Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising, charity auctions and no-risk travel packages.
Doesn't it feel like 2017 just began? Yet Halloween, the end of Daylight Savings and even Thanksgiving are right around the corner. With nearly one third of all nonprofit donations occuring in December alone, it's important to execute a strategic year-end giving campaign that maximizes your impact over the next two months.
To maximize your live auction revenue, it's important to cater every item to just the top 5 percent of spenders. One bona fide way to "feed" this top tier of spenders: Offer luxury travel in the auction. Did you know the luxury travel sector is growing almost a third faster than the overall travel industry?
You already know travel is a top seller at charity auctions - after all, who doesn't love a vacation? Travel providers like Winspire make it easy for nonprofits to offer turnkey travel packages in their fundraising events at no risk or upfront cost. With over 140 unique trips in our catalog, it can be tough to know which items best fit your audience - and are most likely to ignite bidding wars.
When it comes to planning an event, what is your biggest challenge? Reducing overhead? Recruiting volunteers? Handling logistics like the venue, catering, entertainment and more? In a study of 500 event planners conducted by TicketPrinting.com, promoting the event was the #1 challenge listed by 44% of respondents. Indeed, even the most engaging program, incredible auction items and moving fund-a-need fall flat with few in attendance. Your promotional strategy directly affects how many show up to give, spend and support. Read on for a quick infographic detailing the most popular and effective ways to promote events in 2017, then get free Winspire resources to assist with every area of your promotion strategy (like a free eBook for strategic email promotion and auction catalog templates).
Did you know charitable giving is at an all-time high? With ever-increasing revenue goals and more need than ever, this may seem hard to believe. But there's plenty of reason to be optimistic about the state of giving as we look to 2017. Take #GivingTuesday 2016, for example. Online fundraising software provider Blackbaud reports a year-over-year growth of 20 percent! Any area of fundraising with double-digit growth, particularly in online and mobile donations, merits a closer look. And while the final numbers from 2016 are still being tallied - with the two most important giving weeks of the year ahead - the momentum and record-breaking trajectory of 2015 successfully set the pace for another groundbreaking year. Check out today's post for an infographic detailing positive trends in charitable giving. (Also note: Limited spots remain for next week's webinar on improving auction timelines. If you haven't saved your spot, click here to register in seconds. Then invite committee members, auction chairs, volunteers, board members and more to sign up for what's sure to be a lively session!)
"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.
Have you heard? There is a massive travel budget, or money that people set aside each year for vacations, in North America. According to American Express, well over half of Americans have a travel budget (and we all know that percentage is probably much higher among the guests at a typical charity fundraiser). In fact, a whopping $600 billion is spent on leisure travel each year! For many nonprofits, offering travel in the auction opens the door to a whole new revenue stream—travel budgets completely separate from a donor's 'philanthropic' budget. We could certainly use access to more revenue streams, but I don't think our audience really has the money to buy trips. Valid point. But if you've never offered travel at your fundraising event before, you may be underestimating the giving power and travel budgets of your audience. Surveys show 83% of winning bidders budget $5,000 annually for travel. What's more, 53% budget at least $10,000 per year for vacations. What this means for your nonprofit: An overwhelming majority of your audience has set aside money to spend on a vacation package that they'll spend one way or another... whether through your fundraising event or with a travel agent. Okay, some people in our audience are probably buying at least one trip this year. How do we know where they want to go? While some cities and attractions maintain popularity year after year (think Hawaii and NYC), there are new, up-and-coming destinations and activities poised to become big winners at fundraising auctions this fall. Check out our infographic highlighting the biggest travel trends of 2016 (spa day, anyone?), then learn how to quickly and easily reserve Winspire Experiences that cater to any niche traveler.
We talk to a lot of winning bidders. Thousands of nonprofit donors redeem Winspire travel packages at charity auctions and raffles annually, and we survey each one. Why? One reason is to ensure your supporters had the best possible experience and get feedback to keep improving our offerings. Another is to learn more about these major donors' habits at fundraising events. After serving over 23,000 winning bidders to date, we've gleaned some of the most current and valuable insights on major donors out there--and we just had to share!
Are you and your smartphone connected at the hip? If so, you're not alone: about 7 in 10 Americans (and nearly 9 in 10 millenials) currently own a smartphone, and that figure is expected to rise dramatically in 2016. Whether shopping online or scanning to pay, mobile phones are increasingly replacing wallets as the easier, faster and more portable way to make financial transactions. For charitable organizations, this means it's more important than ever to incorporate mobile technologies into their outreach and fundraising strategies. In fact, in 2015, the number of individual donations made through mobile devices increased 45% from the year before. And annual events like Giving Tuesday are presenting nonprofits with unprecedented opportunities to combine social media campaigns with easy mobile giving, connecting more and more people to their causes.
There’s an old adage in web marketing that “content is king”, meaning that if you have great content (e.g. blog posts, videos, resources, etc.) on your nonprofit blog or website, you’ll attract more visitors, build a stronger following (i.e. more donors) and ultimately increase your ability to make an impact. There is one major caveat, though, and that is if your non-profit communication content is buried beneath bland headlines, your target audience may never discover the greatness of your blog posts and articles! Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 visitors to a website will only read the headlines. And of those that read a headline, only 20% will read the article below. This shows how important it is to have powerful headlines that compel your users to spend time on your site reading the content. → Expert Tip: One excellent tool that you can use to assess the quality of your headline is CoSchedule's Blog Post Headline Analyzer, which give's your blog title a grade and offers recommendations for improving your word selection, character count and sentence structure. In the following infographic we discover a few simple formulas that will help you to craft outstanding headlines even when you are having a creative block. Try the sample headlines provided below and watch your following grow as your users find out that your non-profit communication content is king!