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October Donation Give-Away Winner: Imanni Burg from Moscow, Russia!

We are excited to announce the winner of the October 2015 Donation Give-Away drawing ...and boy were we in for a surprise when the winner turned out to be from Moscow, Russia!! Imanni Burg serves as the Executive Director and Development Director for MPC Social Services. Since 1991, MPC Social Services has supported poor and marginalized people in Moscow, Russia by providing:

  • 5 min read
  • Oct 6, 2015 8:09:03 AM

BizWorld Lesson #6: Overhead Ain't Bad

  This article is part of a series titled "Lessons from the Biz World" where we explore valuable aspects of the for-profit sector we can apply to nonprofit management and translate into a more efficient, stable and successful organization with a greater impact.  There’s a big double standard when it comes to overhead at for-profits and nonprofit organizations. Where investment decisions regarding overhead might be no-brainers in the for-profit sector, they often come with much scrutiny in the nonprofit arena.

  • 9 min read
  • Sep 15, 2015 11:12:53 AM

Charitable Giving Trends in Canada [INFOGRAPHIC]

Charitable giving in Canada is at an all-time high. In 2010, just as we began climbing out of the global recession, 84% of adult Canadians or just under 24 million people reported making at least one donation to charity during the calendar year. At an average donation of $446, the total amount donated to charity was over $10.6 billion. While this may be a drop in the bucket compared to the $278 billion donated by U.S. households in 2009 at the height of the recession, it is a dramatic increase over the $4 billion that was contributed as recently as the 1990's - showing that giving in Canada is on the rise. It's also important to note that Canada was ranked #2 behind the US in the 2013 World Giving Index rankings of the most charitable nations of the world. In this infographic, we explore the trends of charitable giving in Canada, including how donations and donation rates vary by age, gender, income, education, and place of residence. Overall the findings show that Canadians are strongly inclined to donate to charity, regardless of their demographic background.

  • 1 min read
  • May 21, 2015 9:09:00 AM

What is SEO and How Can It Help My Nonprofit?

Before you skip over this article! For those of you who are new to the whole concept of search rankings, I encourage you to give this article a chance! You probably know more than you think and will be able to make some of these tips work for your nonprofit.  Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO”, has become a frequent topic among marketing and development directors at nonprofit organizations. While most marketers know that SEO can benefit their organization, few understand the factors that impact search and what you can do to help your organization establish a more competitive position in the Google search rankings. What is Search Engine Optimization? On it's most basic level, SEO is a strategy for making an organization's website easier to find on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing the code and content of a website so that it is perceived by search engines, such as Google, as being highly relevant for certain search terms. The benefit of a well-executed SEO program is that your site will achieve higher search rankings for targeted keywords, which drives more new users and better quality traffic to your website. For example, if you are looking for someone to paint your house and you Google "house painter", you are going to get a list of search results for companies that will happily provide that service. In fact, you'll probably get tens of millions of results: The ultimate objective of SEO is to get a website to appear on the first page of search results. Getting on the first page of search engine results is the holy grail for marketers because websites that show up first get far more traffic - 90% of all clicks - compared to websites that fall to the second or third pages, which receive less than 10% of traffic.

  • 15 min read
  • May 12, 2015 10:24:00 AM

A Brief History of Charitable Giving [INFOGRAPHIC]

Charity has been part of human culture for thousands of years. There are numerous instances of charitable acts in ancient civilizations dating back as far as 2500 BCE (or 4,500 years ago), which is around the time the Egyptians were building the pyramids.  More recently over the last 30 years or so, donations to charitable organizations have increased consistently year-over-year, far outpacing the rate of inflation. Today, charitable giving is a core value of western culture with over 95% of U.S. households donating to charity in 2013! Where did all of this generosity come from? In the following infographic we break down some of the historical trends to show the progress of charitable giving.

  • 1 min read
  • Mar 19, 2015 10:05:00 AM

BizWorld Lesson #4: Utilize Nonprofit Branding Strategies

This article is part of a series titled "Lessons from the Biz World" where we explore valuable aspects of the for-profit sector that can be applied to nonprofit management and translate into a more efficient, stable and successful organization with a greater impact.  Some organizations spend millions of dollars building their brand and keep their key messages visible among target audiences. This includes companies like Coca-Cola and Walmart, as well as nonprofits like Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

  • 8 min read
  • Mar 3, 2015 11:06:00 AM

Congratulations to our Donation Give-Away Winner: Nancy from Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities!

