Apr 1, 2024

Boost Your Fundraising Through Luxury Travel Packages


Who doesn’t want an excuse to get away from it all? If you’re looking for a way to catch someone’s attention at your next fundraiser, try luxury travel packages. In an age where many people value experience over possessions, travel has become one of the most enticing awards you can offer at a charity event. These big-ticket packages can effectively draw in a crowd and ignite some fierce bidding wars — perfect for any in-person, virtual, or hybrid fundraiser.

The Benefits of Offering Luxury Travel

Luxury travel is a wide-reaching perk that appeals to many attendees while attracting guests to the event and helping you raise more money. When you offer a vacation fundraiser package, you can:

  • Offer a unique reward: Travel is something your guests don’t see offered every day. It’s a chance to do something exciting and new and change up the pace of daily life. Bucket-list items and other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities stand out from the gift baskets they always see at charity events. A luxury travel package can separate you from other charities or rise up as the big-ticket item of the night. With many charitable donors attending multiple events each year, an eye-catching award often makes a dramatic difference.
  • Spread the word about your mission: A vacation fundraiser is rife with photo ops. The winner will likely share some spectacular pictures from the trip online and talk about it with their friends, spreading the word and helping you reach a wider audience. You can also reference the prize in the future to drum up excitement for the next fundraiser.
  • Build connections with winners: A trip of a lifetime is something the winner will remember for years to come. Associating that experience with your organization and cause can create an incredibly strong connection and potentially a lifelong donor.
  • Leverage larger travel budgets: According to a 2023 study, most Americans annually set aside $4,000 or more for travel. When you offer travel at your fundraiser, you can lean into your guests’ travel budgets, which are often much higher than their charitable giving budgets. They can double-dip and more comfortably place higher bids, helping you increase money for the cause.
  • Target universal appeal: One of the reasons travel makes is such a good big-ticket item is that it appeals to virtually everyone. Even if you have a diverse collection of guests in different demographics, a vacation is exceedingly sought after.

The advantages of a vacation fundraiser can span across the organization, the guests, the event, and the community you serve.

How to Offer Luxury Travel at a Fundraiser

Offering a luxury travel package during a live or virtual auction or raffle is always a popular choice, but it takes a little more planning than other items. Consider what your guests want and how you can make it a great experience for them. From a week in Mexico with scuba diving classes to tickets to a New York award show, the sky’s the limit. Many organizations provide pre-designed travel packages, or you can recruit a local travel agent for something one-of-a-kind.

When choosing and advertising your vacation fundraiser package, keep these tips in mind:

1. Make things simple for your donors

Winning a trip shouldn’t be an extra cost for the winner. They’ll likely need to pay for some things, like food and gratuities, but packages typically include large expenses like airfare, lodging, and an excursion or experience. By including these items, you prevent the trip from becoming an added expense where the winner would need to spend significant amounts to fly or stay there.

Another way to simplify the trip is by looking for a package that allows the winner to choose the dates. They can schedule it at a convenient time that accommodates work and school schedules.

2. Determine the fundraiser format

A high-value, popular prize like a vacation package may call for a different format than other items. Two popular fundraising methods to consider include:

  • Auctions: Auctions work well for in-person, online, and hybrid events. With a mobile bidding or silent auction solution, donors can bid on the travel package via mobile devices. They can receive text notifications when outbid, and you can display a leaderboard to watch the events unfold.
  • Raffles: Raffles allow your guests to enter into a large drawing. At the designated time, you’ll draw the winner’s name, either virtually or in person.

While you can certainly hold a raffle for a travel fundraiser, a silent or live auction is a great way to drum up excitement for your big-ticket items. They’re fast-moving and energized, so bidders can embrace the competitive spirit.

3. See what your audience wants

Consider asking your donors before the event what kind of trips they would like. Their responses can help inform your choice of vacation package for a coveted prize. If you have enough people who want it, you could even offer a more focused trip, like a couples retreat or a family-friendly cruise.

While talking to your audience, ask about their budgets so you can offer an appropriately priced trip. A high starting bid might be too much for middle-class guests but perfectly reasonable for wealthy attendees. Although you want to offer a dream vacation, the bidding range should still fit your donors’ needs.

Questions like these are essential to holding a data-driven auction and maximizing your fundraising efforts.

4. Build anticipation ahead of time

Get your audience excited for your event by advertising the big-ticket items beforehand. It can draw people in and increase attendance while giving guests an opportunity to prepare. A heads-up allows them to plan on the possibility of spending a lot of money instead of trying to make a spur-of-the-moment decision, making them more likely to participate.

Advertising or hinting at your travel package can also encourage friendly competition. It builds energy and gets everyone ready for a fast-paced bidding war.

A great way to build excitement is to promote what makes the trip special. You might mention how unique an Alaskan cruise would be, or you could tempt your winter-weary guests with a trip to a warm, sandy beach. Think about what your attendees want and get creative.

Auction your Travel Fundraisers with GiveSmart

Travel packages are crowd-pleasers, allowing you to reach a broad audience and build excellent relationships with your winners. With a little preparation, you can use these packages to ramp up the excitement for your guests and ultimately raise more money for your cause.

Whether your event will be live, virtual, or hybrid, you’ll need a modern auctioning system. GiveSmart’s fundraising solutions offer versatile tools to reach your audience and conduct reliable, responsive mobile bidding and raffles. We’ve facilitated over 12 million mobile bids, helping nonprofits raise more funds and provide a great experience to attendees. Request your demo today to see how GiveSmart can support your vacation fundraising efforts!

travel fundraiser


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The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

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MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

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Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

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Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County