Over the last several months, we have learned valuable insight into what is working for organizations in this ever-changing landscape.
As we dive into hundreds of our events and conversations with organizations, here are 10 things discovered:
1. Do not make decisions on which experiences to offer in your event based on your own personal financial situation, base it on the perspective audience. This is a very common mistake organizations make consistently. There are not many of us who can afford The Finals Round in Augusta, but maybe someone in your audience can. There are several industries that are doing well during the pandemic. The more you know about your donors the better. Maybe someone in your audience just sold their company for $20 million and want to spend some of it on bucket list type of trips? And vice versa. Ask the right questions and you may get the right answers.
2. At a time when Covid cases are increasing across the country, so is the percentage of our experiences being bought by donors in events. Wait, what? Donors are buying our experiences at a higher percentage rate now than pre-pandemic. This might seem counter-intuitive, but people are valuing “experiences” over “things” more than ever. We are on both sides of the equation here. We help you raise more money with highly sought-after experiences and we also execute the trips for the donors. We speak to them daily and they are telling us they need something to look forward to by working with them planning trips well into 2021.
Are you catering to those individuals in your fundraising events?
3. When the same experience sells multiple times in an event – a committee or board members tend to be one of the buyers. Many of our experiences are sold before an event even happens. Your board and committees can be one of the greatest resources and pulse for which experiences to offer in your event. They are heartfelt and connected to your cause and if they plan on traveling anyway, why not buy that dream trip through your organization? The key is to ask them their interests.
4. The 2-year redemption period matters – hammer it home! The main reason donors are buying experiences is because they want to help your organization. They also mention to us on the phone they felt very comfortable because of the 2-year window to redeem.
5. Acceptable driving distances have significantly increased for donors during the pandemic (sometimes up to 14 hours). Donors are willing to drive further these days to vacation. In the past, organizations looked at driving distance for an experience to be 3-5 hours away. We are seeing many organizations that consider driving distance now in the 10-14 hour window. This can open up many options for you to consider in regards to experiences.
6. Be more aggressive in your markups. Typically in the past, we recommend starting the minimum bid 10-20% above our cost. Due to the current environment, some organizations have been choosing to start it at a higher percentage. We have seen that strategy work well in events and if the organization only gets a few bids on each experience, they are perfectly happy.
7. Be more aggressive in your offerings. What do you have to lose? Now is the time to take chances. All of our experiences are no risk, no commitment. If you don’t sell an experience, you owe $0. We see organizations offering more of our trips in events because they see no downside in a virtual event. We agree with them!
8. Mix up local, regional and national experiences. Some people want to get totally away from the area they live in, others want to stay close to home. Offer a mix of local, regional and national experiences in this environment to cover all interest levels. Since June – 48% of experiences selling in our events are what we would consider local/regional experiences and 52% of experiences sold involve air travel — a good sign donors are willing to travel to distant destinations when the time is right.
9. Get help to fill in your gaps. We’ve heard a common theme for the last 8+ months from organizations regarding their upcoming fundraising events. Because of the current environment, their typical abundance of donated auction items have fallen short this year. With local businesses struggling and donors not able to donate week-long stays at their vacation homes, they’ve turned to us to help fill in the gaps..
10. Outdoor Adventures and Food, Wine & Spirits are dominating. Prior to launching Giveback XP 5 years ago, our Founder owned and operated fly fishing and adventure programs for 20+ years across the globe. With 42% of experiences sold in events since June having an outdoor theme, it certainly plays to our area of expertise.
Food, Wine & Spirts make up the next biggest category at 30% of all experiences sold.
NEW: in the next month you will be seeing 8-10 new experiences in Wine Country and several more packages in Tennessee. Check out our NEW Hilton Head 7-Bedroom Luxury Home Getaway.
As always, if we can help you, let us know?
1-888-573-2220 or Contact Us