The Power of the Raffle Fundraiser

The nature of a raffle is ideal for fundraising because it arouses both the innate competitive fire in individuals and the altruistic feeling of charity. Raffles are a simplified way to achieve the euphoric emotion that comes from helping others. Although the idea of a raffle has lots of potential to raise money, it does not guarantee success. To emerge from the mediocre results of an average raffle, the organization must make some fundamental changes to their execution. A whole new sales strategy should be applied to maximize sales. Also, prizes should be carefully chosen to intrigue potential supporters. Lastly, the volunteer salesmen should be handled in a way that motivates them to sell as much as possible. Although raffles can be a great tool, there are specific steps to derive maximum benefit.

The most thought and energy should be invested in improving the sales strategy. Maximizing sales is the primary goal. If you reach your sales goal but fail miserably at everything else, the raffle is a success. At the core of an effective raffle is a good cause. People are always searching for organization to benefit. However, people don’t just donate to contribute; they donate to be a contributor. Marketing strategies should be tailored to showing the customer what impact their money will make. Instead of referring to the impact they will have on the foundation, talk about the impact they will have on a certain individual. By directly impacting an individual, a person feels more obligated to donate. Another major component that inhibits organizations from running a successful raffle is their ability to reach people. They are limited by a poor advertising plan. It is essential that the organization reaches out to a variety of people. The internet is an excellent resource that connects people from all over the globe. A website would allow for anyone to conveniently contribute. The implication of these ideas will make for a steep incline in the raffle’s sales.

The combination of having a quality organization and having heavily desired prizes makes for a homerun raffle. As a general rule, prizes should be relevant to the organization. Although it is not necessary, usually the supporters of the organization have a vested interest in the cause and therefore would enjoy related prizes. For example, a youth baseball team’s raffle prize would be along the lines of major league baseball tickets. The idea is that people who will support the raffle want to see the youth baseball team excel. Thus, they somewhat care about the sport and would enjoy going to see a major league game. A different potential idea would be to have the players help in making baked goods and raffle those off. These are two completely different types of prizes but notice that they are both relevant to the organization. Perhaps my favorite idea to hook people with a prize is to have a double raffle. The idea is that there are two raffles – one with a high value prize and one with a moderately low value prize. By doing this you appeal to two different markets. The high value prize will enthrall the person who is either very generous, really wants the prize or wants to be a major supporter of the organization. The ticket prices for this raffle will be significantly higher. Dependent on the prize, a good price would be around fifty dollars. The low value prize is one that appeals to a person who is not very interested, but cannot say no to a cute baseball player’s pouting face. Each ticket’s price would range from about one to five dollars. There should be equal emphasis on selling each type of raffle ticket. Having desired prizes is the most differentiating factor between successful raffles and mediocre ones.

Motivated salesmen can either make or break the raffle. You always want salesmen to have a benefit for working. This often means you should have the people that are being impacted by the money trying to raise the money. In essence, they will see a percentage of every sale they make. Sometimes you need to make the benefit more obvious for the workers so you might set up a separate reward for the person who makes the most money. The reward should not be worth very much, but the very idea of having a prize means there is a winner and a loser. People hate losing. This sparks motivation because not only does it explicitly state the benefit but it also will arouse competition between each person. People’s innate competitive fire will make sales skyrocket. By motivating salesmen, they will reach unrealized potential and so will the fundraiser. All parties’ benefit.

Raffles are immortal, which means the power lies within the beholder. By addressing the flaws that most raffles sales plans have, a new level of success emerges. Energy should be focused on improving the sales plan because that is the primary goal of all fundraisers. Having a quality organization is the foundation for an effective raffle. The plan should be free of any scaling constraints to ensure it reaches everyone it needs to. Combing the new sales ideas with desired prizes makes the fundraiser attractive to everyone that hears about it. Ensure that the salesmen are motivated by allowing them to personally benefit from their efforts and they will go well above and beyond their expectations. Majority of the work should be done before the raffle even starts. The results are directly correlated with the planning efforts. It is of utmost importance that the organization learns from the successes and failures of previous raffles and implements the knowledge to improve future fundraisers.

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