Expert Webcast: 3 Ideas for Maximizing Travel in Your Benefit Auction
In this webinar, Ian Lauth of Winspire takes you through three ideas for how to best use travel at your next benefit auction.
Categories: Expert Webcast, How To
Expert Webcast: 3 Ideas for Maximizing Travel in Your Benefit Auction TranscriptPrint Transcript
The end. Before we get started, I thought it’d be good to get everyone kind of involved and get some feedback here. So I want to take a quick poll. I want to ask the audience out there, what is your biggest challenge when it comes to hosting a fundraising Read More
The end. Before we get started, I thought it’d be good to get everyone kind of involved and get some feedback here. So I want to take a quick poll. I want to ask the audience out there, what is your biggest challenge when it comes to hosting a fundraising event? Is it a procuring quality auction items, be building your guest list, see promoting your event? D reaching your fundraising goal. So I’m going to launch this poll right now you’ll see a poll come up right in front of there. Go ahead and submit your feedback, I’d love to hear it. Again, procuring quality oxidizers, building your guest list promoting your event or reaching your fundraising goal we got people coming in right now about half of you have voted. This is about what we thought here. Just a few more seconds left, if you haven’t voted yet. Okay, great. I’m going to share the results here. Two more seconds. And that’s good. All right. And I’m gonna share results for you. This is about what we expected here. I mean, procuring quality auction items is by far the most difficult part of running a fundraising auction, it’s the most time intensive, it takes the most manpower of your volunteer teams. And it takes, you know, a huge portion of planning the event and then putting it together when it comes time to do that. So travel is a big part of that, right? If you want to have travel items in your in your auction, actually procuring them, that can be a huge challenge. So this is a common thing that we see. Obviously, reaching your fundraising goal is also a pretty big challenge. I think that’s kind of always going to be a challenge. But we’re going to talk a little bit today about, you know, those procurement of travel items. So back to the presentation here. Let’s go ahead and get started. So what do we really mean by you know, travel package, or experiential travel? Well, when you’re putting together an auction item, what you really want to include in order to really increase that perceived value, and we’re going to talk about perceived value a bit today, here, it’s in really the perceived value in that donors mind when they’re in the audience. And they’re thinking about buying an auction item in the live auction or even in the silent, how do you really increase that value. And when it comes to travel, you want to have three components, when you put together travel package, the airfare lodging and experience, right airfare makes it special, because you’re going somewhere lodging they have, so they have a place to stay. And then something more they have to do there, if it’s just one of these things, you aren’t going to get nearly as much for the item as you would, if you put these separate items together into one package. And that’s what we do here wins by we, with all of our experiences, we put these three things together, and to really increase that perceived value. So you get, you end up getting more money for that item in your auction. Just a few examples of what these travel packages can be, you know, some experiences that we do here WinStar you know, Hamilton on Broadway, Napa Valley is hugely popular in terms of, you know, experiential travel, you know, sports races, like the Kentucky Derby, or, you know, the masters are some really, really popular packages that we put together. And overall, I kind of mentioned this in the beginning, but you know, experience with travel, it’s so popular because it is the number one selling charity auction item in the United States in Canada, you know, you have other items out there like merchandise, you know, you might get your X Box from, you know, down the street BestBuy, or, you know, jewelry or wine, those things are up there, and they’re gonna get you a lot of money, but the packages that are going to really blow people away and get those huge dollar amounts, especially in your live auction are going to be experiential travel, there’s going to be the items that you can use to promote your event and and really get people engaged and spending money when it comes to your auction. Now, why is that? Well, travel really helps you stand out. I know, we all have our gift baskets out there. I know all of you have had your fair share of gift baskets that you put together and give back. gift baskets are great. But we always like to, you know, ask people is, you know, would you rather take the donor out to lunch the following week that paid $20 For a gift basket, or $5,000 on a travel package. Obviously, the donors that are gonna spend the big money on these big travel experiences are going to be those donors that you’re going to want to follow up with, start talking to and start building a relationship with so you know, I think it’s safe to say most of us would choose the latter in terms of which donor we want to talk to. Now, another important point to consider in terms of the donors that you’re targeting here within your audience is that they are sophisticated buyers right? These are successful people who know what they want and they know how they want to spend their money. And you know, fundraising events that you guys put on out there are great because they put they connect those donors to your cause and allow them to spend money for your cause. But as far as live and silent auctions go, you really want that you know to keep that excitement out there you have that one night only storefront where there’s this one opportunity for them to come spend money and so when you start planning your event, you want to begin with targeting these these donors and no knowing that they’re sophisticated buyers, so you want to go around and ask them, What are they going to be looking for, and really find out what they want, and then target that with your items that you end up putting in your auction. So we’re going to talk today real quick about three reasons why travel sells so well and why it’s the number one selling auction item out there. And they are it’s because unique, it’s popular. And there’s something called travel budgets, that’s a really important concept to understand. Let’s go out and just start with travel is unique. So travel with travel you there’s virtually unlimited options, right you have your restaurant down the street, you have your local sports team, you have, you know, incredible travel package across the globe, there is unlimited options in terms of where you can send your donors, and what that where they may want to go. And this, this is part of the reason why it’s two great auction items to put in your event because you can always switch it up. And that’s especially important when you start to understand just how many events these donors are attending each year. So we survey all of our winning all of our winning bidders, right? So we have booked over 70,000, right? We do many 1000 per year. And each of them we follow up with not only to see how their experience was but also to ask them about their their habits when it comes to attending events, excuse me. And what we found is they are busy when it comes to nonprofit events, most of them, you know, go to at least three or more events per year. And so when knowing that information, you want to make sure that the items that you’re putting in your event are very unique, right? Over 76% of your donors have gotten to three events per year, which is just huge. So when you take the uniqueness of travel, you can really switch things up when it comes to your live auction. And as far as travel goes, I thought I’d kind of put the question out there. Sam, tell me what your what’s on your bucket list when it comes to travel items you have anywhere you want to go.
