We are thrilled to announce the winner of Winspire’s fourth Donation Give-Away drawing of 2017!

Congratulations goes to B.J. Menter, Special Events Coordinator at Arc of Onandaga. The Syracuse, New York-based charity is passionate about empowering individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their fullest potential. It’s our honor to be able to donate a $1,000 Hilton gift card for their use in an upcoming fundraiser.

After the drawing, we reached out to Menter to find out more about the cause and how the prize will be used to generate much-needed revenue.

Turning disability into ability

Arc of Onondaga was started by a group of parents in 1951 who wanted to ensure children with developmental disabilities received the best educational and social services possible.

“Today we have become one of the oldest and most respected agencies providing services for people of all ages with developmental disabilities,” Menter says.

Arc maintains over 40 programs, 20 residences, and a wide array of residential, day, employment and recreational programs. In addition, they run the Parkside Children’s Center, an integrated preschool program for children with and without disabilities. Another flagship program is Monarch, a subsidiary transitional employment program.

On average, Arc of Onondaga serves 1,000 individuals each year.


Happy Graduation Day! Congratulations to the students at Parkside Children’s Center at Dr. King Elementary School!

A post shared by Arc of Onondaga (@arcofonondaga) on

Annual fundraiser hits 24-year milestone

“Arc of Onondaga plans to continue to reach further into the community to realize the goal of maximum community integration based on the desires and needs of each individual who receives services from us,” Menter shares. “This includes community based employment, residential, and recreational expansion of services.”

To continue providing lifechanging services and expand to reach more individuals, Arc of Onandaga employs several fundraising strategies year-round.

Arc Awards Dinner Collage.png

“Our Annual Achievement Awards Dinner takes place every June and is both a celebration of individuals with developmental disabilities accomplishments, and an agency fundraiser,” Menter says. “This year will be our 24th Annual Achievement Awards Dinner. We hold a Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raise Your Paddle, and ‘Butterfly Raffle’.”

The Giveaway prize, a Hilton gift card, will likely be used in next year’s live auction.

To find out more about the Annual Achievement Awards Dinner and other events, visit and click “Events.”

Overcoming fundraising challenges

Menter has been fundraising for 25 years. Her biggest fundraising challenges? “Acquiring new donors,” Menter says. “There are other causes du jour with slicker media hype, and we’re always competing for ever-shrinking donor funds.”

Another major hurdle is donor fatigue. “Everyone is fundraising for good causes, and people get tired of the same old, same old,” Menter asserts.

One way Arc of Onondaga strives to surprise and delight guests at the Annual Achievement Awards Dinner is to offer unique, exciting live auction packages . In last year’s auction, Menter enjoyed working with her designated Fundraising Specialist, Kim, who “was most attentive” in helping select and fulfill packages.

At the end of the night, the Ultimate Hamilton Experience was a hit with one lucky winning bidder.

If you’re considering consignment travel items for your benefit auction, Menter advises finding a reputable provider. “The items must be backed by unqualified trust in the business arranging the travel.  We have to be assured our winning bidders will have a good experience.”


Our next prize

We know many of you have similar stories. The need in your communities grows every year.

That’s why we are passionate about giving away donations to subscribers, developing event resources free of charge, offering auction consultation, and that cost charities nothing upfront.

So, you might be wondering… what are we giving away next??

Find out what we're giving away next!


Win $1,000 in Auction Items

Invite your colleagues and staff to subscribe to Winspire News. They’ll receive weekly event fundraising tips, and you’ll have more entries to win $1,000 worth of donated items to use in your next charity auction!