In the last post (“Why Auction Trips Make Sense”), we presented some compelling evidence showing that people who attend charity events like to travel. By offering great travel packages at your event, you can tap into your guests' vacation budgets, providing them with the opportunity to buy trips while supporting your organization.
So how do you go about getting your hands on exciting vacation travel packages to use as part of your fundraising event?
Putting together auction travel packages with donated components is often easier said than done. With donated trips, you get what you get. A one-night hotel stay? Round-trip airfare with restrictions? Tickets to a Yankees’s game on August 9? While these are a good start, it's often difficult to turn these bits and pieces into really unique and successful auction packages.
Note About Donated Airfare: Check the fine print on any donated airfare certificates or airline miles you get for your event. Are there blackout dates? When does it expire? Can it be replaced if lost? These are questions that often go unasked until a winning bidder tries to use their certificate - at which point you have a frustrated donor who will think twice about purchasing from one of your events in the future.
Consider the time and effort necessary to go about seeking donated items. It takes a strong effort by a dedicated procurement team to make this happen. You go out in the community, send letters and emails, do a lot of follow up and then ultimately, wait and hope for the best. Fortunately, leaving it up to fate isn’t your only option.
Winspire offers auction travel packages that have been carefully researched and refined. The development process can take months, with every detail (air, lodging, experiences) going through rigorous evaluation and analysis. We consider things like where the top travel destinations are and what sporting and entertainment events are on peoples’ bucket lists. We search for hotels that are highly rated, using tools like TripAdvisor, Travel + Leisure Magazine ratings, and Conde Nast and AAA Diamond awards.
Ultimately, we make sure they are places Winspire staff and our families would want to stay. If it's not good enough for us, it's not good enough for you or your donors! We keep blackout dates to a minimum and list them in the auction package description so there are no surprises when the guest books their trip. If – and only if – a trip or experience passes our rigid internal standards will you see it listed on our website.
During the development of a Winspire Experience, we ask ourselves a few basic questions:
- Is this a trip or experience I would be excited about?
- Would I recommend this to a friend or family member?
- Would I be satisfied delighted with the travel arrangements?
This is how we determine if a new package meets our standards and how we are able to offer the kind of unique experiences that appeal to your patrons and gets them excited about bidding. We understand that exceeding winning bidders’ expectations with phenomenal experiences will ensure repeat customers - or in your case repeat donors! By making sure your donors are thrilled with their trips, they will look forward to next year's event with anticipation to see what other trips and experiences you offer!
We know we have one chance to make a lasting impression on you and your patrons, so we take great care to build auction travel packages that are solid and impressive. Remember, there are people in your audience who, if presented with terrific trips and experiences, will pay top dollar for their next vacation - and do so while supporting your organization.
About Sharon Ruback
Having been a member of the Winspire team since its inception, Sharon works with hospitality and travel partners to expand and enhance Winspire's portfolio of experiences.
A self-proclaimed armchair traveler, she focuses on developing trips and experiences that will bring a "wow" factor to charity fundraising events. The better the experiences she puts together, the more money Nonprofits can raise. With 200+ packages -- and more in the works -- the possibilities are endless! You can also find Sharon on Google+.