When SeaDream was founded in September 2001, they searched for opportunities to get the small company’s name out in a big way. At a challenging time, with empty staterooms to fill and a modest advertising budget, SeaDream developed a program for non-profits to sell a SeaDream voyage at live (oral) auction fundraisers.

Typically charity events, be it black-tie galas, golf tournaments or fashion shows, attract community “movers & shakers”. It’s a select audience who may pay entrance fees in the $200-$700+ range. These individuals attend the event prepared to purchase silent auction, live auction and raffle ticket items in support of the charity. Luxury travel items garner high bids and ultimately, big dollars for the charity.

Since SeaDream started their charity auction program, they have worked with close to 600 charities in several countries including the USA, Germany, Canada, Australia and Mexico. SeaDream’s President Bob Lepisto said “We found the philanthropy sector to be a very smart way to target market to our audience. We were able to assist worthy causes and at the same time gain exposure to choice audiences in select cities by way of fundraisers benefitting hospitals, theatres, private schools and the like.”

Times have changed since 2001 and SeaDream’s yachts now sail at close to 100% occupancy. However, SeaDream realizes the importance of this program and continues to work with charities world wide. Adrienne d’Annunzio, who handles the administration of this program for SeaDream said, “Charities are always looking for unique, “hot” items to make their auction enticing. The number of guests that sail with SeaDream first thru an auction purchase and then return to sail again is quite high. The auction winners become repeat guests. It’s a win-win.”

“I welcome travel professionals and non-profits to contact me and submit their request. Because of our limited availability, we may not participate in every event that approaches us and the charity should be aware the voyage is on consignment.”