Yes. So the two places that come to my mind that I’ve heard are beautiful, where Alaska and Iceland. And then also given this time of year since I’m up in the north and it’s cold here basically anywhere tropical or warm is is a good sell for me.
Because you’re up in the Northeast right now. Right? Correct. We
just got hit with though bit of snow this weekend.
Nice, nice. We’re, we’re down here with Brad’s headquarters down in Southern California where it’s usually Sunny. But it’s just been nonstop torrential rain down here. So I could use someplace tropical right now, I think. But yeah, this is a question that you’re absolutely going to want to ask your biggest donors and guests. Prior to coming to the event, we’re going to talk a little bit about surveying your guest list prior to to figure out what survives, you should get number two, travel is popular, right? Everybody loves travel? Who doesn’t love a vacation? Right? And so, you know, you’re never gonna go wrong, when you start to put out these incredible travel packages in front of you. It can be kind of a guesswork when you try to match specific merchandise items, or, you know, piece of jewelry, there’s different tastes that that come into play. But travel is like, hey, you know, Sure, I’d love to go, you know, to the tropics, or, you know, do this or that. So some of the most amazing statistics that we’ve found in serving our donors is that these are wealthy people, right? These are people who have the money and they know how to spend it. At least two thirds of these winning donors take three or more trips per year, half of them take four more trips per year, like even crazier statistic is that almost a fifth of them 17%, take six or more trips per year. This is definitely a statistic, I know, I would love to be a part of it, you know, maybe someday, I’m not right now. But, but these folks that you’re targeting travel a lot, right? They are out there. And they’re going to be doing this anyway, whether it’s through a travel agent, or whether it’s through your nonprofit and through your events. So it’s really important to know that and fit these these travel needs with items in your auction. Another reason you know, travel is popular, or another reason why using travel is popular is because people like to share their experiences and with the, you know, the pervasiveness of social media out there. It’s a great opportunity for you to kind of get that, that side promotion, right? If you are sending your donors on these incredible experiences, and they’re sharing it on their social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, they can then tie it back to your cause. Right? And they can say thank you. So and so you know, for this incredible opportunity to go on this for supporting this cause and you can get that kind of rub off on some of that that free marketing that comes with social media. So using hashtags like this bucket list, travel have setting up a hashtag for your nonprofit and your cause is also another great way to make sure people are sharing. The third reason travel sells so well is because have travelled budgets. And this is a huge, you know, really important piece to consider. That’s a separate from their philanthropic budget, right? When you’re setting up these events, you are targeting their philanthropic budget, right? When you do a funder need or cash appeal or whatever you’re trying to get people to donate their philanthropic budgets to your cause. Well, there’s this whole other budget that they set aside that specifically for travel, remember those statistics about how many times they travel each year? Well, that’s their travel budget that they have set aside, you want us to if you can start targeting that that’s a whole nother revenue stream that you can use to bring that money towards your cause? How much are we talking about? Well, you know, an American Express travel survey shows that 58% of Americans save money for travel, I’m sure many of you out there have, you know, money that you’re setting aside for a vacation coming up this year, hopefully. And we can assume knowing that the kind of people that come to these events in a charitable setting, it’s gonna be much higher than that there’s gonna be a lot more people who, in the end end up saving for travel. So how much money exactly are we talking? Well, the travel industry as a whole, we’re talking about $600 billion spent in the United States, on leisure travel alone, that is a huge sum of money. And that’s part of what we’re trying to do here, when spires divert some of that money towards your cause, right. So get people to start spending their travel budgets in favor of your, your cause, and for your organization at these events. Another couple of statistics that we found from these winning better surveys that we perform each time somebody goes on a on a trip 83% of winning bidders budget at least $5,000 Each year, right, that’s $5,000 that can be spent towards your cause. Over half budget at least $10,000 each. Again, another statistic I wish I could be a part of, but I am not. I cannot set aside that much money for vacation. But these people are these are people who are going to be traveling one way or another. So putting travel in your auction is a crucial way to getting that money to towards your bottom line. So I’m gonna take a drink of water here real quick. donors have more to give to the common sentiment that, you know, we talk about a lot when it comes to fundraising auctions that money walking out the door, right? The vast majority of your event patrons already have this money that they’re ready to spend on travel. And so when you’re offering this travel, you’re filling, what we’d like to say is filling two needs with one deed right spend their travel budget on an incredible experience while supporting a cause they believe in. So we talked about now why travel is such a great item to include in your in your fundraiser. How do you get it? Right? It’s, it’s not an easy auction item to procure, right? You can go solicit hotels and try to, you know, wrangled together airline miles and you know, get local sports teams, but it requires a lot of legwork to go out there and get in. You know, I’m a little biased here being working at WinStar. Obviously, we want you to use WinStar travel packages in your auction. But that doesn’t mean we want you to stop going out and trying to procure travel. That’s why we put together an offer, you know, tools, through our WinStar news channel for for going out and procuring items. There’s this ebook that we put out there and you know, procurement packet starter kit with a donor letter and donor forms, that you’re more than welcome to go download for free. There’s a link right there. But we want you to go out and procure travel because you know consignment travel. So talking about here in a second. It only works well when it’s supplemented by other really great items, especially in your local area. Right local sports teams, local chefs, you know, big personalities, you know, when you can connect it to the local area, that’s always going to increase that