How to Hold a Mega Raffle Fundraiser

So you want to raise lots of money with a raffle fundraiser for your non-profit? St. John’s University student, Benedette Cuffari submitted this “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay that has an idea on just how to accomplish this.

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I have lived in Baltimore for almost 17 years now, and the pride that almost every person in this city has for the Baltimore Ravens football team is incomparable. Some of the greatest icons of this city are Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Michael Oher, Joe Flacco, and many other household names. The greatest way I believe that a non-profit organization could have a successful fundraiser would be by having a raffle prize for a frame poster signed by any of these major football players. This idea can be successful in any city with major sports teams, but I will use the Baltimore Ravens since I am most familiar with their success.


Let’s use our example fundraiser that will raffle off a large signed and framed poster of Ray Lewis scoring against the Pittsburgh Steelers (one of the biggest opponents Baltimore football fan’s have). If we put this poster in any type of fundraiser setting, the success from this poster will be incredible. The success on this poster in particular will be important for the following reasons: (a) the Ravens win in the 2013 Superbowl, (b) Ray Lewis’ recent retirement, and (c) the importance of this player in and outside of the field. Ray Lewis is seen as a motivational athlete who “carries Baltimore city on his back.”

We must first figure out how much it would cost for us to get this poster in the first place. We can rightly assume that with the right connections we could get Ray Lewis to sign this poster for free (since he can most likely get a tax benefit from this). So this only leaves the costs of the frame, which we can assume will be between $50-$150. Now that we have this piece to put on display for the raffle, we can estimate how much we would sell each raffle ticket for. Because it is such a valuable prize, we can put ticket costs a little higher than we would for any other type of raffle. I would make raffle tickets anywhere between $2-$5 each, then put some kind of deal when someone buys them in bulk (i.e., if the tickets are $3 each, a person can buy 2 for $5, 5 for $12, etc.)

Second of all, it is extremely important to decide what type of event to offer this type of raffle at. It is important to try to get the most sales as possible from this raffle in order to collect the most for the organization. I would put this raffle up at any type of large event where there would be many people who would put their money towards this prize. These events include are not limited to carnivals, state fairs, and etc. Once we have the event, we must also assume that we will have to pay for the table at this event to host the raffle, which can go anywhere from $25-$150 dollars as well.

Let’s assume that we have this raffle at the Maryland State Fair. It is estimated that this year’s 129th Maryland State Fair will see over 400,000 people. One can simply imagine how much success a fundraiser would achieve from this type of event.

The encouragement that volunteers could bring to this raffle range from a number of ideas, however, I believe that this type of raffle prize will raise enough attention on its own. Volunteers can do anything from wearing Ravens’ jerseys, to painting their faces like maniac fans do at any game at M&T Bank Stadium do.

This is a simple example that has the potential to make a tremendous amount of money for its given charity, and can be applied to many cities other than Baltimore. It is a matter of choosing the right venue, prize, and price that will make any fundraiser a success.


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