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Talking About Fundraising – “Impact a Life” Scholarship Essay

Sell more raffle tickets! Courtney Jackson is a graduate student in Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of Georgia. Courtney offers these well thought out tips for organizing a successful fundraising raffle.


1. 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.

As a student at the University of Georgia and a resident of Athens, GA I am very familiar with raffles and nonprofit organizations. Actually, it’s something I think about quite often as a Nonprofit Organizations Management student.

Athens, GA is home to over 200 registered and active nonprofit organizations. Fundraisers are a weekly thing, and raffles are almost always playing a role.

A few weeks ago, in my Nonprofit Theory class, we were talking about fundraising; how to make things creative and interesting, how to attract people, how to do something different, etc. when my professor brought up an excellent point- as students in Athens, GA we often forget of the access we have that people outside of Athens, GA don’t have and that many in Athens, GA who aren’t students don’t have.

I had never really put time into thinking about that before. As students we have access to dozens of ‘famous’ student athletes because they’re in our classes, eating in our dining halls, riding buses with us; we have access to national renown coaching staff and heroes to many across the state and the nation. We have access to famous alumni, and so much more! She brought up the point that students often forget of this access when partnering with nonprofits for fundraisers.

Often raffles prizes are gift cards to great restaurants or a new grill; in Athens it wouldn’t be out of the realm of expectation to get a football and have Coach Mark Richt sign it and raffle it off. With a gift card raffle, maybe if it’s a really good restaurant and a rather large amount you might make some good money; but if you were to raffle off an autographed Mark Richt football, and maybe throw in some player signatures, you’d be golden. Every student would buy at least one ticket; or more.

So instead of raffling off that great gift card, go for the gold- get the great raffle ticket prize and sell more tickets than imaginable. Use the access you have, while you have it. Take advantage of the advantages you’ve been granted. Instead of raffling off that great gift card, use it to motivate your sellers.

Depending on the number of folks selling, set an amount, like 15, for every 15 tickets you sell your name goes into a drawing to win this gift card; or maybe just say the top seller gets the gift card; whatever works for your team and your circumstance.

For a nonprofit organization to do well in fundraising they have to meet the people where they want to give. They must provide motivation, either by goodness or guilt, desire from a passion for the cause, or a desire to contribute because of the gift that the donor could receive. When raffle tickets are used, use motivation- get good prizes. Use desire for the prize.

Above all else, never forget to emphasize the mission; the mission is ultimately what is driving your organization and what will remain even if the fundraiser doesn’t go as well as you had hoped; it’s what will bring donors back who take hold of the passion you have.