perceived value as well. Great. So let’s, let’s move into the three key strategies. And this is what the whole webinar is about here. There’s three key strategies for fundraising with travel and that is acquisition, promotion, and profit. All right, so let’s start with acquisition. The first step for, you know, starting to acquire travel, whether it’s procuring yourself or even getting consignment travel packages through a company like ours when spire the most important part is to know your audience, right? You want to know what they where they want to go and what they want to do. So a great way to do this is to survey your audience, you can use free survey tools, like Survey Monkey is a great one and send out an email, you know, ask where they want to go, you could even just send personalized emails to some of your biggest donors. The key here is you want to find out what types of travel packages they’re most interested in. And that way you can start putting together the packages for them. It’s it’s great to have people you know are gonna bid on these packages before they even get to the event and is a really key part of this because that’s how you start creating those bidding wars. If you just put together a travel package that maybe you think you would want Gonna go on, or you know you want to go on, but you’re not sure what your audience does. And then then it goes out there, that’s when the audience falls flat and no one bids. And that’s never good. So before you start doing anything in terms of putting it together travel packages or acquiring a travel package from a consignment company, know what your audience wants, that is an absolute key here. It’s important, let’s, let’s be honest here. So, travel is risky, right. And one, one thing that’s really difficult about procuring travel is that you never know when the people in the audience won’t want to travel, you’re always dealing with blackout dates. And there’s just it can be really a pain in the butt when when you’re trying to cobble together these packages for these folks, and then fulfill them on the back end. So it’s one of the main reasons to use a travel partner like a consignment company, because we do all the work for you. And then you don’t have to worry about that risk
on the back end, especially, you know, as the event organizer, you know, you put together these components. And then, you know, after the events over, everything sold great. But when they go to redeem it, now you have to be travel agent, right? You want to just wipe your hands clean for the event, but you can’t, because now you have to put together these actual travel packages for these folks. And there’s also a lot of inherent risk when it comes to, you know, vacation homes or things for your board member. And let’s look at a really classic example that we see all the time. And that’s this familiar scenario where a board member has this incredible vacation condo where, you know, maybe they’ve, you know, you’ve raised money using it for the last few years, and it’s been absolutely great, and you sell it at an auction, and it raises a bunch of money. And then those winning bidders go to redeem it, and then it’s sold, or maybe it’s going under renovation, and then all of a sudden, you can’t fulfill that same item. And this can, this can happen in a bunch of different ways. But this turns into a really awkward situation for the winning bidders, because and you because now you have to figure out a new way to help service them for what they purchased and spent their money on. And that’s why no risk travel, or consignment travel came about as we take care of all that risk, you can sell our packages as many times as you want. And you never have to worry about the winning bidder after often often and done because we’re full service travel agency, we take care of it. When when everything’s done. So that’s what we what we do. But there’s another side of this acquisition, right. And that is whether again, whether you’re putting it together yourself, or you are gathering these consignment items from a travel partner like linspire, you want to make sure that you choose travel packages that will appeal to every audience segment. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, there’s, there’s different segments of your audience that you want to, you really want to pay attention to right. And I put together this really good diagram about, you know, how most audiences are split up, you have your top 15% of guests is your wealthy donors who are going to spend big money, especially in the live auction, then you have your bottom 15%, who are kind of guests of attendees maybe aren’t going to participate at all. And then there’s everyone else nets that middle 70% of you know of attendees, where That’s where a big chunk of money is that you want to make sure that you are targeting as well. So you want to cast a wide net, you want to have really cool VIP experiences that are going to be you know, higher price point, you know, upwards of three or $4,000 for those VIP guests, but then you want also those travel packages that are at a lower price point, maybe $1,000 900 bucks, that that are going to really get people going in that that middle 70% section. So think about this, as you are procuring those, those items and putting together your whole live auction and silent auction set, so that you have items that are targeting each sector of the audience. It’s just a really, really important thing to keep in mind. So sometimes what we’ll see is that, you know, nonprofits will put, you know, a bunch of really incredible experiences in their live auction, and then maybe two or three will sell and you know, they don’t raise as much money as they thought versus those who put maybe one or two really incredible items in a live auction. Another couple that are a little lower price point, but also pretty cool in the live auction and then a few lower price point ones in the silent auction, then you’re shooting every single demographic in your audience, and then more of the items are going to be guaranteed to sell in the end. Great. That’s probably reason why we split up our experiences we we have two kind of categories in terms of the experiences that we offer. We have our signature experiences, which are the kind of the big ones the great ones for the live auction things like the Super Bowl Hamilton on Broadway, you know, Tuscany truffle hunt. You know these kind of global experiences that are great for putting out there in your live auction. And then we have our silent auction. packages that are more like hotel stays, these are our preferred luxury properties. And those are, you’ll see kind of the price point that’s low below 1000 bucks, these are what you want to put in your silent auction. So the price point matters a lot. And, and kind of the scope of the experience matters a lot as well. Also, when it comes to acquisition, you want to make sure that you become an educated buyer, especially when you’re talking about consignment using no risk travel. And I feel like I didn’t cover exactly what no risk travel is, for those of you who