WINSPIRE NEWS

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

The Best Way for Your Donors to Travel to Cuba

The most important key to success in auction fundraising events is offering desirable items worth the high bids you seek. One that certainly fits the bill: a bucket-list trip to Havana, Cuba. From an easing of travel restrictions to the passing of longtime president Fidel Castro, Cuba has dominated the headlines throughout 2016. Celebrities like Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra and most famously Ernest Hemingway flocked to the Caribbean nation in the 1950s - but economic embargoes and tourism bans soon made it difficult for the vast majority of Americans to visit the island's beaches, culture and cuisine. In 2016, a series of regulation changes made travel to Cuba much simpler. Today, 10 major airlines (including United, Delta, American and Southwest) are sending a total of 20 flights from the U.S. to Havana daily, eliminating the need to coordinate charter flights or enter through a different country. In addition to greater accessibility, it's easier than ever to stay connected on the island. Business Insider reports, "Several U.S. mobile carriers have signed voice, text and data-roaming agreements with Etecsa, the Cuban telecommunications provider," plus the number of Wi-fi hotspots continues to grow. As a result of the changes, the New York Times noted last week that Cuba was in the U.S. top five most searched and booked destinations on Cyber Monday this year. It was also the fastest-growing destination throughout the year, up 153 percent from 2015. Imagine giving your donors the chance to support your cause while buying an incredible excursion to Cuba. Although tourism is still prohibited, your winning bidders can still enjoy all Cuba has to offer. Read on to see how Winspire takes care of the details for travelers to ensure their vacation is unforgettable. Trips for education and culture Fully guided group tours to Cuba have been permitted for some time. However, as of March 2016, the U.S. government allows citizens to also make “individual people-to-people educational trips”. To that end, Winspire put together our signature Havana Highlights Experience. The itinerary meets the criteria of education, as winning bidders are introduced to the culture of Cuba through guided visits to Havana's most popular destinations. They'll also have plenty of free time to explore on their own and customize their trip—the best of both worlds. Check out just a few of the guided excursions your donors will enjoy.

  • 6 min read
  • Dec 20, 2016 8:05:00 AM

Fundraising Tip: Maximize your Silent Auction Revenue by Offering a “Buy It Now” Feature

When it comes to silent auctions, there is a common misconception with both auction planners and prospective bidders that there is one winner for each item. While that may be true for many items on a silent auction table, this is not the case with Winspire’s no-risk travel, entertainment and sports packages. Each of our packages has been developed so that they can be sold multiple times in a single event.

  • 1 min read
  • Jan 20, 2012 12:15:00 AM

January Donation Give-Away: Indy-Style Open-wheel Racing Experience

We are happy to announce the new Donation Give-Away for January: Indy-Style Open-wheel Racing experience for (1) at your choice of participating locations. Have the need for speed? Feeling adventurous? The Mario Andretti Racing School Experience offers your party of (1) an unforgettable and thrilling racing experience. Mario Andretti Racing School Experience, "The World's Fastest Driving Experience" puts you behind the wheel of a full sized, Indy-style race car. If driving these cars weren't thrilling enough, add the fact that you'll be taking laps on the world's premiere superspeedways.

Winning Bidder Experience - Las Vegas 3-Night Stay with Cirque Du Soleil VIP Tickets

We wanted to share a comment from one of our winning bidders who recently returned from her trip for two to The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas VIP...

Event Spotlight: The 2011 Dennis James 16th Annual Golf Classic

The 2011 Dennis James 16th Annual Golf Classic Reception was held Sunday, December 4 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa benefitting United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire. Kicking off the well-attended evening was MC Fitz Fitzgerald who introduced headlining comedian Josh Blue. Blue, the winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing,  has cerebral palsy and many of his jokes have to do with living with his disability, how he deals with it and how other people view him. The next day, a full field of players competed in the 16th Annual Golf Tournament at the Mission Hills Tournament Course.