Winspire is excited to announce the winner of the first Donation Give-Away of 2015! Nancy Winkelman of Warrenville, IL will be using the donated New York Getaway for two to help raise money for the organization Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities, where she works as the Program Director. Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities (FTEA) was founded in 1996 to provide therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social challenges. Located in a western suburb of Chicago, FTEA seeks to meet the special needs of each program participant in a recreational setting.   The donated trip to New York City will be used as part of their live auction offerings at the next Circle of Friends Fundraising Gala on November 7, 2015. This is an annual event which FTEA has hosted for the past 8 years, with all proceeds going to support the therapeutic horseback riding program. Costa Rica All-Inclusive 5-Night Stay at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa with Airfare for 2 (1470-2) View Experience Details → "Our event last November was the first time FTEA has used Winspire travel packages," says Nancy, "Our guests have not taken their trips yet, but it was exciting to be able to offer Experiences like the one to Costa Rica. This was a totally new experience for us." Operating almost year round, FTEA is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center and serves about 70 program participants each week. Participants are as young as three years old and range in age all the way through adulthood. This is made possible with a small staff of PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and a large corps of wonderful and generous volunteers who donate over 10,000 man hours each year. The eleven horses and ponies working in the program were carefully chosen for their kind and gentle disposition and all were generously donated to FTEA.

  • 5 min read
  • Jan 8, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Top 5 Most Popular Charity Auction Posts from 2014

What a year it has been! Our goal was to deliver useful content for Nonprofit fundraising professionals who want to get the most out of their charity auction events... and we did just that. We are thrilled that Winspire News has blossomed into a valuable resource with a thriving subscriber base that continues to grow every day. We have BIG PLANS for 2015 - with more templates, eBooks and webinars designed to help you raise more money at your upcoming events - so stay tuned! To wrap things up for this year, I thought I'd list some of our most popular content from 2014. Below are the top 5 most popular articles that generated the most traffic to Winspire News.  Enjoy and Happy New Year! Cheers, Ian Lauth Creative Director MOST POPULAR ARTICLES FROM WINSPIRE NEWS #1 Bid Sheets 101: Improve Your Silent Auction With Better Bid Sheets A well-designed bid sheet can have a huge impact on how much money your auction items raise during an event. Learn what information to include so that your bid sheets are more effective.  Read More → #2 3-Step Guide for Setting Minimum Starting Bids on Charity Auction Items Setting an appropriate starting bid for charity auction items can greatly affect how lucrative that item becomes for your cause.  Read More → #3 3 Tips for Displaying Auction Items to Attract Fierce Bidding The quality of auction item presentation at your charity event will have a direct impact on how much your donors bid and the amount of money you raise at your event.  Read More → #4 Top 5 Pitfalls of Live Auctions and How to Avoid Them Here are five easily preventable mistakes that can detract from a successful live auction fundraiser.  Read More → #5 5 Surefire Ways to Ignite Bidding on Silent Auction Items Follow these 5 tips to get the most out of your silent auction items, including how to arrange the room and how to draw more attention to your tables.  Read More →

  • 7 min read
  • Dec 31, 2014 10:08:00 AM

BizWorld Lesson #3: Track and Measure EVERYTHING

This article is part of a series titled "Lessons from the Biz World" where we explore valuable aspects of the for-profit sector that can be applied to nonprofit management and translate into a more efficient, stable and successful organization with a greater impact.  Lesson 3: Track and measure successes (and failures) Virtually everything a successful for-profit business does is tracked and analyzed to ensure long-term results. Smart nonprofits will do the same. Not only does this help to keep financial investments on track, but it can also influence the decisions made by the board and future donors.

  • 5 min read
  • Dec 18, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Why Nonprofits Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Failure

Running a Nonprofit is no small feat. Trying to balance a cohesive fundraising strategy with the constant pressure to please donors, volunteers, the board and the public at large can sometimes make you feel like there is no room for failure. Unfortunately, this mindset can limit the ability of an organization to fulfill its mission. Becoming Failure Friendly Unlike for-profit businesses, today’s Nonprofit sector is not failure-friendly. In business, failure is often embraced as an important part of a company’s development because it can lead to innovation. Meanwhile, many Nonprofits live in constant fear of disappointing, losing or fatiguing their donors. Instead of investing in new and innovative ways to generate revenue ‒ some of which may not be successful ‒ Nonprofits often end up sticking with what they know. Traditional fundraising activities, such as special events and donor outreach, might raise considerable amounts of money, but what if you want to raise more so you can make a bigger impact at a faster pace? Charities need to have the courage to dream big, and that starts with embracing the idea that it’s okay to take risks and potentially fail. Why? Because embracing failure creates a culture of innovation. The lessons learned from a failure can enable an organization to learn, change and, ultimately, grow.

  • 5 min read
  • Nov 6, 2014 11:40:00 AM

The Winspire Donation Give-Away is Back!

Subscribe to Winspire News for your chance to win a Winspire Experience to New York City for your next fundraising auction! We know donations are hard to come by. That's one of the reasons we started creating unique Experiences and why our mission is to help Nonprofits maximize how much money they raise at their events. As part of this mission, we want give back to the community that we are so much a part of by giving away a Winspire Experience each quarter to one of our Winspire News subscribers. If you're already a subscriber, make sure you still visit the Donation Give-Away page and enter the contest in order to be eligible for the drawing! (See Contest Details) Every three months we will select one winner at random from our Winspire News subscribers who enter the Donation Give-Away to receive a Donation Give-Away worth over $1,000 to be used in fundraising for your favorite cause, mission or charity. Donations will be in the form of unique package experiences, hotel stays, airfare or memorabilia. 

  • 3 min read
  • Oct 31, 2014 10:36:00 AM

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