How a Non-profit Organization Can Benefit From a Raffle Sale

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Norman G. Caughel for his “Impact a Life” scholarship entry that points out the benefits of holding a raffle fundraiser in these tough economic times. If you, or someone you know would like an opportunity to be awarded a sponsored college scholarship, simply click here.


With the current state of the economy, many non-profit organizations are finding it very difficult to raise required funds to accomplish the purposes that they espouse. People are no longer contributing as much to charity because of their own financial difficulties. People are not as willing to contribute money without having an opportunity to receive some type of reward or benefit from it. Simply following the news one can see that all types of gambling, lottery’s, and raffles are increasing at an exponential rate. I feel that the present financial state really opens the doors for a non-profit organization to raise money for any projects that they are trying to complete. Of course some market research would be extremely useful for the organization in order to determine the most acceptable types of prizes to the ticket buyers. Of course there is the old standby of offering some type of cash prize but in order to raise more interest perhaps things like; gift cards for food, or gas or other things that people may be having trouble in acquiring might be highly successful. I honestly feel offering things like; automobiles, trips, new homes and so forth are not a very good choice currently, a lot of people are barely making it financially right now and to win something that they will probably have to pay taxes on probably would not interest them very much.

As far as finding ways to maximize their raffle sales, there are several important strategies to consider. Get the word out! This is probably the number one factor for a successful raffle, if people do not know you are conducting a raffle they obviously won’t be trying to purchase your tickets. Of course a organization’s finances will control how much they can do in this regard, but even if they do no more than post hand made signs in various business’s informing the public about the upcoming raffle that will give them a much greater chance of being able to sell enough tickets. Other ways to increase sales might be to offer a special deal on the ticket prize for example if you offer tickets for a dollar apiece or 6 tickets for 5 dollars that will likely raise ticket sales, (I find myself often buying more raffle tickets than I had originally planned because of specials like that. One key thing that I think a lot of organizations fail to do, is adequate planning, whatever prizes they are planning on offering should be obtained (hopefully from donations), how many tickets to be sold needs to be determined, and of course making sure that they will have enough volunteers to do the sales also needs to be addressed. How long the tickets will be sold for and ticket price also need to be determined, which obviously is going to be based on how much money the organization is attempting to raise and exactly what prizes are going to be offered. One tactic I have seen used which seems to work really well, is to have a limited number of tickets available with a substantial prize or prizes being offered, many people will pay more to have better odds of winning. A good way to start off a raffle is to hold some other type of fund raising event; car wash, dinner, and so forth, and during that event begin to sell the raffle tickets. The prospect of the raffle tickets being sold may actually bring more people to the event.

I often feel that one of the major detriments to a successful raffle is not having properly motivated individuals to sell the tickets. One of the first points to consider is are they volunteers or draftees? A person who has volunteered to take part in the sales will often be more motivated and dedicated than an individual who has been told that they will take part in this sale! Such a person is much less likely to be willing to take those “extra” steps that so often make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful raffle. But even a volunteer can often be induced to make more sales by judicious use of “carrot and stick”. Inducements for better sales can include, mention in a newsletter, some type of recognition at a gathering, or perhaps even some type of prize or prizes for those who outsell the rest. Suggested prizes might include, an item of some sort, maybe a weekend stay at a nice hotel, or even some type of cash award. Obviously the expense of whatever prize or prizes are offered must be factored in when calculating how many tickets must be sold in order for the organization to reach whatever financial goal they have set for themselves, it would serve no purpose whatsoever to hold a raffle and find out that the organization actually lost money rather than making money. The value of the prize for most sales should be proportional to the final value of the grand prize, for example if the grand prize had a value of let’s say 10,000 dollars, offering the top seller some little knickknack worth maybe 10 dollars probably would not go over too well. To summarize, to conduct a successful raffle involves more then just deciding to do one without any prior planning, one or more meetings should be held prior to the raffles start in order to address the goals, concerns, and ultimate objective of the raffle.

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