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Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising, charity auctions and no-risk travel packages.

Summy Lau

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.

Recent Posts:

Donation Giveaway: See who won a weeklong cruise for their cause!

We are thrilled to announce the winner of Winspire's second Donation Give-Away drawing of 2018!

  • 8 min read
  • May 15, 2018 8:15:55 AM

Auction Task Checklist: 1-3 Months Out

When your fundraising event countdown passes the 3-month mark, it's a good time to celebrate what you have accomplished and make final pushes to reach your goals. How will you ramp up your social media strategy? Which potential event sponsors and underwriters haven't yet responded? How many Fund-a-Need pre-donations have been collected? That's a lot of priorities to balance at once.

  • 7 min read
  • May 8, 2018 8:42:05 AM

Add 'Sizzle' to Summer/Fall Silent Auctions: 4 Quick Tips

Silent auctions used to be a side note in fundraising events, but with more organizations using fewer and higher-end items, they are making a bigger impact on revenue than ever. Silent auctions offer a fun, interactive opportunity for more guests to participate and support the cause.

  • 8 min read
  • May 2, 2018 6:08:00 AM

Auction Task Checklist: 3-5 Months Out

Planning a summer fundraising event? As the big day gets closer, there are countless details to finalize: the auction items, your social media strategy, event sponsors and more.

  • 6 min read
  • Apr 19, 2018 6:24:00 AM

3 Steps to Greater Volunteer Retention and Satisfaction

"Did you know there's approximately 61.8 million volunteers in the United States alone?" shares A.J. Steinberg, founder of Queen Bee Fundraising, in a recent episode of podcast Events with Benefits. "These are individuals who contribute a total of 8 billion hours of volunteerism per year. That volunteerism, if monetized, is equivalent to the gross domestic product of Egypt!" In addition to providing manpower, 67 percent of people who volunteer become supporters in a more meaningful way down the line. In an industry where a 2 to 5 percent response rate from appeals is considered successful - investing in your volunteers offers an incredible potential return. Volunteers are among your nonprofit's most important assets. Last week we shared part 1 of our session with Steinberg all about charity auction planning. Today we will focus on her tips for volunteer management and retention. Learn: How the "volunteer multiplication effect" boosts ticket sales The benefit of having two chair persons (a junior and senior) 3-step process to greater volunteer retention and satisfaction How to organize a volunteer "command center", and much more.

  • 15 min read
  • Apr 17, 2018 6:09:00 AM

Leverage Crowdfunding for Your Cause: Infographic shares 4 tips

Crowdfunding, or any form of group fundraising, used to refer to startups and individual projects seeking investors. Today, online crowdfunding sites (think Kickstarter and GoFundMe) have expanded to give individuals and organizations alike the power to create simple online support campaigns. Nonprofits are beginning to buttress traditional development strategies with online crowdfunding. In 2015, the crowdfunding industry raised over $17 billion in the United States alone. By 2025, crowdfunded donations are projected to reach nearly $100 billion. Yes, the iron is hot! Could your nonprofit benefit from the rise of crowdfunding? Read on for an infographic detailing trends and tips to get the most out of this unique fundraising opportunity.

  • 3 min read
  • Apr 12, 2018 5:37:00 AM

Charity auction success secrets: Better procurement, ticket sales, set-up & more

"The most common reason events fail is because organizers didn't do their homework right from day one," says A.J. Steinberg, founder of Queen Bee Fundraising and principal of Masquerade Events, on a recent episode of podcast Events with Benefits. "That means choosing the right type of event for your audience, creating a specific goal, and marketing successfully." With more than 20 years' experience planning fundraising events, Steinberg knows how to manage events as effectively, and with as little stress, as possible. Today we'll focus on her tips for hosting charity auctions, including: 3 most common auction planning pitfalls - and how to avoid Why ticket sales are higher for a first-year event than the third year The secret to getting more 'yeses' while procuring auction items The easiest way to transport and set up auction items If the content is helpful, be sure to listen to the whole episode and download Steinberg's free auction planning kit (including resources like the comprehensive Committee Task Outline).

  • 12 min read
  • Apr 10, 2018 6:15:00 AM

8 Things We Learned about Live Auctions from a Hit NBC Sitcom [video]

Charity auction success depends on expertise: knowing what to do to make the most of every opportunity and auction item. Arguably just as important is knowing what not to do, and that's what we're going to share today. In season 5 of popular NBC sitcom The Office, boss Michael Scott decides to hold a charity auction (called C.R.I.M.E. A.I.D.*) to replace stolen items after a break-in.

  • 7 min read
  • Apr 5, 2018 8:18:58 AM

Auction Task Checklist: 5-7 Months Out

If you've ever helped organize a fundraising event, it won't surprise you to hear event planning is certified tough. In fact, according to CareerCast's Most Stressful Jobs of 2018 list, 'Event Coordinator' is the fifth most stressful job out there!

  • 6 min read
  • Apr 3, 2018 6:35:00 AM

Attract more event sponsors: Expert shares tips and trends to snatch low-hanging fruit

You already know event sponsorships cover costs, boost revenue and lay the foundation for long-term partnerships. If you're considering offering table or booth space for sponsors at an upcoming event, or already have vendors lined up, you'll want to check out today's post.

  • 17 min read
  • Mar 29, 2018 6:35:00 AM

Fund-a-Need FAQs: When, where and how to conduct a successful cash appeal

Do you have donors who aren't interested in buying more "stuff" but want to support your cause nonetheless? Nearly all fundraising events can benefit from incorporating a fund-a-need or special appeal. But in a recent Winspire webinar, we learned more than 1 in 5 nonprofits aren't doing a special appeal at all!

  • 11 min read
  • Mar 27, 2018 9:00:32 AM

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