Your destination for insight into the world of event fundraising and charity auctions.

Top 5 Donor Travel Destinations in 2017 & More Trends: INFOGRAPHIC

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.

  • 7 min read
  • May 19, 2017 7:42:00 AM

Send Your Donors to Bermuda for Free: Beginner's Guide to Underwriting

Holding fundraising events has many fringe benefits for nonprofits: a chance to engage donors, promote awareness for your cause and have fun. But the #1 reason we have events? To raise money! The key to raising money is focusing on profits. As demonstrated above, that means netting as much revenue as you can while trimming expenses. On the blog we tend to focus on revenue generation, but today we'll look at one practical way to do both: securing underwriters for big-ticket auction items. Imagine being able to offer a trip to Bermuda in your auction and net 100% of the winning bid. Think your donors would be interested in Caribbean sand & sun right now? Check out today's post for an explanation of the process of underwriting, plus a quick video from benefit auctioneer Danny Hooper explaining how underwriters can help you offer incredible travel packages for free! So...what’s an underwriter? An underwriter is somebody, either a business or an individual, that agrees to pay the cost of a specific item in your event. This might be the catering, auctioneer, centerpieces, auction catalogs and more. The underwriter then becomes the official donor of that expense and receives recognition as such at your event. Any covered cost is a win for your organization, but underwriting a no-risk travel package offers a special opportunity for underwriters to see their investment grow and multiply in minutes, before their eyes. Here's what we mean.

  • 8 min read
  • Jan 26, 2017 12:17:59 PM

The Best Way for Your Donors to Travel to Cuba

The most important key to success in auction fundraising events is offering desirable items worth the high bids you seek. One that certainly fits the bill: a bucket-list trip to Havana, Cuba. From an easing of travel restrictions to the passing of longtime president Fidel Castro, Cuba has dominated the headlines throughout 2016.

  • 7 min read
  • Dec 20, 2016 8:05:00 AM

20 Ways to Get Every Cent Out of Travel Packages in Your Fundraiser

Click the full screen icon in the bottom right corner () to view larger For over a decade now, experiential travel has been a top seller in auctions and raffles. Travel is unique, appeals to just about everyone (who doesn't love a vacation?!) and, best of all, people already budget thousands annually for vacations. Travel packages add the "WOW!" factor that separates your event from a crowded fundraising space. Whether you procure your own trips or partner with a reputable travel provider like Winspire, you want to be smart about it. Travel packages are the highlight of any live auction, so you don't want to squander a cent of your biggest revenue potential. Today we will highlight some of the major opportunities created by offering travel to your patrons, both for the night's profits and years to come. Get 20 specific, practical steps to: Select the best travel for your audience Place trips in your auction or raffle Promote travel before and during the event Profit as much as possible from each package To help, we also created a handy slideshow presentation demonstrating these strategies - check it out above! If you're considering giving donors the chance to buy travel in support of your cause, use this guide to make the most of each item.

  • 13 min read
  • Oct 27, 2016 7:58:25 AM

Craft Beer Is Selling Like Crazy at Fundraising Auctions

You know wine is a tried-and-true staple of charity auctions. Cases of custom-labeled or vintage wine, trips to Napa Valley, winery tours and more have always been magnets for bids. Now another drink has caught the attention of fundraisers: craft beer. As mentioned in our recent webinar "Ask a Professional Benefit Auctioneer!", auctioneers around the country have recently noted a huge spike in interest in ales. At a 2016 meeting of the National Auctioneers Association, they concluded craft beer is one of the hottest items being sold in fundraising events today.  How can your organization take advantage of the trend? Combine craft beer with experiential travel, a consistent top-seller at charity auctions. "Beercations" offering unique tours and tastings, plus deluxe accomodations and travel arrangements, make for one standout auction item. In the spirit of Oktoberfest, hoist a stein and read on for highlights of Winspire's best lager-loving travel packages, including a brand-new update to the Samuel Adams Boston Experience. (Like all Winspire Experiences, these no-risk trips cost nothing upfront to include in a fundraiser - your nonprofit only pays for the items that sell!) Then, enjoy a delicious beer chili recipe perfect for brisk fall days.  West Coast: San Diego Craft Brewing Scene VIP Brewery Excursion, Chauffeur, Manchester Grand Hyatt 3-Night Stay with Airfare for 2 (3450-2) Did you know sunny San Diego is considered the "Craft Beer Capital of America"? Local breweries like Stone Brewing Co., AleSmith Brewing Company and Ballast Point (pictured above) are consistently rated among the top breweries in the world. The Great American Beer Festival’s “Best Small Brewer” Award has gone to San Diego County brewers multiples times, including 2014’s winner, Coronado Brewing Company. With more than 100 local breweries, microbreweries and pubs in the city, beer enthusiasts are flocking to get a taste of these highly acclaimed hops. Imagine sending your donors on a 5-hour, VIP custom excursion at 3-4 breweries of their choice. 

  • 12 min read
  • Oct 13, 2016 8:48:22 AM

Are You Missing Out on $5,000 Per Bidder at Your Charity Auction?

As an event organizer or volunteer, what would you say is the #1 challenge fundraising events face? Is it procuring the right auction items? Choosing the best time and date? Just getting people in the doors? We think it's not taking advantage of every revenue opportunity. All too often we underestimate the spending power of attendees. This "deadly sin" of fundraising events can show up in many ways: not charging enough for admission; delivering a timid cash appeal; wasting precious minutes on non-income generating entertainment; and as we'll discuss today, offering the same items in the charity auction year after year. One revenue opportunity not to be missed: incorporating travel into your event. Travel is consistently a top seller at auctions, and here's why: People love traveling. (Who doesn't love a vacation?) Donors budget for travel. (Studies show 83% of winning bidders set aside over 5 grand for leisure travel each year.) Unique travel Experiences help your event stand out from the competition. (Did you know the majority of winning bidders attend 4 or more philanthropic events annually?) Whether you procure trips yourself or partner with a reputable provider like Winspire, travel can be a game-changer for your bottom line. Read on to learn just how much money you could be leaving on the table without a way to access your donors' travel budgets.

  • 8 min read
  • Sep 30, 2016 8:42:18 AM

Oh, the Places Your Bidders Will Go: Travel Trends of 2016 INFOGRAPHIC

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!

  • 6 min read
  • Aug 25, 2016 9:42:29 AM

Why Travel Budgets Are Awesome For Your Fundraising Bottom Line

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.

  • 10 min read
  • Jul 5, 2016 11:08:56 AM

12 Questions You're Asking about Consignment Travel, Answered

Including no-risk travel in fundraising galas, auctions and raffles is an increasingly popular strategy for nonprofits. Whether you are considering using consignment travel packages for the first time or have been leveraging Winspire Experiences for years, chances are you still have a question or two about how best to use this fundraising tool.

  • 12 min read
  • Mar 31, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Consignment Travel Is for Suckers: Letter from a Skeptic

Dear Winspire, Thank you for calling me last week to discuss the use of consignment travel packages in our upcoming live and silent auctions. As much as I enjoyed chatting with you, I wanted to further explain why I passed on your services.

  • 14 min read
  • Mar 29, 2016 9:39:19 AM

Top 5 Reasons Nonprofits Steer Clear of Consignment Travel

When it comes to procuring auction items, we always encourage nonprofits to think outside the box. After all, your donors are sophisticated philanthropists who attend multiple fundraisers each year, and unique items like travel Experiences keep your event fresh, relevant and interesting. The catch: These items are among the most challenging to get donated.

  • 10 min read
  • Mar 17, 2016 9:44:43 AM

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