The Innovative Raffle
Most people will be familiar with the experience of shelling out a dollar or two for a tiny little ticket that places us into a raffle for some grand prize that has everyone in the crowd salivating at their chance of claiming it as their own. Many people know the disappointment felt when their number isn’t called and some lucky individuals know the hysteria and elation that results from their number being called!
The enticing possibilities of the generic raffle is almost impossible to turn away, even for small prizes, and as such, raffles are rather commonplace and participation rates are usually quite high. However, a question rarely pondered is, “How does an institution, especially a non profit organization, benefit from fundraising through raffle tickets?” While this may not be a personal issue for the average individual, I will target this next statement for those of whom it does concern; Raffles, when used correctly and innovatively, can be extremely beneficial to non- profit organizations.
To make such an affirmative statement begs the question, “What is the correct way to hold a raffle?”. Well with this, it is important to set goals for future raffles, such as to increase or maximize sales, to find prizes that will stimulate more sales, and to find ways to motivate volunteers to sell more tickets. With goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and tangible, a plan of action can be taken up to hit all of these important points. Conveniently, the following plan does all of that.
First, create an options system that allows people to increase their chances at winning a prize. For instance, instead of selling one ticket to each consumer, offer promotional upgrades such as 1-for-$1, 3-for-$2, and 5-for-$3. The benefit of said system is this: customers derive a stronger sense of security with having higher odds of winning the prize in exchange for adding a small cap on their investment. By adding a second or third dollar to their initial offering, each customer has the ability to get up to 5 times their initial probability of winning the raffle. And, because the cause is just as important as the supporter, the cause gets the benefit of more money being able to be allotted to it. But don’t stop there.
Have the raffle go on for an extended period of at least a week and tell each person who buys a ticket, if they can, to find 3 friends to buy at least one ticket, and as a reward they will get 3 additional tickets added to their pot. Doing this will increase the population aware of the raffle, and, therefor, increase the amount of tickets sold. And with the above promotional sale still available, money can really get flowing for the fundraiser, the organization, and its cause.
All of this assumes that the consumer actually wants to participate in the raffle for the chance at the prize, though. Generally, most raffles will offer one or two expensive, new or somewhat new, electronic devices (i.e. iPads, TV’s, Smartphones). While these are arguably wonderful prizes, they do not apply to everyone. Not everyone needs a new TV, tablet, or phone, because they may already have one or two in their possession. In said situation, the prize won would likely be sold for money on Amazon, Ebay, or something of the like. So, why not take out the middle man and just offer the universally accepted and utilized prize of green- backed money?
Offer as a prize, 3 ascending amounts of money, for example $25, $50, and $100. This means that to the customer, you have given them 3 possible drawings to win, with a maximum of 8 tickets that they can have entered in their name. The odds sound wonderful to the consumer, and that will bring even more money to the foundation and its cause. The increased incentives with this plan allow for, what can be considered, optimized sales and consumer security/satisfaction.
The final thing, at least with the goals established, is to make sure that the volunteers are incentivized to take full advantage of the hours spent serving the foundation and to put their full effort towards sales. To do that, make the sales process and entire fundraiser a friendly competition between the volunteers. Each volunteer would be made responsible for selling as many tickets as possible for the chance to win a mystery prize– “mystery prize” because it would create anticipation and wonder of what said prize would be. Each sale would be recorded and then compared at the conclusion of the fundraiser to award the best salesperson with their prize and celebrate the success of the extended good deed. By doing this, volunteers would have a fun way of interacting with each other and feel their work as even more tangible, in the potential prize they could win.
At the end of the day, the causes and foundations benefit from all of these possible initiatives. The proposed strategy makes the experience of the raffle fundraiser more fun and more beneficial to all parties in a mutually beneficial relationship. It will be a beautiful day when all the efforts to better the world and all the efforts to touch people across multiple backgrounds have their numbers called. That day, everyone will be a winner.
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