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Charity Auctions: Providing a Better Donor Experience

Charity auctions are amazing opportunities to engage with donors while raising money for your cause. As you know, the key to successful fundraising lies in positive donor experiences. While there’s a lot to plan when hosting a charity auction event, you’ll need to make sure donor engagement is a top priority. Charity auctions can either send your organization sailing past your fundraising goal...or leave you stuck with your oars lost at sea and goal nowhere in sight - and donor engagement plays a big role in determining which path you take. To help, we’ve gathered 7 tips to creating the ultimate donor experience at your next charity auction: Set your fundraising goal and budget. Find great charity auction software. Recruit your volunteers. Procure your auction items. Set a time, date, and venue. Choose an auctioneer. Promote your event. If you’re ready to host a stellar charity auction with the best donor experience, let's get started!

  • 12 min read
  • Nov 30, 2017 8:55:52 AM

Donor & Volunteer Current Trends: INFOGRAPHIC

At Winspire News, we strive to keep our readers informed with up-to-date information on the fundraising world. Perhaps no information is more important than understanding the motivations of your donor base. In today's infographic, we looked at recent Harris Poll survey data from over 2,000 U.S. adults on their nonprofit support and giving habits.

  • 3 min read
  • Jun 16, 2017 9:21:36 AM

How One Silent Auction Chair Procures 700+ Items Annually

Whether your fundraising event is in one week, one month or one year, chances are your charity auction could benefit from a few more unique, valuable items. Are you getting items that will "wow" donors, sell tickets and ultimately generate the bids needed to meet your revenue goals? If not - how can you equip your procurement committee with the necessary tools for success?

  • 13 min read
  • Apr 11, 2017 9:12:42 AM

Donor Retention Sinks in 2017: How to Increase Your Rates INFOGRAPHIC

In the business world, you may have heard that attracting new talent costs much more than retaining employees. Did you know the same principle is true for donors? A recent study by the Association of Fundraising Professional's Fundraising Effectiveness Project concluded donor retention reached a 9-year low of 46 percent in 2016 - despite an increase in revenue and donors overall. What does this mean for your organization?

  • 6 min read
  • Apr 6, 2017 11:04:25 AM

5 Easy Ways to Ward Off Fundraising Event Fatigue

Are your donors suffering from "event fatigue"? As experts in charity auction fundraising, we know events are an important part of many nonprofits' donor development strategy. When done right, they generate much-needed return and improved engagement with your supporters. However, it's important to know when an event has run its course, and change is needed.

  • 9 min read
  • Mar 14, 2017 11:00:59 AM

Nonprofit Email Marketing: What's Working in 2017 [Infographic + eBook]

With daylight savings time, longer days and (slightly) warmer weather on the horizon, we are officially in the thick of spring fundraising season. You're likely sending a flurry of emails promoting ticket sales, new auction items, save the dates, you name it. And as we recently reported on Winspire News, promotion is the #1 challenge event planners face. However, email isn't just for promoting one-time events - it's key to raising support year-round.

  • 2 min read
  • Mar 9, 2017 10:05:00 AM

Turn Guests into Givers: The 3 Building Blocks of Lasting Donor Relationships

Building relationships is not only a cornerstone of continual donor development - it's key to hosting successful fundraising events, too. Why? With high event chair turnover and staff spread thin, many organizations end up trying to reinvent the annual gala, auction or tournament from from the ground up, year after year. Investing more time in developing relationships now lightens the burden considerably for next year, asserts Noah McMahon, philanthropist, founder and CEO of Anonymous LLC (specializing in event production and philanthropic consulting).  "Relationships are like a web," McMahon says. "If you treat everybody with respect and don't expect anything in return, you end up getting so much in return." In today's post, learn McMahon's 3 building blocks to lasting relationships with donors, event sponsors and more to multiply the impact of every dollar raised. Then listen to the latest episode of our event fundraising podcast Events with Benefits (audio player embedded at the bottom of the post). Building Block 1: Start with the end in mind. "I've been involved in thousands of events over the past years, from events that raise over $10 million to events that simply raise awareness. But I probably spend more time talking people out of events than into them," explains McMahon. The first indicator of a potentially successful event is whether or not you have a goal. Events with no goals have no rudder. When planning your event, is everyone on the same page about what it is you're trying to achieve?