don’t know, no risk, and consignment travel means that you don’t pay anything upfront. For an experience before you put in your auction, you can promote it, you can promote the heck out of it, you can sell it five times, and you don’t pay for anything until after it’s over and you have guaranteed winners. If you you know, try to sell a $2,000 package, and then it doesn’t get to that reserve price, then you don’t have to purchase it from us only if it raises money, do you actually purchase the experience and happens only after the event. So if you’re looking around for travel items, you know, like these four consignments company, make sure that you are reading the fine print, right you know, the process. And you also absolutely know how your winning bidders are going to be taken care of. Right, there’s a bunch of different consignment companies out there, some of them do more full service, like we do in terms of, you know, following up with the winning bidder, making sure that they booked their experience, you know, full service concierge travel agency, and then we follow up with them after their experience to make sure they had a good time see how things went. versus kind of the other end of the spectrum, which is just an order desk, right, these are just, they’re gonna send you certificates in the mail. And then it’s up to you to make sure that the winning bidder gets gets on their way. So make sure that you become an educated buyer in terms of reading the fine print, knowing exactly what your winning bidders are going to experience on the back end and the process for for promoting it as well. Next up, we have promotion. And when it comes to promoting travel, you can put travel and pretty much any aspect of your event, as long as it raises money, right. So you have the live auction, the super silent auction, the silent auction, the raffle, and also online, super silent is a really great thing that we’re seeing a lot and a lot more events nowadays, which is basically, you’ll only want so many items in your live auction, you don’t don’t want to overload your live auction, otherwise, it can drown on for too long. But if you want that seven to 10 items, because you want to keep it under an hour, but if there’s any items that didn’t make it into the live auction, but maybe they’re too big for just the regular silent auction, you can have a separate super silent auction that may be kind of roped off as extra lighting. And it’s usually the section that’s closed last, but it has higher value silent auction items. This is where you can put some travel experiences in there to really call call people’s attention to there. And we’ve seen some great success with that. So super sounds a great, great idea. Also the raffle. One thing that we’ve been seeing a ton of people doing is something called a winner’s choice fundraising raffle. And this is a fabulous way to, you know, really raise some extra cash either, you know, during the event, or if you’re not having an event maybe in an offseason, during the summer, or spring. And the way that works is that you can select three to four travel packages, consignment travel packages, and then as the winners choice, so you sell raffle tickets and, you know, draw at the end. And then whoever wins gets to choose from those three to four experiences which one they want to go on that way you can have a much broader, you know, prize base in terms of what will appeal to people you can have anything from, you know, girls weekend in New York to a boy’s weekend in Vegas or you know, race cars or whatever, you can broaden the the choice of the prize, you will end up selling more tickets, we have a great resource that you can download for free as well at UDOT when spire me.com backslash raffle that will go through all of this, in terms of how to set your ticket price. You know, we’ve seen nonprofits raise upwards of $10,000 by selling, you know, 50 to $100 tickets, right? If you sell 100 $100 tickets, you know, that’s $10,000. And then all you have to do with the back end is back out the price of the travel package, which could be two to three grand and then you know you’ve raised a healthy chunk of money. So fundraising raffles are a great way to do that. You know, whether it’s during the event selling $50 tickets or in the offseason, or maybe you don’t even have a fundraising event you want to do a raffle. Another side note, important piece that you want to make sure you pay attention to is the is the raffle laws in your state because they vary by state. And you can get in some trouble if you if you don’t, you know, log your raffle with the right people. So definitely check your local, I think Attorney General to make sure that you’re in line with that as well. But again, check out this resource. We have templates in there ticket temp Let’s, you know, flyer templates. Great stuff for for for running a fundraising raffle. Also under promotion is pre event advertising. And this is huge when it comes to promoting not just travel, but any item in your auction, right, you want to make sure that bidders are conditioned, and they know what to expect when they come to your event, right, you want to give them those sneak peeks into your biggest and best auction items. So they can get excited and start that conversation about what they want to bid on.
before they ever get there. Right. You can imagine the situation where, you know, Mr. or Mrs. Smith, or, you know, sitting around, you know, it’s a week before the auction, they see, you know, maybe a flyer or something on social media, it’s like, oh, my gosh, they’re gonna have this incredible trip to Napa Valley, I’ve always wanted to go to Napa Valley, then that conversation, you know, the conversation is started, right, they started talking about the packages prior to the event, and then they’re ready when they walk through the door, they already have an idea in their mind as to what they’re going to start bidding on right, that’s a completely different from the situation where, you know, they’re kind of, you know, blown away when they first walk in, you know, when they’re trying to have that conversation at the table. It’s like, Okay, should we do it? Should we not do it? Should we do it? You know, that’s a lot of money. But if they’ve, if they’ve had started that conversation a week or two, prior, you know, they’re a lot more ready to spend, you know, the kind of money that it requires to sell some of these packages. So using social media, using email newsletters, pre sell, I mentioned before you make you want to make sure you know, your audience, it’s also great to, to go find some, you know, people that you know, some of your more, I guess, VIP constituents, people who’ve been coming for a while to kind of get some guaranteed bids in the audience, right? You, you say, hey, you know, we have this package that we’re going to be putting in there, we know that you want to go there, you know, can we get a guarantee from you that you’re going to put in at least one or two bids, right. And then if you get Yes, from a couple people, then that’s how you start that momentum