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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!
One of the most common challenges we hear from event fundraisers is ever-increasing revenue goals. Sound familiar? It is very rare for a fundraising event’s revenue goals to stay flat. In fact, the revenue goal almost always increases next year... while new resources, budget and strategies are rarely deployed. Soon after you experience the high of reaching your goals, reality sets in, and the stress starts all over again. Break the cycle with a fresh, emerging revenue strategy.
With more people packing their bags and looking for adventure, it's no surprise travel is one of the most popular and best selling charity auction items. Most people who attend charity fundraising events have a substantial travel budget, or money they set aside specifically for leisure travel. In fact, we've surveyed more than 1,000 winning bidders and found 83% budget at least $5,000 each year for vacation travel.
Strolling through the streets of Paris with your sweetheart is the perfect way to celebrate your anniversary. But your 50th birthday calls for a party… Imagine you and some of your close friends on the beach in Cancun, enjoying an all-inclusive luxury resort. Or maybe your father-in-law is retiring and you want to get the family together to celebrate with a long weekend in Napa, staying in a 3-bedroom cottage at a winery. Point is, there are times when a shared experience is right for the occasion, which is why offering group opportunities for traveling with family and friends to your donors can dramatically increase the money you are able to raise in your live auction. It's a big trend! The latest trend that we’re seeing from nonprofits across the country is more travelers asking about group trips that include four or more people. Why? Because people love traveling in groups! Group experiences are popular for people of all ages - whether it's a couples retreat, family trip or a group of girlfriends celebrating a special life event. A few examples include...
Travel is one of the most popular and best selling charity auction items in North America. Why? Because most people who attend charity fundraising events have a substantial travel budget, which is money they set aside specifically for vacation travel. In fact, according to American Express, 53% of Americans save money each year specifically for travel. To see what that statistic looks for an audience at a charity fundraising event, we surveyed over 1,000 winning bidders and found that of those who bid on travel packages, over 69% budget at least $5,000 each year for vacation travel! This means a vast majority of your charity event patrons already have money set aside for travel that they will be spending one way or another, whether it's at your fundraising event or somewhere else. By offering travel as part of your auction event you are giving them the opportunity to fill two needs with one deed: Spend their travel budget on an incredible Experience while supporting a cause they believe in. Tapping into these travel budgets means offering exciting travel packages with unique locations that people will actually want to buy. When procuring auction trips, consider these four factors to ensure you appeal to donors so they place bids on the perfect vacation. 1. Distance The amount of miles donors have to travel to reach their vacation destination can influence the perceived value of an auction trip. Trips tend to be more expensive than other auction items, and donors may not want to shell out the big bucks to visit a location nearby.
For many years now, experiential travel has been a top seller in charity auctions and raffles. Whether you use a no-risk travel provider or you and your committee put together travel packages yourself, offering donors incredible vacations is a great way to generate excitement and revenue at fundraising events of all sizes. Whether you're hosting a live, silent or online auction, or you are boosting your efforts with a winner's choice raffle, experiential travel is the ultimate incentive to offer your donors. Why? We narrowed it down to three main reasons why travel performs so well at charity auction fundraisers: 1. Travel is Unique With virtually unlimited options for destinations and experiences all over the globe, you have a lot to work with. Travel can mean many things: There's leisure travel, business travel, adventure travel... even interstellar travel! But when it comes to charity auctions, most event patrons are interested in one thing: Experiential Travel. Experiential travel is the kind of highly sought after, hard to find and unique experiences that you usually find on people's life-long bucket lists. An experiential travel package is typically comprised of three things: airfare, lodging and a planned experience at your destination. Examples include: Private behind-the-scenes wine tours in Napa Valley VIP red carpet access at famous Award Shows Race named in your honor at Churchill Downs With such a variety of options (The world is your oyster!) you never have to worry about offering the same old items at your event. This is especially important in today's event fundraising space, where donors are subjected to many of the same charity auction items year after year. The challenge is to stand out and still provide unique opportunities for people to support your cause, which can be difficult as fundraising events continue to increase in attendance and sophistication.
Tapping into your donors’ existing travel budgets is an excellent strategy for raising money. It gives your supporters the chance to use money they already have set aside for vacations to take an exciting trip and support a good cause at the same time.
There are numerous strategies for connecting with potential donors and inspiring them to help your Nonprofit. One resource that organizations often overlook is that of donor travel budgets. Vacation travel is a massive global industry. According to a study by the U.S. Travel Association, $597 billion was spent on leisure travel in 2012.