A Raffle is More Than a Fundraising Tool by Mariam Haq

A Raffle is More Than a Fundraising Tool by Mariam Haq

 

I’m the treasurer of a club called The Campus Kitchens Project at the 

University of Vermont.  The mission of our club is to provide meals to 

the people at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and the Winooski 

Teen Center by using farm shares and other local food sources.  Every 

week we make a meal for around 60 people.  We depend on the money 

given to us by the university’s student government association, which 

at times isn’t enough to meet our demanding food needs.  Fundraising 

is a large part of how we are able to support our program.

 

Every year, we host an event called The Battle of the Campus Chefs 

where we partner with chefs from our school’s dining halls and clubs 

to create small plates containing local ingredients.  The audience 

samples the dishes and then votes for their favorite dish.  A huge 

draw for the event is that we hold a raffle.  This year we got raffle 

prizes from local Vermont businesses such as gift certificates to 

restaurants and wheels of cheese from Shelburne farms.  We raised 

almost $1700 from this fundraiser.

 

This money has been extremely helpful to our club because we can now 

buy a fridge for our produce and get more food to cook with for the 

food shelf.  One of the reasons that this fundraiser was so successful 

is that it had a community focus.  The fact that we raffled prizes 

from local business and the money raised is going to help the local 

population really brought this fundraiser full circle.  By eating the 

food prepared by our chefs, the audience helped us provide the same 

ideas of local food to the people at the food shelf.

 

This experience showed me the importance of fundraising and raffles.  

Our raffle helped our community on two levels, by promoting local 

businesses and by helping us provide food to our community members who 

need it.  This experience not only showed me how effective raffles can 

be, but it also showed me how they can be customized to fit a specific 

event and mission.  Since our club is a food based club we had many 

food based prizes.  We still had the general idea of a raffle but we 

personalized it to our community theme.  This raffle is a crucial 

component of why our club is still running.

 

Being a part of the leadership team for The Campus Kitchens Project 

really gave me the gratifying experience of seeing the results of our 

fundraising.  In the summertime, school is out of session but we still 

need to cook meals for the food shelf.  More people come to eat at the 

food shelf in the summer making it hard to always have robust meals 

that provide adequate nutrition.  This summer we have enough money not 

only to buy ingredients for the meals, but to buy supplies to help our 

club in the long run.  The raffle was more than a fundraising tool, it 

was a platform to showcase my community and the amazing products made 

right in state.  This raffle both showcased and supported my community.

 

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Contributed by Mariam Haq

October 2, 2015

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