during the live auction to get to get more people wrapped up in the bidding. So pre selling is a huge, huge part of it. And then just promoting so a huge SGMA the, as far as social media goes and promotion, Facebook, right? I know you guys are all on Facebook out there. Be surprised if you’re not. But Facebook is the best way to promote your event prior to the pride of the event itself. Right? It is a free tool. If you’re not on it, you should be on it. I just went to a marketing conference in Boston a couple months ago, and every single speaker there was talking about to businesses, right? If you’re not on Facebook, you should be on Facebook, if you’re not on Facebook, you’re behind well as nonprofits, promoting events, is one of the best tools that you can use to showcase some of your items or announce things about, you know, the venue or speakers or entertainment or your cause, you know, talking about what specifically the money is going to go towards, right. But, you know, with travel, nothing is better clickbait or, you know, a more enticing if then pictures of you know, incredible travel vacations, right and say, Hey, here’s this really cool travel package we got coming up, you know, become prepared to bid on it. That’s how you get these packages in front of more eyeballs. And it’s free. You don’t have to put together any sort of newsletters or pamphlets or things sent out direct mail. You can just spend your time on Facebook, which is where you guys are already spending anyway. Right? I know that I checked my Facebook more than I’d like to admit on my phone, right. But so is everyone else out there. So a great free tool. A great or here’s a good example of there’s a young actress theater, there was actually last May, I posted about Hamilton. And check out right down there you can see 52 interactions, that’s 52 people who saw this and interacted with it, I can guarantee you there’s a lot more that saw that maybe didn’t hit the light button. That means 52 people came to the event, knowing that this was going to be in there. And guess how many times they sold it right? They sold it three times. Right? They probably made about $6,000 off this one package alone. And it was just a huge success. And this is from them pre promoting these live auction items on social media and through their email newsletters to make sure people know that it’s going to be there. I just mentioned email newsletters. That’s another really, really great and important tool that you guys should be using out there. You know, email service providers like MailChimp, Constant Contact. Emma Miam, I think it’s called are all great tools that you can get for relatively cheap, if not free, depending on the size of your database to create really slick email newsletters that you send out to your database. You should never ever be BC seeing everyone in your donation in your donor database. So that’s a big big nono. Right? You want these to be email newsletters that look professional that have your event logo. Give people the option to go buy tickets, but then give them that sneak peek at Talk about your mission. Putting that out in front, you know, and doing a good frequency of you know, once or twice, maybe five times before the event right leading once a week leading up to the event and showcase different items, the emails another just really cheap and effective way for communicating to your constituents prior to the event about the auction items that are gonna be there and start promoting it, we have a great another resource that you can download a beginner’s guide to email event promotion, it has some content, calendars, templates, things of that sort, definitely check that as well. There’s the link right there that you can use to download it. event they fanfare, also a big part of promoting your live auction items, right, you’re just getting up and talking about and experience to Napa Valley or to, you know, to jazz New Orleans festival isn’t going to do it right, you really want to paint that picture in people’s minds, you want to increase that perceived value, and what you know what speaks better than a picture, right? actual picture speaks 1000 words. So make sure that you have a big screen with a PowerPoint. And when the auctioneer is up there talking about a travel package, you have beautiful images that really get people excited about the Trump package itself that is going to amplify and the amount of bidding and excitement surrounding that item. So another note too, you want to make sure you have a professional Benefit Auctioneer, I can’t stress that enough benefit auctioneers are well worth the cost, they will dramatically increase the amount that you raise from your live auction because they know what to do. They’re not sitting up there just talking about you know, it’s not just someone who’s personable or a local news anchor, who just sits there and reads off of a sheet about an experience. They know how to play people off of each other in the audience. They know how to, you know, they know how to encourage people to spend more money, right and say, Oh, I can see you want to bid again, I can see you want to bid again. I’ve seen this many, many times. Benefit auctioneers will extract more money out of the audience because they know how to do it right. They know how to sell items multiple times, it’s just incredible the amount of money they can pull out of an audience. And so they’re by far worth it. So whether you have an auctioneer or not, though, you also want to make sure you have a subject matter expert, someone who knows a lot about the items, especially consignment items, or maybe a travel package that you put together yourself, make sure there’s someone who knows the details that can lay it out in a sheet of paper and can’t the auctioneer or whoever’s auctioning off the item with bullet points, very clear bullet points that it’s a no brainer for them in terms of how they’re going to pitch it so that they fanfare. And signage are just as important. If you’re going to have your travel in a silent auction, make sure that you have a eight and a half by 11. at very least, with all the details and multiple pictures, you know, showing what you’re going to get with that experience. You know, you want to detail any blackout dates or restrictions very clearly. When the bidders are in the know. As far as uh, you know, travel experiences go to I would highly encourage printing out big posters, right? 22 by 24 inch posters, or 18. By 24. I think the sizes you can go print off at FedEx for fairly cheap. With all of our experiences, we provide a poster size and eight and a half by 11. Size, you know, display that has a picture multiple pictures and all the details that that all of our nonprofits use. So that signage of the day of is is just as important as pre promoting in terms of building again, that perceived value. Just talking about it or putting, you know, black bullet points on white sheet of paper isn’t going to paint that picture. You got to you got to create that picture in their mind so that they can envision themselves there on that travel experience.
