WINSPIRE NEWS

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

This Simple Tool Delivers the Know-how to Raise $100,000 in One Night

Posted by Summy Lau
Checklist Builder - Event planning checklist software

Which type of fundraising event makes the most money in the shortest amount of time? Is it a golf tournament or gala, 5K run/walk or raffle? Our answer: events with auctions, and for one simple reason. They make it fun for guests to spend money quickly.

At a typical auction...

A nonprofit has set up a one-night-only storefront where everything must go. Donors arrive ready to compete for the best deals on unique items procured around the community.

First guests browse the silent auction tables. Throw in dinner, cocktails, socializing and a good cause, and the money starts to flow very quickly. The silent auction is then closed and items sold to the highest bidder.

Next comes the live auction. The energy of the evening is at its peak. A skilled benefit auctioneer taps into people’s competitive nature. She combines one-upmanship and big egos with an eager audience to ignite bidding wars. Tens of thousands of dollars are generated in a matter of minutes.


These prestigious social events combine ticket sales, special cash appeals and winning bids to raise anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million in one night.

Event planning checklistSo, how do they raise that kind of money?

Welcome to the less glamorous side of event fundraising: Successful auctions require a ton of work and expertise. Committee chairs and legions of volunteers spend the better part of a year procuring donated items, creating displays, promoting the event, and more...all hoping the event will be both fun and profitable.

Auction planning is extremely complex, and many steps can be mishandled or overlooked.

The secret to navigating the process and acheiving your event's full potential is professional guidance. Imagine having an auction expert by your side to advise best practices, track logistics and suggest hidden revenue opportunities.

Wouldn't it be great knowing you've handled everything that needs to get done?

That’s where Checklist Builder comes in.

For months we have been developing a brand-new resource for event fundraisers in the Winspire community. Today we are proud to unveil Checklist Builder for you to try absolutely free!

Sign up Free

Read on to learn more about this new tool and how your organization can benefit.

What is Checklist Builder?

Checklist Builder is a simple web-based planning tool for fundraising events that doubles as an expert resource library.

Checklist Builder - funrdraising auction software
✓ Checklists provide task accountability.

Checklist Builder contains pre-populated checklists that cover all the different aspects of planning a charity event. It's a digital, shareable to-do list created by fundraising professionals specifically for events with charity auctions.

Here are just a few of the recommended committees from Checklist Builder, each of which has a comprehensive list of tasks and practical resources.

event planning checklist software
  • Steering (Free!)
  • Finance (Free!)
  • Design & Printing (Free!)
  • Volunteers (Free!)
  • Venue & Catering
  • Silent & Live Auction
  • Sponsorship
  • Entertainment
  • Publicity

Digital checklists make mobilizing a team easier than ever. Event chairs easily add committee members, delegate tasks, monitor their completion and edit or add tasks as needed. This keeps everyone on the same page, saves time and eliminates redundancy.

Resources educate users on best practices and the latest fundraising ideas.

fundraising auction event planningThe second key feature of Checklist Builder is the helpful tools, articles, PDFs and templates embedded right into relevant tasks. This content comes from our collaboration with certified Benefit Auctioneer Specialist Danny Hooper, one of the leaders in the industry and author of Easy Money – How to Generate Record Profits at Your Next Fundraising Auction Event.

These resources provide not only best practices for live and silent auctions, but also must-try revenue ideas and fresh strategies that take your event to the next level. Team members can access all of this information on-the-go from any internet enabled device.

Sign up Free

Who should use Checklist Builder?

Checklist Builder is for anyone who wants to organize a successful fundraising event, regardless of level of experience, organization size, team size or budget.

I'm new to organizing auctions. Is Checklist Builder right for me?

Absolutely. The amount of expertise packed into Checklist Builder makes it especially useful for new or less experienced Event Chairs or Directors, volunteers and committee members.

Checklist Builder - Event planning softwareWhat we've seen: Event Chairs have a passion for the cause, leadership skills and significant event planning experience. However, this important role is typically volunteer-based with high turnover. Like you, many Event Chairs are stepping into the auction planning world for the first time.

What's more, all too often they aren't provided with any documented body of knowledge (like an "Auction Binder" containing past lists, contacts and sponsors) for reference as they begin planning, which can be overwhelming.

Checklist Builder provides a simple, sustainable solution to the "revolving door" Event Chair.

How does Checklist Builder work?

Checklist Builder is a secure web app that doesn't require any downloads, just a free registered account and login. For a preview, check out the video below or visit "How Checklist Builder Works" - then sign up free in under a minute.

Is Checklist Builder really free?

Checklist Builder is 100% free to try. With a free Checklist Builder account, you'll automatically have access to four of the most important committees in the event planning process: Steering, Finance, Design & Printing and Volunteer Committees. These free committees are loaded with tasks and resources to help you stay organized while planning your auction.

Simply click here to sign up. It takes about 30 seconds, and no credit card is required. Then click "Activate Committee" to assign a chairperson and view all the helpful tasks.

If you like what you see, you can unlock the full list of committees and a wealth of additional knowledge by purchasing a paid subscription for $99, which lasts one year. (For the amount of expertise and oversight packed in one tool, plus full access to help and support, we think this is a real bargain. This investment is designed to revive and revolutionize fundraising.)

Checklist Builder - Event software

We wanted to create an event planning checklist tool that's simple, user-friendly and educational for everyone in the Winspire community. The end result is a resource unlike any other we've released to date. We hope you will give Checklist Builder a try and help make it better with your feedback and questions.

Click here to sign up for Checklist Builder today!

Event Production, Silent Auctions, Live Auction
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.

Related Posts

5 Great Ways to Promote Your Charity Event

If you're hosting a Nonprofit charity event, you'll want to promote it to spread your message as far and wide as possible! Living in the era of the short attention span, it's not always easy to get the attention of your ideal audience when promoting an event. That's why you have to get creative and think outside the box when promoting it.

Creative Ways to Thank Your Donors After an Event

Once your fundraiser is over, it can be tempting to bask in the excitement and, frankly, relief that your major event went well. However, even if you met your donations goals for the event, the time right after the event is critical. This time is a chance for you and your staff to reach out to donors and make it clear just how much you appreciate them. 🙌

10 Ideas for Fresh Summer Fundraisers

Running a summer fundraising event presents unique challenges. You can expect that a number of your donors will be vacationing out of town, and attendance at any summer season event is certain to be competing with a busy calendar of weddings, graduations and family get-togethers. Yet the "downtime" of the summer season also has its upside for event planners. 🌞 The leisurely pace of May to September provides the perfect opportunity to engage with donors and to organize some exciting outdoor events.