If Your Cause is Heart Moving Your Raffle Will Succeed by Moyra Zuniga

If Your Cause is Heart Moving Your Raffle Will Succeed by Moyra Zuniga


I know how difficult it is funding a church in these times.  My father is a board member of mine and he shares with me the difficulties our church has to meet financial goals.  As part of the Youth of my church I have been an active participant in fund raising activities.  From a Dodge ball tournament to a simple car wash event, we have worked hard to allow many of our friends, whose parents are not in a good financial situation, to come with us in Youth retreats or Conventions organized in different part of the US. 

However, very few times I have seen raffles to raise funds for a non-profit cause.  In my community a family faced a disaster at their home, and what we did first was a raffle as a fund raising mean.  In that occasion, that activity raises several thousands of dollars to help the victims to recover their lives. 

Certainly, I would say that a ticket raffling is a smart way to raise funds, because if the rewards are attractive, and furthermore, if the cause is heart moving, we will fulfill our expectations to help families in hardship situations, or a church in funding some of its activities. 

What I consider more important is the organization of any raffle.  It involves planning, not only of what the goals are, but also how we are going to attract people.  In the very beginning the advertising of the event is crucial and needs to properly communicate what the cause involved is, what benefits we are going to accomplish with it, and then we can display the many gifts we are planning to deliver in that event.  Obviously, the number of tickets must consider the potential number of visitors to the event.  We are going to be successful if we reach out to a sufficient number of volunteers to help the organization of the event.  Nothing can be left to the improvisation, and training and rehearsal of any activity must be done, so that everybody on the day of the event knows their location, their mission, and their time well.  I strongly believe that if we are prepared, and well organized, and the volunteers all know what they do, then we will have a smooth and successful event, and our goals will be accomplished. 

The cost of any raffle ticket event must be well controlled.  Prize expenses can be covered if we charge a small amount of dollars per ticket, and we can improve the prizes, by using gift cards from restaurants, to selective awards, which involve nights at a specific resort or air tickets, electronic devices, and even a big final prize such a car.

Finally, we should take into account the legal aspects that are involved in these activities.   We should comply with any statute or bylaw given by the city, the county, and/or the state. A volunteer-attorney, familiar and committed with the cause, could help us to get good advice, and avoid potential fines. 

Some ideas to start a fundraising activity using raffle tickets would be:

  • Combine raffle ticket sales with other activities of the organization such as a breakfast, community movie, celebration of special event, etc.
  • Take advantage of the periodic gathering events, to sell the tickets.  Any activity regular or not, must be a good channel to distribute those tickets.
  • Use community groups, stores, and service stations to support the selling of our tickets.
  • Please do not forget to establish an agenda for our activities, and set up a proper timeframe for selling the tickets.  We do not want to lose the momentum, or be too short that we are unable to accomplish our goals.
  • Consider a suitable sequence of delivering the prizes, from the least important to the most significant, so that we can keep the expectation of the people elevated.
  • Do not forget that you can sell tickets until the last minute.

Communication is relevant and the volunteers should be properly trained to spread out the right message.  We cannot neglect any aspect, even the word of mouth in this case has a substantial utility to reach out members of our community, and make of them centers of influence or channel of communications to increase our radio of action and propagate the right message.

Additionally, emotions matter, if we add the feeling aspect by telling a compelling story whether it is written and verbal that will impact the hearts of the readers and listeners, then we will indirectly create a movement in favor to our cause, and the chain reaction can create a tremendous success. 

Finally, do not forget the spiritual part of these.  We are doing this because we believe that we are not here just by coincidence.  Many good causes have reached unprecedented results, based on a common faith, and the values and principles around that faith.  For example a church event can be built in the common idea to build the spiritual lives of teenagers and young adults, which is a great way to accomplish sublime objectives.

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Contributed by Moyra Zuniga



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