Last but not least profit and profit is kind of an interesting word to put here, especially when we are talking about nonprofits, right? Because you’re a nonprofit, but profit is what you are seeking when you it’s one thing that we try to get our nonprofits or charities to start thinking like is a business right? When you are organizing an event, you are trying to do a profit making endeavor right? It’s like a one night only storefront where you have all your products up there for one night only. And you need to get bring all your customers in on one night, sell everything on the shelf, and then you close up, lock the door until next year, the same time. That’s a difficult business to run. Right. But that’s what you got to do out there. That’s your job. So So you got to make sure that you are focused on the profit and what is profit mean? That is your revenue. That is the amount of money that you’re bringing in minus your expenses, all the expenses for the venue for the cost of the auctioneer for the cost of the items, right? So your revenue less your expenses is going to equal your profits. So you want to make sure that you’re bringing in a lot of revenue, keeping your expenses low, and that will increase your profit. So with auction items, that’s an important thing. To start with is is where you’re going to set your minimum bid. And especially when it comes to consignment items, where there’s a cost associated with it, right? Granted, it’s a cost only if you raise money, you don’t have to pay anything upfront. But when you set that minimum bid, we usually encourage a rule of thumb as a rule of thumb to start 20% over the package cost. So if it’s $2,000 package, you’re going to start at $2,400, as your minimum bid, you’re not gonna go any lower than that. That way, you know, if you get one bid on that package, you’re gonna get at least $400. Right? So rule of thumb 20% over the package cost. The great thing about that is that you’re only going to go up from there, right? So if you start at 2400, you get a few bids, it gets up to 2600, then you’re gonna get make $600 on it, and then you can sell it multiple times. And we’ll talk about that actually here. Right now. Let’s see. Let me show them miss anything. Yep, selling multiple times. So the great thing about consignment travel packages, or no risk travel packages, is that you can sell it as many times as you want. So that $2,400 package, or rather $2,000 packs that you start at 24. Let’s say it gets up to $3,000. Then you can sell it to the top three bidders, right? If it’s an a live auction, and you have a Benefit Auctioneer, who knows what they’re doing, they can play the top three bidders off of each other and wait until that third bidder drops out and say wait, wait, wait, wait. You know, Mr. Bitter one, Mrs. Bitter two, if we stopped the bidding at Mr. Bitter threes, final bid of of $3,000, let’s just say, then will all of you agree to purchase the package they all usually agree, then you’ve just made instead of $1,000 on one, you’ve made $3,000 on a single package. And that is such an important tool to use. And to make sure that your auctioneer whoever’s emceeing your live auction knows about because that is really how you start making a lot of money off these travel packages. You can even do it on on items that you’ve procured, you know, if you have like a restaurant that you’ve procured a dinner with, like 10 people out there, you can say, you when you’re procuring the item, you can ask them like, hey, you know, if we get a certain bid for this, could we purchase another one of these dinners from you, you know, at cost. So let’s say they decide to donate a dinner for 10. And then the you can ask them how much that’s going to cost. And then you can say, hey, if if did the bidding reaches this level, can I actually purchase another one of these from you. So then you’re then you can start to roll in more and more money. But the important part is, is to have an auctioneer who knows what they’re doing, and knows how to sell these items multiple times to maximize the profit. Last tip, when it comes to profit is securing I put hot tip there because this is a hot tip. And this has to do with securing underwriters. So I’m sure you guys are familiar with, you know, securing underwriters for things like your table linens, or maybe the band or the you know, catering or the, you know, the florist. These are all you know, things that you typically would think about when you think about underwriters, but you can also get travel packages underwritten, right, you can have, you know, one of your wealth, your donors, or maybe a, you know, a business that doesn’t have a service to donate like a law firm, and ask them if they would be willing to underwrite the cost of a travel package, that then you can start getting some of these huge, really cool items, you know, like a trip to the Vatican or things like that. And, and then you can acknowledge these donors when it comes time to selling and at the live auction. And as we all know, you know, a huge part of, you know, a huge part of fundraising is kind of stroking these donors egos right, and recognizing them when it makes sense, well, what better way to recognize them when everyone’s seated and paying attention to the stage during the live auction. And you can say, I want to thank, you know, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, and the front row here for donating this incredible travel package to New York City. You know, thanks to them, we’re gonna be able to raise a lot more to our cause. And then then 100% of the proceeds of who people are bidding are going to go directly towards your cause. And you can even sell multiple times. So this is just a really great thing that you can take to these donors is kind of a tool in your back pocket. Right? If if you know, donors are saying, you know, potential donors say no, I’m not going to donate, sorry. You know, oftentimes they’ll say yes to being recognized, cuz it’s kind of free promotion during your event. So absolutely secure underwriters for travel packages. Last but not least, winning bidders. So I’ve mentioned this a couple of times throughout. But making sure that your winning bidders are well taken care of when they go on these travel experiences, regardless of whether it’s a consignment package or a item you put together yourself, you want to make sure they have a good experience because part of you know them winning this item at your event is you want them to come back, right you want them to come back and you want them to spend money. And so So ensuring that they have an incredible time is going to be a big part to building that donor relationship with them, ensuring that they’re going to come back and spend more money at future events. So, you know, leveraging a full service travel agency definitely reduces your cost and headache on the back end, someplace like wind spa, that’s what we do when our favorite parts about what we do is, is putting together the travel packages and then seeing these winning bidders go on them and have an absolute great time. You can see on our website, if you go to inspire me.com. And look at some of the packages, we review, we send out a review email to each and every winning bidder and they send back, you know, we’ve just gotten gobs of four and five star reviews, just people loving the experiences. And that’s what we care about. Because we believe nothing is more important than people and their experiences. So but again, that goes, that goes to you as well. If you’ve put together travel packages, don’t wipe your hands clean once the event is over. If you put that child package together yourself, it’s your responsibility, or somebody in your organization’s responsibility to make sure that that that travel package is seen through that they have a great time and follow up with them. Right? Like I mentioned, beginning about the gift basket and taking out those donors to dinner, or lunch or coffee. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with them, ask them how their experience was taught to, you know, hear about it. And then and then start building that relationship, because that’s what this is all about is building those donor relationships. So with that, that’s all I got. I want to say thank you, to those of you out there for for joining us here today. To talk about travel. I’m excited to see if there’s any questions from you guys. And before I do want to just touch on two quick things. We have another webinar coming up on January 17. That is, it’s all about timing of your charity auction timeline. So it’s called Five Secrets for improving your charity auction timeline. This particular one’s about live auctions, we did a part one last month about silent auctions, that I can send you if you inquire but this one is all about live auctions, we have one of the best auctioneers in the nation, Scott Robertson, who’s down in Florida, who’s going to be joining us as the the featured presenter. So there’s the link right there, you can go ahead and register for free. That that webinars coming up next Tuesday, January 17. So we hope to see you there. And last but not least, Here’s your gift 400, amazing auction and ideas. Go and download it right there. And I’ll put the link back up here in just a second. But I just want to get to questions, if there are any.
