Yesterday I received an email in my inbox from Inspirato CEO Brent Handler. It was sent out to all Inspirato Members. As is generally the case, these emails from the CEO are reserved for major communications or announcements to members. I clicked it open curiously to explore what the subject line of “Introducing Inspirato for Good” was all about. I was thrilled to read through the email, and then dig a bit to discover the details of Inspirato for Good. And dig I did…and thrilled I was. This is a brilliant business addition and fantastic overall offering from Inspirato. If managed and sold well, this will undoubtedly become a key component of Inspirato’s business plan. Not to mention, a boon for the fundraising efforts of hundreds or even thousands of non-profit organizations across the country. CEO Brent Handler states in the email, “after 20 years in hospitality, this is the innovation I’m most proud of, because it provides a concrete way for Inspirato to give back and make the world a better place.”
As I began to read about Inspirato for Good, I couldn’t help but wonder what it all meant. Good for who? Non-profits? Inspirato? Inspirato Members? After reading all of the details, clicking the links, and understanding what it was all about, I got it. Inspirato for Good is good for all stakeholders. It’s a win-win-win, producing a triple bottom-line impact.
The first win, and the most beautiful component of this product, is that is serves non-profits simply and effectively. With Inspirato For Good, non-profit organizations can utilize Inspirato Getaways and Inspirato Vacations for their fundraising efforts. Its beauty is its simplicity coupled with its effectiveness. It works like this for a non-profit:
- Inspirato offers two luxury travel packages: Inspirato Getaways priced at $4,000 and Inspirato Vacations priced at $8,000. Getaways include a 6-month membership to Inspirato Club and Vacation include a 12-month membership to Inspirato Club. Both packages include a luxury Inspirato vacation selected from a generous list of offerings (Vacations are higher value trips than Getaways)
- Flexibility on destination and dates of travel (select from 1,000’s of Inspirato curated vacations)
- Non-profit receives 50% of the sales price all all packages
- No limit on how many packages can be sold
- Commitment free! Packages are sold on a consignment basis. No cost to the non-profit if they don’t sell any vacations (This will rarely happen I’m sure!)
- Inspirato handles all of the promotion to create buzz and excitement around the offerings
I am personally involved with four to five annual charity auctions that could greatly benefit from this offering from Inspirato, including a couple of schools that our girls have attended and a few faith-based organizations serving inner-city youth in So Cal. They’re going to love this…and so will their donors! I’ve been involved in so many of these auctions and fundraisers over the years that I immediately recognize all of the uncomfortable and inconvenient aspects that are usually involved with donated vacations of one kind or another. Let’s take a look at how Inspirato is bringing relief to non-profit staff and the donors who support their various missions through solving these all too common issues:
- Difficult and awkward work: It’s a ton of work to track down donors or friends of the non-profit who have vacation homes that may or may not be willing to donate a week at their vacation home. It’s awkward for the non-profit development professional as well as the donor who is not sure they really want to commit to sharing their home with a completely unknown auction winner. There are way too many stories about these trips not ending well.
- Too Much Risk: For the donor/bidder, this can be a risky undertaking. The offering usually includes a photo of the home/condo/etc. and a brief blurb about the place. It’s often really tough to get an idea of what a place is really like. And you can count on there being no concierge or destination services anywhere near to what Inspirato offers. With Inspirato for Good, you trade in your risk and anxiety for complete certainty that you will enjoy the luxury experience that Inspirato is famous for. I have passed over vacation offerings at non-profit fundraisers simply because I just couldn’t feel good about all of the unknown details. This concern evaporates with Inspirato.
- No Flexibility: These vacation experiences are almost exclusively both location and date certain, ie “a stay at XYZ condo in Los Cabos from January 11-18”. Don’t like Cabo? You’re out of the bidding. That week doesn’t work for you? You’re out of the bidding. For this reason, non-profits often get very low dollar donations on these trips. There’s just too much working against them. Inspirato for Good eliminates this issue with its 1,000 of available trips, flexible by both dates and destination
- Staff Time Required: Having served on the Boards of a few area non-profits, I’ve observed the staff time involved in coordinating auction items. It often feels that if you deducted the staff time/cost of fundraising efforts, you might end up in the red with some of these efforts. Again, not so with Inspirato for Good. Inspirato takes care of all of the materials, promo, etc. It’s plug and play for the non-profits.
The second win is that Inspirato for Good is a substantial new revenue generator for Inspirato. Now, does that somehow diminish the philanthropic benefit, or make this a less meaningful program? Absolutely not! How much more sustainable and wonderful is a public good corporate effort that benefits the corporation as well those it’s serving? Shouldn’t a company be celebrated for having the imagination to figure out how to do well at the same time as they do good? Yes! Here’s the beauty of Inspirato for Good from the business perspective. Although at a reduced price, Inspirato will at least cover their cost with all vacations sold through Inspirato for Good. There may even be some profit there. But the real sweet spot here is that they are going to be exposed to a huge number of Inspirato prospects, many of who will end up becoming Inspirato members. With Inspirato for Good, Inspirato will have massive exposure to a demographic of which a large percentage are the perfect target market for Inspirato. After all, the philanthropists who are at these fundraising events and auctions are generally well-healed and well traveled, and they will be hearing all about Inspirato. And those who win the bids on the vacations will have a real-life Inspirato experience, the likes of which tend to hook you to the wonders and benefits of membership. So hat’s off to the team at Inspirato that had the imagination to dream up a program that serves and benefits mission-oriented, non-profit organizations across the country, while at the same time promoting the sustainability and success of Inspirato as a whole. What a model for the corporate world to take note of!
The third win, and bringing home the triple bottom-line, is the benefit that Inspirato for Good provides to those of us current (and future) Inspirato members. This one is pretty straightforward. More vacations sold, more new members, more revenue…leads to program growth, inventory growth, and more vacation properties and options for us members. And as members, it’s been so exciting to watch new properties come online and then subsequently be able to visit and enjoy them. Not to mention, when making a significant investment in a company (which all members do), it feels great to know know that there is corporate responsibility and public good happening as part of the overall value equation.
It’s tough for me to write any post and refrain from addressing the value proposition, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the incredible value to be enjoyed with Inspirato for Good. After all, it’s the value that keeps me so excited about all things Inspirato. Inspirato for Good is not just a way to get rid of unused or undesired inventory. There are trips of fantastic value available on the Inspirato for Good reservation lists. I’ve peppered examples throughout this piece showing property photos and vacation values so you can see for yourself.
To wrap this us, I’ll join Inspirato CEO Brent Handler and agree that this could be the most exciting thing Inspirato has ever done! Granted, a large portion of my life and time is dedicated to the mission of a few non-profits that our family is deeply involved with. And you better believe that I’m already sharing with each and every one of them about Inspirato For Good. I’ll probably have 5 or 6 functions this next year that will incorporate Inspirato for Good into their fundraisers and auctions.
Inspirato…doing well as they do good. Love it!
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