Raffle Fundraisers Can Be a Huge Benefit to Many Different Types of Organizations

Thank you to Western Washington University student, Heather Davidson for a terrific “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay.

Thanks Heather, and best of luck with your studies!

Raffle fundraisers can be a huge benefit to many different types of organizations. They often offer community support and great exposure, while also creating an excitement and buzz that can support a cause even after the raffle winner has been announced.

For an organization to have a successful raffle fundraiser, I think it is important for them to have clear goals that they share with participants. Providing a clear objective and letting potential entrants know how close the organization is can be a motivating factor in and of itself. If a person knows that the organization is raising money to support relief efforts in a disaster area, it can be really helpful for the entrant to know that their donation amount will provide a specific amount of relief or progress, as well as giving them a chance for fantastic prizes!

Speaking of prizes, it is important that the organization offer unique items or experiences that get people excited. For a sports fundraiser it might be getting to throw out the first pitch at a big game, or having the team come do yard work for a day. If the fundraiser is being done as an event, such as a silent auction, having the items available to be seen, admired, and drooled over can be very helpful – especially if there are multiple people all crowded around one. Offering more opportunities for the entrant to win that item is going to be very tempting. Some examples of these prizes might be new gadgets like the Apple Watch, a new iPhone or Fitbit, or an experience like front row, luxury tickets to a big sporting event or concert.

Motivating volunteers can be the trickiest part of a raffle! Getting buy-in and excitement is crucial to having the volunteers get excited and pass that on to possible entrants. Having a prize for the most tickets sold may be motivating for some groups, while others may find that having a prize for the winning-ticket seller gets volunteers engaged. Sharing the progress of the group, and making the sales a competition may also encourage friendly contests that benefit the whole organization. In addition to these techniques, I think it would be helpful to give the volunteers tools to help them sell before they start selling. This may be something as simple as a leaflet that they can hand out with more details about the raffle or fundraiser, or a picture that gives entrants more a connection to the cause. Providing volunteers with scripts may make them more comfortable talking to strangers and give them confidence to approach people they otherwise wouldn’t. Having volunteers all attend a training where they watch people sell tickets, role play with other volunteers, and learn how to address common rejections may also make them more successful at raffle sales.

Lastly, I think that it is really important to make the actual drawing an event and sharing it with the community that supported the organization. This may be having the drawing publicly, at a dinner or specific time, or sharing the news with the community via newsletters, social media and email. Getting a quote from the winner, and a picture of them using their prize would be great additions that get the rest of the community excited. This would keep people thinking about the cause and hopefully encourage them to participate in future fundraisers as well.

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor: Heather Davidson

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