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Why Travel Budgets Are Awesome For Your Fundraising Bottom Line

Posted by Summy Lau

With more people packing their bags and looking for adventure, it's no surprise that 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 that 83% budget at least $5,000 each year for vacation travel.


The vast majority of your charity event patrons already have money earmarked for travel. Are you giving them the chance to spend some of it at your event?

By offering travel, auction attendees can fill two needs with one deed: They can spend their travel budget on an incredible Experience while supporting a cause they believe in. And accessing those travel budgets could be the catalyst your event needs to reach new heights.

Read on for a few reasons travel budgets are a boon to your bottom line, plus 4 top summer travel destinations (and Winspire bestsellers!) to add to your upcoming auction.

Create Buzz

Some basic travel components, like hotel stays and airlines miles, can be donated. But it's difficult and time-consuming to coordinate the type of travel packages that "wow" donors and get high bids: trips with airfare, deluxe accomodations and Experiences worth talking about.

That's why, in addition to what you're able to get donated, you may want to consider adding experiential travel to your silent or live auction. Winspire can provide those to you at no-risk.

We research where people like to travel and what sporting events or experiences are on peoples’ bucket lists. We also make sure blackout dates are kept to a minimum--winning bidders don't like to be told when they can and can't travel. Only if a trip or experience passes our rigid internal standards will you see it listed on our website.

These are the kinds of trips will “wow” your organization’s patrons.

Charleston Luxury Getaway
Top Travel Destination: Charleston, N.C.

Charleston Luxury Getaway: Private Historical Photo Tour of Charleston (South Carolina), Dinner & Wine Pairings at Charleston Grill, Belmond Charleston Place 3-Night Stay with Airfare for 2

View package details →

Rated #1 by both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel+ Leisure Magazine’s 2016 World’s Best Awards List of Top Cities in the U.S. and Canada, Charleston is a living postcard of Southern antebellum grandeur. Stroll stately restored homes, clean beaches and other historic sites on a private walking tour, plus enjoy gourmet bites and sips with a 6-course dinner at Charleston Grill.

Save Time

Working or volunteering for a nonprofit fundraising event means there's often not enough hours in the day to handle what needs to get done. Fact is, trying to procure and coordinate buzzworthy trips with unique experiences for your charity auction would become a full-time job in itself. Many charities have found that partnering with a travel provider allows them to offer travel at their event, capturing portions of travel budgets to which they wouldn't otherwise have access.

Ultimate Hamilton Experience
Top Travel Destination: New York, N.Y.

Ultimate Hamilton Experience: Dinner with Cast Members, Private In-Theater Meet and Greet, Broadway Tickets, Signed Cast Poster for 2

View package details →

New York City is a perennial travel favorite, and new attractions like the One World Observatory and a revolving Broadway lineup have restored New York's position as the #7 top domestic destination of 2016. Leading the charge is Hamilton: An American Musical; the smash hit about the American founding father has won Tonys, Grammys and even a Pulitzer. With tickets sold out through 2017, your donors will be all the more impressed when you can offer not only a pair of tickets but a pre-show dinner with two cast members, private meet and greet and more.

White Glove Service

We have one chance to make a lasting impression with you and your patrons. Thus, we promise to exceed expectations and over deliver. We take great care to build solid, impressive travel package, then offer a dedicated travel concierge as your winning bidder’s personal travel agent throughout the process.

We believe your donors deserve white glove service every step of the way.

By doing our job right, you are able to use these Experiences in your fundraising event to raise significant money. When your donors are satisfied with their trip, they'll look forward to reporting back on their experience and see what trips you offer next year.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Top Travel Destination: Vancouver, Canada

Fairmont Chateau Whistler: 4-Night Stay at Fairmont Chateau Whistler (British Columbia) with Airfare for 2

View package details →

Guests will be thrilled to support your cause in Vancouver, Canada; the city jumped four stops to land at #4 on AAA's top international travel destinations of 2016. Imagine offering deluxe accomodations at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, one of the top 500 Hotels in the World according to Travel+ Leisure Magazine. With beaches, a relatively mild Pacific Northwest climate, and a vibrant foodie and nightlife scene, Vancouver is not to be missed. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler can also be combined with lift tickets for the ultimate ski getaway.

Ability to Sell Multiples

Being able to sell each of these trips to multiple bidders at your event is a big reason why travel budgets are so impactful to your bottom line. Here's how...

Example: A Live Auction

Let's say you've reserved an Ireland Adventure package from Winspire. The Nonprofit cost for this trip is around $3200, so you might set the minimum opening bid at $3900 (we recommmend a minimum bid of at least 20% over cost).

  • Scenario 1: No one bids. No worries. You aren’t going to buy this trip from Winspire. No money changes hands.
  • Scenario 2: One person bids at the minimum level. Sold! You collect payment from the winning bidder for $3900. When you are back in the office on Monday, call your Winspire Event Consultant and let him or her know you sold a trip to Ireland. After your purchase, your organization instantly makes $700!
  • Scenario 3: Several people are bidding on this package. The auctioneer sees the interest and the excitement in the room builds. Two bidders – or maybe three – are engaged in a spirited “bidding war”. Your auctioneer stops the bidding at $4400 and offers it to them all at the last bid amount, let’s say at $4200. Each of the bidders can buy it for that amount. Now instead of making a $1,000 profit, you’ve just multiplied that two or three times and made thousands of dollars.
Ireland Adventure
Top Travel Destination: Dublin, Ireland

Ireland Adventure: 6-Night Getaway in Dublin, Ennis & Killarney, Historic Castle Overnight Stay, Rental Car, Guinness Storehouse VIP Tickets, Gap of Dunloe & Aran Islands Excursions for 2

View package details →

Europe is a perennial "bucket list" favorite, and a trip to the Emerald Isle may be the perfect way to open your supporters' travel wallets. Dublin, a top-performing Winspire package, is also the #6 top international travel destination this summer. Donors will be enchanted on a captivating journey through Ireland, exploring pre-historic forts, navigating pristine lakes and discovering hidden gems on a guided adventure through Gaelic culture...all while thanking your nonprofit for the opportunity!

Example: A Silent Auction

In a silent auction, selling multiples is even easier: Just add a few "Buy Now" or walkaway bid spaces to the bid sheet. Get professional, easily customizable and 100% FREE bid sheet templates that include "Buy Now" prices.

Download Free Bid Sheet Templates

Expert Consultation

This is an often overlooked but vital component to an auction's success; the difference between a successful and unsuccessful event is expertise.

Wondering what kinds of trips and experiences the attendees at your event will be interested in? That’s where your Winspire Fundraising Specialist comes in. With years of experience, they have seen what works for other Nonprofits in the area with similar patrons. Together, you can discuss the demographics of your guests and come up with a portfolio of 5 to 10 packages to offer at your event, with varying pricepoints and red-hot destinations.

To schedule a call with your regional Fundraising Specialist, sign up here.

Since almost everyone in the room will be going on vacation anyway, why not tap into your donors’ vacation budget and turn their trip into profit for your organization?

Click below to check out our catalog of over 200 unique travel packages designed to help you tap into donor travel budgets at your next event.

Use Winspire Experiences in your next auction!

Travel Experiences, Travel Budgets, Selling Multiples
Summy Lau
Summy Lau
As Fundraising Editor, Summy brings hands-on experience in nonprofit development, event fundraising, publishing, copywriting and design to Winspire News. She creates blog content, infographics, templates, eBooks and other resources to help fundraising professionals and volunteers exceed their fundraising goals. Her two favorite perks of working at Winspire: hearing nonprofit success stories and dreaming of new bucket list destinations.

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