All right, thank you. And that was great. A lot of good tips and information there. So as we said, you can enter and we have a couple of questions that have been asked throughout. But if you have any questions that you haven’t submitted into the question box, I’ll go ahead and encourage you to do that. Now. To get us started, is there a minimum expense on the nonprofit to purchase such packages from linspire?
Absolutely not. So there’s no upfront cost to purchasing, or there’s no upfront cost to using WinSCP our experience, you can put it in your option. Like I said, promote it, put it out on Facebook, let’s say you want to, we have our ultimate Hamilton on Broadway, when you go to New York City Broadway, we put you up in a beautiful hotel, and you get to meet the cast, go see the show. And you can use that in your event to your heart’s desire. And then if it sells, then you raise money with it, then you come and purchase it from us. If it doesn’t sell people, you know, aren’t too hot on it, then there’s no cost out of your pocket.
All right, great. Next question, do you recommend showing the retail value of the trip in the catalog?
Catalog? I’m assuming that’s going to be the catalog that you put out either before during the events? Retail value can be tricky. And this is a great question. Retail value is actually something we encourage you to shy away from. So let’s say we have that $2,000 package and you mark it up to 20 420% over we recommend not putting that $2,400 price anywhere in your pre event material because then you’ve then you’ve set a kind of a artificial glass ceiling in the bidders mind as far as the value of that actually, that would be the minimum bid. But let’s say you have that $24 package and you say the retail value is 4000. Right? Then you said okay that that package is only worth $4,000 I’m not going to go above $4,000 But we’ve seen packages that will go way above their supposed retail value quote unquote, right just because the auctioneer does such a fabulous job building it up and getting people excited about it. That you know, people bid an incredible amount on and you have to remember you’re in this this this highly tense, a highly emotional situation in terms of a fundraising event where people are wrapped up in the cause right there oxytocin in their brain is, is going crazy, because, you know, they care about this. And they’re, they’re there to spend money in the first place. So retail value doesn’t really matter at all. And I would actually go as far to recommend, you know, eliminating retail value from most of, of your, you know, sound auction items and materials, because because you don’t want to put any ceilings in there, you want to let people bid what they’re going to bid. And if you do the promotion, right, then then oftentimes, that bidding should go well above what the retail value is. Gotcha,
I have a couple people writing in about the silent auction package that you had mentioned, towards the end of the webinar and think, would you just be able to tell them where they can get more information on that? Is there something on your site? Or did you have a link in one of the slides that they might be able to go to
our silent auction properties is that was it our luxury properties? Let me see if I can. We have silent auction. So we have our preferred luxury properties that we that we offer. And these are we’ve partnered with preferred hotels, and correct me if I’m sorry, if I’m going off the wrong tangent here. But if this what you’re interested in are kind of lower priced, luxury property sound auction items, you can go to our website wins premier.com, if you click on experiences, there’s a right at the top of the catalog, you’ll see a banner for preferred. And you can go in there and request more information and talks about how it works. These go off of the you know, the pricing schemes a little bit different. They go from 5050 split, but the pricing is super low. And it’s a great money making tool. For you guys out there. tons of really cool boutique hotels from around the globe and locally here in the United States. Just really fantastic hotels. So definitely check that out. And you can email me too, as well. If you have any questions about particular items.
Got it? Sorry for making you go back all those slides. Good. Have two kinds of similar questions that are kind of touching on the same thing related to sort of the airlines or airfare. One is, do you have any tips for securing airfare? And the second is, how would you get airlines to donate travel? Is there any tips to that?
