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Get Personal

August 09, 2017
We’ve all received the email from a mailing list, with a come-on for a sale or other event. And we’ve all hit delete before we even know the product or service, based on a salutation like “Dear Sir or Madam.” Even in the age of programs that can merge donor names into email solicitations, there’s something about a mailing list that can feel cold.

The best way to raise money with our non-profit fundraising auction travel packages is, of course, by selling them in a room of relaxed, happy donors. But in order to fill that room, you’ve got to reach out to them – and in doing so, it’s been shown time and again that personal entreaties are the best.

One effective way of reaching out to your supporters is one of the most old-fashioned: The United States Postal Service. Yes, mass mailing isn’t always an efficient use of money, but targeting specific donors or supporter pools with a tangible invitation is still personal enough to get noticed. Better yet, turn the invites into discussion pieces; tie them to your theme, work with a graphic designer and make them sing, as if they were wedding invitations. Those are the types of postcards or mailers that get tacked to bulletin boards, affixed to refrigerators and, eventually, accepted.

Social media advertising isn’t just for work-from-home schemes. With 68 percent of American adults using Facebook and 30 percent of all American adults of incomes more than $75,000 using Twitter, according to Pew Research, there’s a good chance that your supporters – and supporters-to-be – exist somewhere in the digital space. The audience for your advertisement can be selected by age, location and interests, meaning that your post promoting your event or gala can be in front of a huge number of potential attendees, right next to status updates or tweets from their friends.

The aforementioned invitations have one common goal: To feel more personal. Whether it’s a paper invite that looks handmade or a promoted social media post designed to pop up in someone newsfeed, each try to narrow the space between the organization and the invitee. But there’s an easy, overlooked way of doing just that: Pick up the phone! For your gala, your board of directors could be doing personal phone calls to as many donors as possible, especially those with a bigger budget. If an effective invitation is one that is as personalized as possible, there’s no beating a one-on-one conversation with a board member. (It’s also a great time to listen to the donor’s thoughts, concerns and suggestions, too.)


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Baby-Proof Travel

August 02, 2017
At Mitch-Stuart, we maintain that our non-profit fundraising auction travel packages are good for donors in all walks of life. We’ve got adventure travel, bucket-list trips and tickets to some of the biggest events in the world. But not every class of supporter always feels like they can get away. For donors who have young children, the thought of travel conjures nightmares of packing everything up in the car or, even worse, getting the kids to behave on a flight.

The good news: We can help there. Because while there’s little that can be done to make getting to the destination much easier, making sure that there’s a spacious, private villa waiting may be enough inspiration to get those supporters interested in participating in your fundraising auction.

Why do villas work best when traveling with young children? It’s all about space.

Space for the Kid: Sleeping in a hotel room with an infant can be a test of even Zen-like patience. Having multiple bedrooms, like most villas do, gives the kids their own space, one where they can spread out their toys and play without interrupting the peace and quiet of the adults. It also means that, after the young ones go to bed, the parents don’t have to hold their voices to whispers in fear of waking their progeny.

Space for the Family: We’ve said before that multi-generational travel is one of our favorite uses for our travel packages that include a villa as the residence. Having the grandparents along may help mom and dad sneak out for a nice dinner in a new location on their own. It certainly will make the occasion seem more like time away than being with the same people, just in a different room. And staying in a beautiful villa is a wonderful way to get family members acquainted with the newest generation.

Space in the Kitchen:
Ordering your small children the escargot is a perfect way to force yourself into a fast-food stop on the way back to the hotel. But with a kitchen, included in most villas, parents can prepare meals of which even the pickiest of young eaters will approve, meaning that a hungry child is never more than a room (or a prepared backpack) away from food that will remind him or her of home. It can help settle even the fussiest traveler to have that quesadilla, mac and cheese or even chilled yogurt. And as any parent who has traveled with a toddler before knows, “settled” sometimes is the best attribute that young explorers can possess.


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