  • 5 min read
  • Feb 21, 2017 8:49:29 AM

How to Get Your Sponsorship Proposal to the Top of the Pile

For many nonprofits, sponsorship is considered a dirty word. Soliciting sponsorships from local businesses and individuals is a vital part of many organizations' development strategy. Unfortunately, you're stuck competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other nonprofits making the very same proposals every year. It's little wonder the vast majority of sponsorship solicitations are rejected or, more commonly, ignored. How can you fast-track your proposal to the top of the pile? In today's post, nonprofit board member and business owner Parker Pike shares his expertise from both sides of the table. He provides 3 steps you can take to amplify your cause with local businesses, plus real-life examples of success and missed opportunities. Then, head over to our weekly podcast, Events with Benefits, for the full 40-minute episode all about strategic partnerships. (You'll also get a link to download a free worksheet that helps you accurately monetize partnership with your organization.) Step 1. Decide if your organization should seek long-term partners and/or short-term sponsors. The terms "sponsorship" and "partnership" are often used interchangeably to refer to a donation from a local business or corporation. However, the one you use can influence how the donor perceives your proposal. Long-term "partnerships" are more valued and respected from the donors' perspective. Using the term "partnership" shows you've done your homework and understand the business's long-term needs. Partnership implies a strategic, win-win situation in which you're adding value to their company with media impressions and a positive boost to their reputation, while they're adding value to you through financial support. Short-term "sponsorships" refer to one-time donations or strict "checkbook philanthropy." Fact is, not every organization has the capacity or need to develop long-term partnerships.

  • 10 min read
  • Feb 7, 2017 8:51:15 AM

6 Tips that Take the Stress Out of Managing Year-end Donor Data

Congratulations to all our nonprofits that participated in last week's fifth annual #GivingTuesday! Nationwide it was a rousing success: According to Blackbaud, online giving revenue was up 20% compared to Giving Tuesday 2015, fueled by a 33% increase in the number of nonprofits receiving online donations. With December campaigns well underway, you've probably noticed year-end giving pulls in a wider range of gift sizes than the rest of the year. This means plenty of new donors...and with that, an influx of new donor data. If you don't have donor data management procedures and software in place, this can be a stressful time. Invaluable information can fall through the cracks, weakening current and future fundraising efforts. On the other hand, storing donor data correctly and efficiently as it comes in can improve results for years to come. Fact is, almost every single fundraising campaign nonprofits execute revolves around donor data. By keeping a robust and accurate set of data—and knowing how to leverage that information—your organization can better get to know your donors and ultimately improve fundraising. In this article we’ll cover 6 practical steps to take the stress and worry out of donor data management. Learn how to: Use a donor database. Integrate your database with other fundraising software. Devise standardized data entry procedures. Clearly delineate data entry tasks. Segment your list. Clean your database once a year. Best of all, you don't need to be a professional data analyst to implement these simple best practices. So, let's get started! 1. Use a donor database. Effective donor data management starts with using the right tools. Luckily, there’s software out there built to help nonprofits manage supporter information: donor databases. Using a donor database, you can build comprehensive supporter profiles to track any data source imaginable. This gives you a clearer, multifacted picture of the people that care about your cause.

  • 15 min read
  • Dec 6, 2016 9:30:00 AM

9 of the Best #GivingTuesday Landing Pages We've Seen

Can you believe there's just one week until Thanksgiving? With over half of nonprofits receiving the majority of their contributions between October and December, it's no wonder development departments across North America are turning their focus to year-end giving campaigns. The first milestone is Giving Tuesday, a global celebration of philanthropy on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it will take place on November 29, 2016. As discussed in our recent post, "4 Quick Tips to Raise Money on #GivingTuesday," ideally you've already been in contact with donors to raise awareness about this day. If so, you're in great shape to capitalize on this fundraising opportunity. If not, rest assured it's not too late to join in the fun. Read on for concrete tips and 9 real-life examples of landing pages that effectively capture year-end gifts. Build a branded donation landing page First, what is a landing page? It's a distinct, standalone web page built for one objective. Landing pages typically contain forms for capturing information, like email addresses for newsletter subscriptions or, for the purposes of this post, making a donation. Here are several best practices of building a branded Giving Tuesday page, and they apply to any donation page year-round. 1. Urgent Headline Right from the start, define the mission and goal of the campaign. Create a snappy tagline to explain your mission. According to web analytics platform Kissmetrics, people tend to read only the first 3 words and last 3 words of a headline when scanning. So you want to keep titles as short as possible.

  • 11 min read
  • Nov 18, 2016 9:18:44 AM

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