Yeah, that’s a funny question for you. So airlines are notoriously difficult to work with. So you know, what we see a lot out there is, is people donating their airline miles, which is totally doable, you can absolutely do that. Just, you know, fair warning that you that is restrictive, there’s a lot of restrictions around that. And there’s always going to be some added expense for the winning bidder, no matter where you want to go. And it’s it’s can be really difficult to line up a destination and an experience, right, we talked about those three parts of what experience will traveler be really difficult the lineup a destination and an experience with airline miles that will get you all the way there. So as long as you, you know, it’s known that the winning bidder will probably have some added expense on top of, you know, the package, you can use airline miles to do that. Getting not getting airlines to actually donate tickets is also very difficult, we’ve definitely been down that road ourselves, it usually requires a kind of connection, or knowing somebody in the industry to get you that far there is no real like, can just go to their website. And you know, there’s might be some kind of giving back or donation request, but they just get absolutely flooded by nonprofits from around the globe. So it can be really hard to get your request to the top of the stack. But you know, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. So I would say if you know, especially if you have anybody in your board, or any of your donors have any sort of connections to the travel, like the airline industry, that’s gonna be your best bet for getting airlines donated or, you know, there’s, there’s also, you know, options for your local kind of smaller airports, right. I think try to get think outside outside the box, maybe a helicopter ride, you know, or like in a Cessna, maybe, you know, there’s pilots, you know, on your board or in your, you know, in your constituents that that could actually fly people there. I know, up in Seattle, where I’m from, we have, you know, Kenmore air, which is, you know, sea planes, they, they’re, they’re really active in the community. So think about, you know, creative ways or, you know, think about a car rental service, like rent a classic car to drive out to a destination, especially if it’s within, you know, 50 to 100 miles. It doesn’t have to be airfare, but, you know, airfare is notoriously difficult to deal with when it comes to auction items. Especially because you start to deal with knockout dates and you know preferred dates of travel in lining up the experience in the hotel destination with these travel dates in your airfare, is can just turn into a massive headache. And that’s and that’s actually why when spark came about when spar started as a full service travel or full service event, agency that we put together events for nonprofits, and then we saw how difficult this was. So then we started creating just the travel packages so that, you know, all those blackout dates and things you don’t have to worry about. It’s completely open into travel, you know, the winning bidder, when they when they, they simply they can book, their travel whenever they want the hotels whenever they want the experience whenever they want. And, and then we have a whole staff, right, that is in charge of making sure that that happens. And so it takes the onus off of the nonprofit, because we know that you guys don’t have that sort of time. To answer the question,
yeah, I think so that was, yeah, covered a lot there. So I we have time for about one or two more questions here. So this one is related to silent auctions. As far as sort of the fees or upfront costs of that. Are there transaction fees or upfront costs on those silent auctions?
Are you talking about if this is referred to the sound auction items that we offer, none of our items that we offer, whether it’s our signature experiences, or our silent auction items require anything upfront to us, they’re all off. They’re all free to use, and then you purchase after the event and only if they’ve raised money. Granted, you got to be careful there. We have seen situations where, you know, the I talked about have a subject matter experts so that, you know, the auctioneer isn’t selling it for below the package costs, because that’s an awkward, awkward situation if you don’t sell it for the cost of the package, and then they think they want and you say, well, actually, no, you didn’t win, right. So all of our packages are free to use in promoting your event and you only purchase them afterwards once you raise money. But that, you know, if you got to make sure that you sell it above, right, and that’s why we make sure we recommend starting point percent above that package cost. But yeah, that’s that’s the beauty of novice travel. That’s what novice travel is, it’s for you to use these travel packages with no risk to your organization.
So okay, also related to that. So once someone has actually won the bid for one of these trips, how long do they have to go on one of them specific to Wind Fire?
Great question. Great question. So we, the kind of the fine print of the formal thing is, you know, for the winning bidders, as we say they have up to a year to redeem. But that’s just a year to redeem. So if you want to trip today, today is what the tents, you would have until Jan, you know, or maybe it’s the 11th, I don’t even know, the then you would have until January of next year to begin the booking process. So then you could book it out for another year if you wanted. So you have a year to begin the booking process. Got it?
Okay. And last question here. Someone’s asking specifically, if they would be able to offer a reference and Napa experience without the actual airfare? Is that possible in one of those packages?
So that one more time, so I missed it?
Would you would they be able to offer like the Napa Valley experience? Without the airfare? It’s just the you know, I guess the?
Oh, yeah, sure, absolutely. All of our experiences can be kind of customized. You know, with or without airfare on, pretty much all of our experiences can come with airfare, we encourage you just to give us a call or fill out the contact us form on our website. And, and then one of our fundraising specialists will will call you and really tailor these experiences to fit your audience needs. So absolutely, any one of our experiences can can come without air for But on that note, you know, I talked about the perceived value. And unless you’re kind of in the area, let’s say you’re in Northern California, so you can drive to Napa Valley, you know that that, you know, makes sense to have a no airfare version. But if you’re elsewhere, putting you know, having a package that without airfare isn’t gonna raise as much as a package that has airfare because it’s kind of the complete package, right has that perceived value that is dramatically more. And so that’s something that we definitely encourage. And then especially when you try to loop in airline miles or things like that, then it starts to get a little messy and you’re complicating it for yourself, because then you have to help them book their travel.
Got it? All right, great. Well, it’s about 259. So we’re going to wrap up now i e, and thank you that was a lot of good information. Good on the question and answers to as I mentioned earlier as the video of today’s session, and the slides will be emailed to all registrants and it’ll also be made available in the DonorPerfect knowledge base for DonorPerfect client. And again, I just want to quickly mentioned that the webinar Ian had talked about earlier. That is happening next Tuesday, January 17. On how to run your live nonprofit. So if you found today’s webinar helpful, you’ll definitely want to check that one out as well. We’ll leave the link up there for a minute or so for you to sign up. And that’s about all so thank everyone for attending. And enjoy the rest of your day. Hope you found this helpful.
Yep, let me just say to if you guys are interested at all, or have any questions about travel or especially consignment travel, no risk travel. You can find this just by Googling linspire Give us a call fill out the contact us form. We’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you have. You can also go to WWE inspire me.com. And we’ll send out an email after this hopefully, with my contact information as well. You can email me with any questions you have. I just want to thank you and Sam, and DonorPerfect for the opportunity to talk to your audience here today. And hope to see you guys at our next webinar.
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you and great job, good
all right. Have a good day.Read Less