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

Why Winning Bidders Love Travel: Survey Results Infographic

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!

  • 2 min read
  • Mar 3, 2016 10:18:56 AM

Join Us for a Free Webinar with GreaterGiving: Procuring Buzzworthy Travel Packages

Winspire and Greater Giving are collaborating on an exciting free webinar for anyone involved with organizing charity fundraising events. Featuring: Join us on February 11 as Tracey Lorts, Community Marketing Manager at Greater Giving, and Ian Lauth, Creative Director at Winspire, discuss how to best utilize unique travel in nonprofit fundraising events based on the experiences of over 20,000 successful charity auctions! Thursday, February 11th 11am - 12pm PDT  

  • 3 min read
  • Jan 19, 2016 9:26:47 AM

3 Ways Group Vacations Are Reaching Higher Bids and Developing Stronger Donors

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...

  • 10 min read
  • Oct 1, 2015 2:09:12 PM

Americans Need to Learn How to Take Vacation

The long weekend has come and gone, the kids are back at school and you’re back at your desk (*sigh*). Hopefully you had some time to relax and recharge during the Labor Day holiday... or maybe you didn't take any time off and you were working through the weekend, ironing out the details of your fall fundraising gala.  Well - you're not alone. Many Americans today ton't get enough "R&R", and it could be hurting how well we're performing at our jobs. The same goes for your donors, who will be attending this year's fundraising gala looking for an escape - and possibly a vacation - to help them unplug and recharge. 

  • 13 min read
  • Sep 8, 2015 11:27:49 AM

Experience Spotlight: Wimbledon Tennis Championship

What started in 1877 as the Lawn Tennis Championship, at what was then known as the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis, has become the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.  Known today simply as “Wimbledon”, this spectacular event is the only Grand Slam still played on grass. All eyes were on Serena Williams earlier this month as she entered Wimbledon as the overwhelming favorite to win a fourth straight major tennis title. She did that, in her usual impressive fashion. She bested her sister, Venus Williams, narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of unseeded Heather Watson, took down the tough Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals and absolutely dominated No. 4 seed Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. In the finals, Williams defeated Spanish rising star Garbine Muguruza in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Williams, 33, wins her 21st Grand Slam title and becomes the oldest female winner of a major. Williams has now won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2015. Only the U.S. Open remains. She’s looking to become the first person to win a calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988.

U.S. and Canadian Travel Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

Americans and Canadians are some of the largest spenders on international travel, with residents of both nations ranked in the top six worldwide in terms of average annual expenditures on international travel. Travelers from both countries most commonly make the easy intracontinental trips, with the U.S., Canada, and Mexico all registering as top travel destinations.  In addition, millions of travelers every year from both of these countries make overseas journeys to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and even Cuba! When Americans and Canadians choose to stay closer to home and travel domestically, the most popular destinations are primarily the higher populated cities and warm-weather climates.  For the most part, when Americans and Canadians cross the border, their travel patterns mirror those of the domestic travelers in that nation. Interestingly, the main difference between the travel preferences of the two nations is that Canadians also frequently travel to some of the more remote U.S. states, such as Maine, Vermont, and Montana. In the following infographic, we explore these unique travel trends which exist between our two neighboring countries... 

  • 1 min read
  • Jul 21, 2015 8:50:00 AM

4 Ideas for Selecting Charity Auction Trips Based on Location

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. 

  • 5 min read
  • Jun 23, 2015 10:20:00 AM

¡Arriba! Mexico Trips You'll Love this Cinco De Mayo

Did you know Cinco de Mayo is a much bigger celebration in the U.S. than in Mexico? Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (that occurred 50 years prior to the Battle of Puebla, which is celebrated on September 16). The significance of today is that on May 5, 1862, the Mexican army celebrated a remarkable victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. The Mexican army won the battle despite having far fewer troops and less artillery.  In the American interpretation of Cinco de Mayo, the celebration calls for tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole (an estimated 81 million avocados will be consumed today in the U.S.) and margaritas! While your donors are enjoying a fiesta with family, friends and colleagues, they might find themselves daydreaming about vacationing at a luxury resort in Mexico, enjoying the warm ocean and sunny skies…

3 Reasons Travel is the Best Selling Charity Auction Item

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. 

  • 13 min read
  • Apr 28, 2015 10:46:00 AM

8 Ways to Cultivate Major Donors with Experiential Travel

Special events are the most widely used method for cultivating new major donors. Nonprofits host big events as an entry point for potential high net-value donors to come learn about the cause and meet the people behind the scenes (that's you), planting the seed for a relationship that moves them toward major giving. The toughest piece of this donor cultivation process - especially at a big fundraising event - is building that relationship. If you're busy running around and you only have time to introduce yourself to a few people, who do you spend your time socializing with?

  • 8 min read
  • Jan 27, 2015 11:56:00 AM

Bon Appetite! Boost your Fundraising Efforts with Culinary Experiences

You may not even know it, but chances are, you are a foodie. Are you hooked on the current season of Top Chef? Have you waited in line for the local gourmet food truck to serve up its specialty? Foodies come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the casual enthusiast to gourmet connoisseur.

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