Helping Our Communities One Raffle Ticket at a Time
Many thanks to Tori Brown for a well thought out and informative “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay that highlights why holding a raffle is a great way to raise money for the benefit of your community.
Tori reveals some wonderful and personal reasons as to why holding a raffle is a great fundraising opportunity.
Tori is a Social Services, Public Health student at Simmons College. We wish you luck with your studies Tori!
“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor: Tori Brown
Yоu саn hеlр Tori Brown’s pursuit оf a scholarship award bу сlісkіng the “sharing іѕ саrіng” buttоnѕ bеlоw.
Betty Bender once said: “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” In the United States, employees at more than 1.5 million nonprofit agencies live this message through their occupations. They work each day with children, survivors of domestic violence, veterans, people with disabilities and many others to meet their basic needs and to help them thrive. These agencies rely on the charity and support of everyday people in order to keep their doors open and services available.
Non-profits can derive substantial benefits and secure vital donations by hosting fundraising events. Raffles in particular provide an exciting, community centered activity to bring people together and rally support for a cause or organization. These occasions give communities a chance to compete for prizes while donating to important community organizations, resulting in both a fun filled event and a sense of fulfillment.
I once worked for an organization that hosted an annual raffle called Sherry’s Bowl. This particular nonprofit, Sherry’s House of Worcester MA, provides housing to families of children undergoing cancer treatment in nearby hospitals. The foundation supports these families by ensuring child care during doctors visits, supplying food and resources, absorbing medical costs, and connecting families to social support from others experiencing similar circumstances. Donations help Sherry’s House to continue its important work, and the profits derived from events like Sherry’s Bowl support families throughout the year.
Non-profits can take steps to maximize their raffle ticket sales and boost funding: these initiatives mainly center around advertisement, community research, and outreach efforts. Widespread advertising in community venues, stores, and popular niches help to ensure that the community is aware of the event and draws attention to the organization itself. For example if the neighborhood has a popular coffee shop or music venue, that would be an ideal space to advertise for the event. Including examples of eye catching prizes on the advertisements themselves can help attract a higher turnout. Considering the planning of the event, pairing the raffle with other community attractions such as local bands or businesses can help to widen the audience of interest and increase the number of donations made. Organizers can also reach out to community organizations or groups to invite them individually. This personal touch can increase participation and foster relationships between the non-profit and other organizations.
Prizes are certainly a major draw to community events, especially when they are geared towards the audience in question. Choosing strategic prizes can stimulate ticket sales and attract attention to the event. First, nonprofits should conduct research on the community to find out what local businesses could potentially donate prizes to the raffle. They can work to choose prizes that target the age groups likely to attend, whether it be teenagers, families, or older adults.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to have one big ticket item to draw in participants, which can be placed on advertisements. Depending on the community involved (for example, a church group or youth organization) prizes can include an activity with a well known community member, such as lunch with a well loved priest or youth group leader. Finally, prizes can be based off of common community interest. A sports organization, for example, might raffle baseball tickets.
Above anything, nonprofits should always show their appreciation for volunteers in order to keep morale high. Creating opportunities to meet with volunteer coordinators, ask questions, receive support, and give feedback can boost productivity and help volunteers feel like an important part of the organization’s work. From my personal volunteer experience, it has been helpful to be given opportunities to see who is benefiting from the work, based on the organization’s mission. As a Sherry’s House volunteer, playing with the kids once a month helped to connect me to the larger values of the nonprofit, and to see the faces of children who depended on the continuation of the services provided. Additionally, offering incentives such as a gift card, dinner with the company president, or a simple thank you card can boost morale and tap into the competitive spirit of volunteers.
At the end of the day, non profits are a product of the passion, drive, and dedication of every member, from their CEOs to their newest volunteers. These organizations are able to continue their work only with the contributions of everyday people, which is best achieved through fundraising events. A $1 raffle ticket might seem like a small contribution, but it is from small contributions that classrooms are supplied books, clinics are kept well stocked, and those who need vital services can walk through the doors of a local agency for help.
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