Raffle Fundraising Can Be Fun and Productive
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â€œImpact a Lifeâ€ Scholarship contributor:Â Tam Le
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Raffle fundraising can be fun and productive for both the participants and volunteers. In order for a non-profit organization to optimize a raffle fundraiser, three main variables are the prizes, ticket price, and volunteers.
No matter how expensive the price tag is if the prize is not in demand (e.g. a treehouse kit or a bullet-proof, lead bank), no one wants to spend money getting it (unless of course they are planning to resell it). With that in mind, a non-profit organization must understand what their audience wants for prizes. The wishlists on Amazon and Ebay (and other major online retailers/sellers) are great sources for selecting prizes. Ideally, the prizes must be within relatively close cost range; so, someone who wins the second prize does not feel like he/she got cheated, because the second prize costs ten times less than the first prize even though it is also in high demand. (If the non-profit organization is really ambitious, it can tailor those prizes to support its cause through means such as painting artwork on it.)
Depending on the fundraiser’s goal, one more thing must be considered. If the fundraiser has a specific goal to meet, such as $1000, the desirability of the prizes must reflect that; don’t award the last items on a popular wishlist to fuel the largest fundraiser event of your non-profit organization; if you want big things to happen, you have got to go big; life is, for the most part, not a lottery. According to your standards, determine how “big” your fundraising event is, then choose items from the appropriate spots in the list.
The most difficult problem now is how to determine the price of the raffle tickets. Regardless of the monetary value of the prizes, limiting the ticket price to under $25 would be wise; anything higher might deter most participants, although you need to collect actual data to verify this. Start with this limit and change it as needed.
The driving force for ticket sales are the volunteers, the people on the floor doing the nitty gritty. The ripest volunteers for fundraisers are young people (i.e. children and teenagers) because they are not yet boggled down with the workload and stress of professional life; they have more vigor, are more exuberant, and are more friendly. Also, recruit people who actually care about the cause and are not there just to fulfill some requirement (for obvious reasons). Those considerations alone, along with maybe a 101 course on pitching/sales, will be sufficient for most fundraisers; people who are already motivated for a cause don’t need further motivation.
If such people do not exist nearby or are not willing to volunteer, then a motivating program is needed for the leftover people who signed up. Generally speaking, people will be motivated to do things when they have to (e.g. getting a job to pay the rent) or when they truly believe in something (e.g. breast cancer prevention). It is, therefore, best to further educate the volunteers about the horrors of what could happen or horrors of lack of support if this cause is not supported or funded.
Non-profit organizations can derive maximum benefits for their fundraising by choosing thoughtful prizes, setting reasonable raffle ticket prices, and cherry picking volunteers.