Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising, charity auctions and no-risk travel packages.
"Dear Winspire, How many items should we put in the live auction portion of our fundraising gala? We usually have around 125 guests. Last year, we auctioned off 17 items and the coordinator said it was way too many – that people lost interest by the end. Do you have any suggestions before Monday's auction meeting?" - Nancy B., Indiana This is one of the most common questions we get: What's the right number of live auction items? Too few, and you've left money on the table. Too many, and you risk losing the crowd's focus.
When the presentation has loaded, click the full screen icon in the bottom right () to view larger As an event organizer or volunteer, what would you say is the #1 challenge fundraising events face? Is it procuring the right auction items? Choosing the best time and date? Just getting people in the doors? We think it's not taking advantage of every revenue opportunity. All too often we underestimate the spending power of attendees. This "deadly sin" of fundraising events can show up in many ways: not charging enough for admission; delivering a timid cash appeal; wasting precious minutes on non-income generating entertainment; and as we'll discuss today, offering the same items in the charity auction year after year. One revenue opportunity not to be missed: incorporating travel into your event. Travel is consistently a top seller at auctions, and here's why: People love traveling. (Who doesn't love a vacation?) Donors budget for travel. (Studies show 83% of winning bidders set aside over 5 grand for leisure travel each year.) Unique travel Experiences help your event stand out from the competition. (Did you know the majority of winning bidders attend 4 or more philanthropic events annually?) Whether you procure trips yourself or partner with a reputable provider like Winspire, travel can be a game-changer for your bottom line. Read on to learn just how much money you could be leaving on the table without a way to access your donors' travel budgets.
"How many auction items do you recommend for a fundraising event with X amount of guests?" This is a question we get all the time, and for good reason. Include too many, and the items will fetch fewer, smaller bids. Including too few may drive bids higher, but you've lost out on revenue bidders would have spent on more items. Perhaps there's a better question to ask: How many auction items will we need to meet our fundraising goal? Most nonprofits look at audience size to determine how many items they need in the auction (more on that below), but today we'll use an equally important metric: your fundraising goal. Fact is, the quality of your items can affect the quantity you need to procure. Using a few simple formulas, you can break down any revenue goal—no matter how insurmountable it may seem—into the approximate amount and caliber of items needed. To deduce your event's "magic number" of auction items, check out our handy infographic below.
We've all heard April showers bring May flowers, but those in the nonprofit world know what else spring brings: a peak time for event fundraising. Preparation for galas, raffles and auctions has already begun filling the calendars of many nonprofits. Auctions in particular can raise significant revenue in a short amount of time, but when it comes to procuring auction items that actually attract bidders, it's hard to know where to start. The collective sum of trusty auction standbys—think donated gift baskets, restaurant gift cards and jewelry—doesn’t draw in as much revenue as you’d like. Worse, they don’t generate the kind of “buzz” that gets people in the door, and give donors the impression of a "been there done that" event rather than an exciting shopping spree. The good news: Careful planning and some creativity can help you curate an auction catalog worth talking about. In this post, we’ll review a few essential strategies to set up your auction for success. Tip #1: Form an enthusiastic, well-informed committee dedicated to auction item procurement. It can be tempting to task a development coordinator, volunteer manager or even the executive director of your organization with procuring donated items—in addition to everything they’re already doing to get ready for the event.
We are happy to announce the new Donation Give-Away for March: Wrigley Field Rooftop Bleachers and Dining Experience with 3-Night Fairmont Stay for (2). Winners of this month's Donation Give-Away can donate this Winspire package to be used in a fundraiser of your choice. The experience give winners the chance to take part in a Wrigley Field tradition that goes back to the first Opening Day in 1914 by watching baseball from a rooftop on Waveland Ave. Kick back and enjoy the game with fantastic ballpark food and ice cold beverages. Pass this article along to all your co-workers and friends who support your organization asking them to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to greatly increase your chances of winning! Unlike the ball field, the rooftop admission provides your seats, unlimited beverages (premium and domestic beers, California wines and soft drinks) and unlimited appetizers, entrees and desserts with a large and varied menu of popular Chicago summer fair served over the course of the game. Enjoy seasonal salads, Chicago-style hot dogs, BBQ chicken and burgers, snacks, cookies, brownies and chef’s specialties. Vegetarian items are available on request. Valid for the Chicago Cubs regular season games, subject to availability. Excludes Boston Red Sox series (June 2012) and may exclude other premium series in future seasons. ALSO INCLUDED is a three-night stay with daily breakfast for (2) at your choice of one of these 4-Diamond luxury hotels: Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park - Rising gracefully above Grant Park and Chicago's impressive lakefront, The Fairmont Chicago is located conveniently near major cultural attractions, the city's business and financial district and the world renowned shopping along the Magnificent Mile. With beautifully appointed, extraordinarily spacious guestrooms, The Fairmont Chicago offers guest privileges at the adjacent Lakeshore Athletic Club, Chicago's finest health, athletic and spa facility. - OR - Swissôtel Chicago – Located just steps from The Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago, you will enjoy striking lake and skyline views from your oversized guest room. Pamper yourself with the award-winning hospitality at Swissôtel Chicago, which sets the standard for downtown Chicago hotel accommodations. Precise Swiss service - combined with American energy and European elegance - make this distinctive landmark the perfect place for distinguished tastes. The winner of the monthly Donation Give-Away gets to choose an organization or fundraiser where this Winspire Experience can be used to raise money. To be eligible for our monthly Donation Give-Away, you must Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter. If you do both, you double your chances of winning. Like on Facebook Follow on Twitter Forward to a Friend Each month we will select at random from all online followers. There is no limit to the number of people from your Non-Profit who can enter, so send this along to your staff and get as many people to participate as possible! Questions? Email Us. Follow Us on Twitter | Like Us on Facebook | Subscribe to our Newsletter
We wanted to share a comment from the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA who used a Winspire Package in their fundraising event... "We got a late start on procurement. Winspire came to our rescue with great packages for our event and turned it into a spectacular success! The auctioneer that was suggested went above and beyond, as he took the time to learn about our organization and understood the urgent need that we were attempting to meet within the community; the reason for our fundraiser. Winspire worked with us to select the items for our auction and was available to us by cell for last minute questions even minutes before the auctioneer took the stage. We will definitely use Winspire again and would recommend their services to any organization planning an auction. I look forward to working with Winspire again next year!!" - Dream Center If you are interested in including a Unique Package Experience from Winspire in your fundraising event or auction, please email us or give us a call at 877-544-8555 to speak with a Winspire Team Member.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.