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Saratoga Hospital: A Fundraising Success Story

December 18, 2013
With more than 450 physicians and other medical professionals on staff, Saratoga Hospital offers care in a broad range of medical specialties. For more than a century, it has been Saratoga’s community hospital.

Ann M. Carroll of the Development department of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation is responsible for fundraising and has worked successfully with Mitch-Stuart, Inc. for the past four years on their annual summer gala benefit auction.

Luxury vacation packages provided by Mitch-Stuart are among the most popular items at our auction,” says Carroll. “The company provides a ‘no-risk’ way to enhance our auction with unique packages you can offer your donors without putting yourself at risk if they do not sell. But that isn’t a problem since 95% of all trips sell!”

She goes on to say that the she works through the comprehensive company catalog and offers a combination of tried and true audience favorites and newer trips and experiences. Often she matches trips with the gala theme for that year. “Last year, our theme was “Party Animals” and we offered the African Safari as one of our top five items and it sold extremely well.”

Carroll sums up by saying, “Working with Mitch-Stuart, Inc. enriches our auction overall because of the access to well packaged and well organized vacations that are easy to execute for the traveler. We are always pleased to refer them to other non-profits.”

Ann Carroll offers up these tips to add to your auction’s success:
  • Package power If your organization has secured a gift that can be packaged with a trip from Mitch-Stuart or any provider, bundle the offerings to strengthen its appeal to donors
  • Relationships count Establish a relationship with a specific salesperson at any of the entities you work with, the personal touch enhances the working relationship for you and the donor taking the trip - like having your own concierge
  • Always make donors a priority Much like the way Carroll described Mitch-Stuart’s customer service as rapid response and solution-oriented, non-profits need to provide the same
  • Solicit and listen to feedback Query your donors about the trips they have taken to see which trips to offer again and again and which to tweak. Use this feedback to help plan
  • Volunteers know best Meet with your volunteers to gain ideas for travel packages. Carroll says, “After all, our volunteers mirror our attendees.”
May this advice help you with your next fundraiser!