A One Way Ticket to Participation by Catherine Starrett

 A One Way Ticket to Participation by Catherine Starrett

 

Fundraising is something near and dear to my heart. Through my many years of student council and participating in various organizations such as our local Groundhog Gala (a gala held to raise funds for the Denton Independent School District) and First Meal, an organization through First Methodist that helps feed the hungry in Denton and beyond, I have seen the direct benefits of fundraising and I have seen the most effective way to get people involved is through a raffle.

 

The everyday person does not have the room in their budget to go out to a fundraising auction and bid on a two hundred dollar basket of soaps in order to raise money for their local school district. Raffle tickets are a great way to contribute funds to the cause of your choice without breaking the bank. In my experience, there is also more money raised through the raffle. For example: If you action off a basket you may get one thousand dollars. But that’s typically only coming from one patron and there is still a room full of people who want to donate- but still have the possibility of bringing something home.  So let’s say there is a raffle for this thousand-dollar basket and there is a ten-dollar fee to buy a raffle ticket. You would only need to sell one hundred tickets to match the auction price! People would also buy additional tickets in order to increase their chances.

 

A real life example of how you can use raffles in order to boost funds is my churches recent First Meal raffle. One of the members of the church donated a brand new Kitchen Aid mixer and told the sponsor of the organization to just use it as she saw fit. Instead of just using this mixer in the preparation of meals we came up with a better idea: raffle it off. We put the mixer on display and labeled it “WIN ME! ASK HOW!” That not only brought people to the table to buy a ticket and enter, it also gave us an opportunity to talk to them about our cause and as a side effect, and people would donate additionally along with their raffle ticket purchase.

 

In order to best utilize raffle tickets, it is very important to be aggressive in your sales. I’m not saying track people down but stop passersby and ask if they would like to win a “brand new                            ."  Chances are that there will be very few people who turn down the chance if the price is right. One very important aspect is not to ask too much. If it’s a five-dollar raffle entry fee you’re more likely to raise more funds and in turn- have more community organizations. And the last, most key part, make it fun! If your volunteers are having fun, they are more likely to sell, sell, and sell! You should make it a contest- the volunteer who sells the most tickets should get ten free tickets to enter.

 

The most important part of fundraising is getting as many people involved as possible. Even if the majority of people don’t win, they are still more involved than they would have been had they not contributed in the first place.

 

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Contributed by Catherine Starrett

 

 

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