Focusing on the Competitive Aspect of the Raffle

Many thanks to “Impact a Life” college scholarship contributor Chad Wonder who tackles this question:

Describe how non-profit organizations, (including church groups, civic groups, youth sports organizations) can best derive benefit for their fundraising effort by holding a raffle fundraiser. Offer proposals for a) maximizing the sales of their raffle tickets b) prizes that would encourage and stimulate ticket sales c) suggested ways to motivate volunteers to sell more tickets.

Chad attends the University of South Carolina and is an International Business and Accounting major. Great work Chad, and good luck!

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor:  Chad Wonder
Yоu саn hеlр Chad Wonders’ pursuit оf a scholarship award bу сlісkіng the “sharing іѕ саrіng” buttоnѕ bеlоw.

 

business-focus-raffle

As a non-profit organization, funding is paramount to all things when the desired outcome is to be a catalyst for change for an individual, for a community or for the world. Philanthropic donations give life to these institutions of positive change, though it is not always enough to allow for success of the organization’s project. From international nonprofits to youth sports organizations, fundraising is on the minds of all administrators. Yes, bake sales and partnerships with organizations which donate a portion of profits provide funding improvements, but it is not always sufficient for the organization’s success. For a nonprofit to enhance donor satisfaction while also improving funding, a raffle is a supreme choice.

In the American society, everyone loves to be competitive; it is no longer a sentiment exclusive to athletics. Granted, competition exists in every facet of athletics, from youth sports to professional ones, from adult kickball leagues to collegiate academy teams. But the entrepreneurial drive that built the United States to the nation it is today appears to pump through the veins of every American. Fantasy football leagues are ubiquitous, as friends can compete in an athletic setting without the fear of injury (aside from a hurt ego). Schools rank classes based on GPA and top students fervently compete for the top spot. Businesses compete with others in their own market, hoping to develop strategies to earn a greater profit. And non-profit organizations compete against time, focusing on making the desired change before it’s too late, be it spiritual, civic or social. While these appear to be diametrically disparate activities, all of these examples include a desire for one thing: a prize. This competitive atmosphere with prize-driven individuals denotes the true importance of raffles, especially for non-profit organizations.

This culture of competitiveness is something into which non-profits must focus for increased fundraising. By promoting a raffle as a competitive event with a prize involved, the targeted audience would be able to tap into the entrepreneurial spirit that pervades our society. To maximize sales, it is essential to make it seem like there is a clear opponent, as individuals demonstrate a competitive drive best when they know that their side may fail if they do nothing. The opposition for a non-profit organization is the failure of the organization’s goals. Therefore, the raffle must stress the importance of the project at hand. Giving back to the community in any philanthropic way makes people feel as though they are able to help others, and a clearly defined fundraiser which provides a description of the project allows for a more concrete image of the impact that their contributions may have. By focusing on the competitive aspect of the raffle, while also focusing on the change that could be made through the raised funds, non-profit organizations may be able to maximize sales.

While honing in on the sense of competition and the possibility for positive change are exceptional ways to inspire sales, the prize is what truly seals the deal. The key is to solicit a prize that would limit any financial losses, while also being something that raffle buyers would find valuable. It must be something that the raffle ticket holders would not be willing to get themselves. Considering these two points, it is first necessary to assess the consumer base that would potentially purchase the raffle tickets before choosing the prize. If it is for a youth sports organization, tickets to a professional sporting event would be much more valuable than tickets to a symphonic performance. Similarly, a pass to a Christian concert would be much more valuable than a rock concert for many at a church fundraiser. Once the prize is decided, marketing is vital to make the prize seem attainable and useful. By selecting a tangible prize to which the targeted consumers would be able to relate, it would be possible to stimulate increasing raffle ticket sales.

The logistics behind the situation may be foolproof, but the fundraising campaign would lack significance if volunteers were not truly motivated to sell tickets. When it comes to motivating volunteers, it is first necessary to give them a reason to buy into the goal of the fundraiser. When volunteers feel empowered and feel as though they are making a meaningful contribution to the project, it is easier for them to justify aggressive promotion of the raffle. But organizations must also understand that volunteers are rarely altruistic, and may need material objects as motivators. This too is dependent on the situation many volunteers, a great way to encourage volunteers to sell raffle tickets would be to promise that the top seller would be recognized, and give the top seller a small prize, such as a dinner with the event organizer. As small of a prize as it may seem, recognition always seems to motivate individuals to do their best work. This once again plays off the competitive theme upon which the raffle was built, creating a cohesive network of competitiveness that encourages donors as well as sellers to contribute fully. While there is great freedom in determining the tangible asset for the volunteers, the reward must not be free raffle tickets. This prize may create a conflict of interest for sellers, actually discouraging aggressive selling techniques rather than maximizing sales.

There is not much better than establishing a competitive atmosphere when attempting to maximize funds for a project. The universal application of a raffle provides utility for an organization as small as a single town youth sports league and as big as an international non-profit. Once volunteers are ready to tenaciously sell tickets, prizes are determined and the atmosphere is set, the potential for financial gains is limitless. In an age when non-profit organizations struggle to find funding necessary to support the positive change they seek to inspire, well-designed raffles provide the financial boost that every project necessitates. While raffles may be defined with words like “chance”, nonprofits may use these raffles so they don’t have to leave their funding efforts to chance.

 

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