • 11 min read
  • Nov 18, 2015 10:40:10 AM

Choosing the Right Event Fundraiser for Your Nonprofit [INFOGRAPHIC]

With a limited number of fundraising events each year, it is important for nonprofits to choose events that will maximize their revenue while minimizing their expenses. A survey by Software Advice of roughly 100 nonprofits who had conducted at least one major fundraising event event in the past year showed that while Fun Runs/Walks can be an easy revenue generator, charity auction events still generate the most money.

  • 2 min read
  • Nov 10, 2015 6:00:00 AM

8 Email Campaign Tips for Promoting a Nonprofit Fundraising Event

Designing an effective email campaign for your nonprofit’s fundraising events doesn’t have to be daunting. Knowing a few of the components and understanding the strategies behind what constitutes a compelling email can help guide you to success through more ticket sales, higher demand for auction items and more overall excitement for your event. All of these design tips and more are demonstrated in this video tutorial, where we walk you through the creation of a promotional email campaign using Constant Contact. If you have any feedback, we would love to hear it! What are your biggest challenges when creating email campaigns for an event? Are there things you wish you could do better? Please leave a comment below and let us know! Following are the 8 design tips for creating an effective email campaign for your nonprofit event: 1. Demand attention Remember that every word and component you use should be engaging and demand attention. The average email user gets 416 promotional emails per month, and that doesn’t include personal or work emails. Your email has to capture a subscriber’s attention to make the cut and get opened.

  • 8 min read
  • Nov 3, 2015 5:30:00 AM

How to Create an Email Campaign For Your Charity Fundraiser [VIDEO]

→ Click here to view this video tutorial. For a nonprofit, email marketing is an ideal way to initiate and nurture relationships with donors. Not only is email cost effective, but it can reach a large number of recipients in a timely and relevant manner. Email marketing is especially useful for promoting charity fundraisers. A promotional email campaign can be used to generate excitement, drive ticket sales, highlight big-ticket auction items and remind your supporters about the impact they can make by attending your event.

  • 9 min read
  • Oct 27, 2015 8:13:45 AM

Going, Going ...Gone? Why Selling to the Highest Bidder Doesn't Always Make the Most Cents

Using consignment travel to supplement your charity auction is beneficial for many reasons - it saves time, adds variety, helps identify new donors - but what about raising money? The fact is, consignment travel packages can be extremely lucrative for your nonprofit, especially if you can sell a trip to several people and make a few hundred dollars from each sale.

  • 8 min read
  • Oct 20, 2015 11:14:21 AM

16 Fundraising Best Practices for Preventing Donor Fatigue

Donor fatigue describes the unfortunate situation where key contributors either reduce or stop donating to a nonprofit they had been consistently supporting in the past. Early signs of donor fatigue include: Reduced frequency of donations Smaller donation amounts Unresponsiveness to calls or letters

  • 13 min read
  • Oct 13, 2015 10:43:00 AM

6 Foodie Tips for Planning the Best Charity Event Menu Ever

Selecting the perfect menu for your charity event is more than just about food. Whether it's street-style food trucks or an elegant buffet, the food you serve can leave a lasting impression - whether it's good or bad - and have a powerful effect on the success of your next fundraiser.   Especially in today's "foodie culture", what you serve and how you serve it sends a message to your guests and potential donors. Hyping it ahead of time, including it in your pre-event promotional material and generally building excitement for the event is what sets the stage for a successful fundraiser.  Your menu also tells people what to expect from the event. Is it formal or casual? Festive or serious? Is it unique and exciting and something attendees can look forward to? Or is it just... blah. Rubber chicken, for example, doesn't do it for most people. Give them something out of the ordinary! Here are some useful tips for planning a menu that will delight guests and leave donors salivating for more fundraising events from your organization for years to come.

  • 10 min read
  • Oct 8, 2015 10:38:35 AM

October Donation Give-Away Winner: Imanni Burg from Moscow, Russia!

We are excited to announce the winner of the October 2015 Donation Give-Away drawing ...and boy were we in for a surprise when the winner turned out to be from Moscow, Russia!! Imanni Burg serves as the Executive Director and Development Director for MPC Social Services. Since 1991, MPC Social Services has supported poor and marginalized people in Moscow, Russia by providing:

  • 6 min read
  • Oct 6, 2015 8:09:03 AM

3 Ways Group Vacations Are Reaching Higher Bids and Developing Stronger Donors

Strolling through the streets of Paris with your sweetheart is the perfect way to celebrate your anniversary. But your 50th birthday calls for a party… Imagine you and some of your close friends on the beach in Cancun, enjoying an all-inclusive luxury resort. Or maybe your father-in-law is retiring and you want to get the family together to celebrate with a long weekend in Napa, staying in a 3-bedroom cottage at a winery. Point is, there are times when a shared experience is right for the occasion, which is why offering group opportunities for traveling with family and friends to your donors can dramatically increase the money you are able to raise in your live auction. It's a big trend! The latest trend that we’re seeing from nonprofits across the country is more travelers asking about group trips that include four or more people. Why? Because people love traveling in groups! Group experiences are popular for people of all ages - whether it's a couples retreat, family trip or a group of girlfriends celebrating a special life event. A few examples include...

  • 10 min read
  • Oct 1, 2015 2:09:12 PM

12 Theme Ideas Matched with Auction Items [Part 4 of 4]

In this four-part series we are showcasing 12 of the most popular fundraising event theme ideas and offering recommendations for food, entertainment, decorations and attire. We're also taking this opportunity to show how easy it is to incorporate Winspire auction items with almost any theme you can think of.  So far, the themes we've covered include...

  • 16 min read
  • Sep 22, 2015 9:35:02 AM

Can Auction Software Help My Fundraiser Make More Money?

The auction is over, receipts are in and thank you letters sent out. You can breathe a sigh of relief and take a much-deserved break. But as you look back over all the preparation and hard work that went into your auction, do you wonder if it could have been done a little easier and a lot more efficient? What about that swanky Hawaiian vacation everyone was eyeing? Did it really bring in much revenue? How do you know? Auction software helps you determine which items actually made money and which weren’t worth the effort of procuring them. 

  • 3 min read
  • Sep 17, 2015 10:50:57 AM

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