Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising, charity auctions and no-risk travel packages.
Happy New Year from Winspire! What a year it has been. The world of event fundraising is changing day by day, and we have the articles and resources to prove it. Before we close the books on 2017, we wanted to share just a few highlights from the wide range of fundraising topics covered this year at Winspire News.
We are thrilled to announce the winner of Winspire's fourth Donation Give-Away drawing of 2017! Congratulations goes to B.J. Menter, Special Events Coordinator at Arc of Onandaga. The Syracuse, New York-based charity is passionate about empowering individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their fullest potential. It's our honor to be able to donate a $1,000 Hilton gift card for their use in an upcoming fundraiser.
If you've ever been involved with a charity silent auction, you know gift baskets are a given. They can range anywhere from $50 to $500 in value, depending on the quality and exclusivity of the items, and are popular for a few reasons: The contents are relatively simple to procure. It may be less intimidating for new donors, smaller businesses and individuals to sponsor part of an auction item or a basket rather than the big-ticket items in a live auction. (Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask!)
With spring fundraising season upon us, many nonprofits are hustling to procure quality items for their charity auctions. How can you generate higher bids on every item and make the silent auction worthwhile? In popular ABC sitcom Last Man Standing, funny guy Tim Allen plays Mike Baxter, a marketing director for sporting goods retailer Outdoor Man. His wife, Vanessa, is a revered geologist doubling as leader of the PTA. See below as Vanessa and Mike attend a fundraiser for the school that includes a silent auction - and one hilarious pen-and-paper bidding war. Then see if you can spot the 4 best practices we found in the clip, plus get free downloads for your next auction (like customizable bid sheet templates).
If you're planning to host a charity silent auction, you're probably looking to include at least a few gift baskets. These can range anywhere from $50 to $500 in value, depending on the quality and exclusivity of the items inside. While we recommend procurement teams think outside the box when curating an auction catalog, baskets are silent auction go-to's for good reason: The contents are well within reach of getting donated, plus provide an easy way to bundle excess or smaller items.
At Winspire News, we hear from a lot of fundraising professionals and volunteers. Along with questions on auction best practices (how many items to include in the live auction, bestselling silent auction items, setting minimum bids and so forth), we've also gotten these: How do we address those who say, "I don't go to the auction and never will."? Are auctions really worth the time and cost? How do I refresh my 14-year event? Is it time to give it up and move on to another type of event? Perhaps you can relate.
What sells best at a silent auction? We get this question all the time, and for good reason. As certified benefit auctioneer Danny Hooper noted in our recent webinar, one of the "10 deadly sins" of charity auction events is choosing the wrong items... "My son is a great fisherman. One day last summer, we'd been fishing together all morning long with live bait. Hours later, we did not have a single bite. So my son suggested switching to a different lure. Lo and behold, two minutes later, we snagged this fish: The moral of the story: The more distinct hooks you can throw into the water, the more fish you'll catch. I've gone to many events that have been run for over a decade, and year after year I see the same 10 auction items: the autographed hockey jersey, the dinner at the president's house... Successful auctions are be able to mix up the "bait" to entice virtually everyone in the room. This is a real conundrum for a lot of committees. What are the right hooks?" Indeed, not having the right bait can kill your revenue-earning potential. The best silent auction items suit your audience, work with your event theme, and have a high potential for income generation. While every charity auction is different, sales in years past are one good indicator of what to expect from your audience. But what if your event is relatively new? Or better yet, you're looking to keep donors engaged and surprised with new and buzzworthy items? As experts in event fundraising, we have discovered certain categories sell better than others. Read on to find out which are proven bestsellers, and which tend to be duds. Best Sellers: Sell often and get high bids Food & Wine Private dinners, vintage wines, brewery tours and sushi-making parties make Food & Wine a guest favorite. Does your silent auction selection channel your donors' inner "foodies"?
Consignment travel packages can be extremely lucrative for your nonprofit, and one of the biggest reasons is the ability to sell incredible trips multiple times, at no risk to you. Doing so benefits your event in three ways: Increase revenue: Double, triple or quadruple your profit on a single package. It's a win, win, win: More happy bidders, but the biggest winner is your nonprofit. Capture secondary bidders: For every successful bidder there are typically one or two people who may have been bidding on the same item, but were unsuccessful. What happens to the money they were prepared to spend moments earlier? Doubling up enables your auctioneer to capture additional revenue from more people. Best of all, it's easier to pull off than you might think! There are virtually unlimited ways to sell multiple no-risk consignment travel packages at any point of your event timeline—before, during and after—that don't take any extra procurement on your part and cost nothing if they don't sell. Is your nonprofit reaching out for this low-hanging fruit? Read on for the strategies our nonprofit clients have used to double, triple, even quadruple their revenue on a single package to raise a lot more for their cause.
Silent auctions are your organization's "one night only" storefront. And just like a brick-and-mortar retailer, creating an immersive shopping experience is key to generating revenue. Part of the process is setting up the overall decor, like tables, lighting and decorations. But the highlights of the night are those great silent auction items. Do your silent auction item displays encourage people to stop, look and buy? Attractive silent auction displays can have a dramatic effect on the item's perceived value and thus bidding. Using the same colors, fonts and layout on all your display sheets also gives the event a professional, polished appearance—and saves hours of precious time. Fortunately, creating great silent auction displays is easier than you might think. Below are 6 elements of an effective item display sheet, plus a link to receive our Silent Auction Item Display Templates bundle, our easy-to-use, 100% customizable templates (with instructions) that will take your upcoming event to the next level.
It's no secret that competition for charitable donations is very high. As a result, it is important for charities and nonprofit organizations to develop unique fundraisers that distinguish their group from other organizations competing for the same donor dollars.