Fundraising Tip: Sell One Package to All of the Top Bidders

Several people bidding on the same package? Maximize your silent auction fundraising revenue by accepting the second highest bid and sell the package to the top two bidders. Then quickly go back to the third and fourth highest bidders who may well want to increase their bid slightly to be winners too! More happy winners, more excitement and more revenue for a great cause.

Event Follow Up: Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Gala

Two weeks ago we announced the Ohr O’Keefe event. In addition to being a really fantastic evening, they sold five exotic Winspire packages, allowing them to maximize their fundraising revenue at the event. Following is a list of the five Winspire packages they sold... San Francisco Tonga Room Dining Experience Dinner at Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, Fairmont San Francisco 3-Night Stay with Airfare for 2 (3370-2) Ireland Adventure 6-Night Getaway in Dublin, Ennis & Killarney, Historic Castle Overnight Stay, Rental Car, Guinness Storehouse VIP Tickets, Gap of Dunloe & Aran Islands Excursions with Airfare for 2 (1302-2)

Big Brothers Big Sisters "Get Their Feet Wet"

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien & Cass in Michigan (bbbsofbc.org) recently had a very successful fundraiser they almost didn't go through with due to staffing obstacles. Winspire worked with the organization to get the event in order, discussing various "Bucket List" items they could use to boost revenue and increase the profile of the auction. They enjoyed the concept of "Bucket List" items so much, they decided to name their event the "Time of Your Life Bucket List Evening Auction", and included multiple unique experience packages from Winspire. The event organizer, Kathryn S. Rossow, was thrilled by how the event turned out and had some kind words she wanted to share...

Travel Partner Spotlight: Celebrity Cruises

We would like to congratulate one of Winspire's Travel Partners, Celebrity Cruises, for some exceptional reviews they recently received. In the prestigious annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards celebrating the world’s best hotels, airlines, cities, islands and cruise lines, Celebrity ranked #1 in the highly competitive large-ship (2,500+ guests) category. Nearly 29,000 readers participated in Condé Nast Traveler’s 24th annual survey, evaluating cruise lines in seven areas: Food/Dining, Staterooms, Design/Layout, Crew/Service, Shore Excursions, Activities/Facilities and Itineraries/Schedules.

  • 3 min read
  • Nov 8, 2011 1:00:00 AM

New Winspire Package: 2012 U.S. Open Championship

The 2012 U.S. Open Championship will take place at the historic Olympic Club in San Francisco, former four-time host of the U.S. Open. Established in 1860 and dedicated to the pursuit of amateur athletic excellence, The Olympic Club enjoys the distinction of being America's oldest athletic club. One of its two historic clubhouses, The Lakeside Clubhouse, overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the club’s Lake Course will be the host site for the 2012 competition. Bordering Lake Merced, The Lake Course (6,812 yards, par 71) has been recognized by Golf Magazine in its list of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S. and in Golf Week's category of "America's 100 Best Classical Courses."

Winter Season 2011-12: Both Bad News & Good News

As the Northeastern U.S. digs itself out of the first major snow storm of the year, we are reminded that winter is on the way. The Bad News:  according to James Madden from Exacta Weather, a non-profit weather organization comprised of meteorologists from all over the world, “There is a potentially record breaking US winter for 2011 and 2012 with extremely cold temperatures and exceptional levels of snow.” The Good News: This means another amazing year for winter sports at ski and snowboard resorts throughout North America! Winspire offers a variety of ski-related packages for use in fundraising events.  Among our most popular is Fairmont Chateau Whistler (British Columbia) 3-Night Ski Package. In addition to staying at the famed, ski-in/ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel, winning bidders will have three full days to test their ski or snowboarding skills on 8,100 acres of terrain at the Whistler & Blackcomb resorts.  After a full day on the mountain, Whistler Villiage awaits with world class cuisine and a robust after-ski pub scene.

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