We often get questions from non-profit organizations regarding using travel packages as a fundraiser for their annual auction. While we are unaware of any suppliers that give away complete travel packages to be used as a fundraising item, there are still many different way that travel can be successfully used to raise funds for non-profits. Here are a few "words of wisdom" that we've garnered over the years:
1) It's virtually impossible to find a travel supplier to donate a complete package for a charity auction. Many organizations have had some luck with getting various hotels or recreational properties to donate pieces or parts of a trip (a few nights in hotel X, or family tickets to amusement park Y).
2) Nobody gives away airfare. Airfare is precious, and I've never seen anyone include it. Airlines certainly don't give away free tickets. Non-profit organizations may have better luck with getting supporters who are frequent fliers to donate their mileage points.
3) Some cruise lines will let you, as a non-profit, purchase a voucher for auction. These vouchers do have significant restrictions. Many cruiselines either no longer have a program or only allow non-profits with certain goals to participate in their program.
Several cruiselines DO offer fundraising options for group cruises (e.g. if you have 5 or more staterooms booked, they will donate $100 per stateroom to your non-profit organization). Put together a group and let everyone know that their participation on the cruise helps to raise funds for a cause they believe in.
4) There are some South African lodges that will split the proceeds of an auction 50-50 with you, but it's really just the lodging that's included, and the out-of-pocket expenses associated with redeeming the "prize" are significant. Be aware that there is no consumer protection involved with any of these packages.
Obtaining an attorney's advice on anything relating to dealing with foreign providers would be prudent, as US consumer protection laws would not apply.
5) If the organization is fortunate enough to have some supporters who own property in other locations, ask them to donate a week at their place (1 week at our fully furnished ski lodge, or 1 week in our Paris apartment). Those prizes often receive the highest bids in auctions. You might also ask people to donate their Marriott or Hilton loyalty points (although bids may fall short of the actual value of the points).
6) Non-profits can arrange to purchase a package with a high perceived value from a travel agency, establish a minimum opening bid, and keep whatever amount was raised that was above and beyond the purchase price. Some alumni organizations have had great success with this strategy.
We wish you well in your fundraising endeavors and encourage you to feel free to call or email us to discuss your organization's goals further.
Fun 'n Sun Travel & Cruise provides friendly, personal, professional service in order to plan each and every client's dream vacation, destination wedding, or honeymoon at one of the best prices available. Call us at 1-855-557-5588, visit us on the web at fnstravel.com, or email us at email@example.com