How to Plan a Raffle Fundraiser Single-Handed

Many thanks to Sadie Presto for a well thought out and informative “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay that highlights why selling raffle tickets for your fundraiser is a great way to raise money.

Sadie outlines some wonderful, insightful and personal reasons as to why holding a raffle is a fantastic way to raise money for a non-profit.


During the summer of 2016, I began volunteering with my local Literacy Council of Southwestern PA.  Initially, I wanted to become involved with the organization because of my love of reading.  But once I heard more about their programs, I wanted to make a bigger impact than just helping at just the office.  I spoke to a woman in the office, and she began to express how they love to provide the “Baby Book Bags” at Washington Hospital, but they were costly. These free bags are distributed at our local hospital and provide a new baby book and parenting information for new mothers. That’s when it hit me; I wanted to do more and make the biggest difference that I possibly could. On my own, I decided to plan and run a book drive, raffle, and bowling event to raise over $700 for one of the long-running program, “Baby Book Bags”.

To help the Literacy Council of Southwestern PA with the cost of the bags, I single-handedly planned, organized and hosted a fundraiser, “Sadie’s Bowling for Books”.  My event was a huge success and I raised over $700 through bowling, raffle tickets, personal, and business donations; in addition to collecting baby books through a book drive. I sold raffle tickets for prize baskets that I collected from local companies. These prizes were donated from popular places in my hometown, so people were motivated to purchase the raffle tickets. I also had an extra incentive for the event. For every book donated to the baby book drive, the guest received extra raffle tickets! It made for a fun event and added some competition to see who could donate the most books.

After weeks of planning, selling raffle tickets, arranging door prizes, collecting donations, soliciting business donations, setting up the event space, I began hosting my event. I spoke with every guest and even got to explain what the Literacy Council does and why I was so passionate. The night went on with laughter, pins crashing, and gutter balls. Slowly, my guests left, and I thanked everyone for supporting something I was so invested in. I sat down and counted the donations and money earned from the raffle tickets, I was astonished; I never thought that I would be able to collect that much money from my fundraiser, and I hope to do it again in the future! I was starting a bright future for the next generation in my community, and I accomplished it from a goal in my mind.

My whole life, I’ve always loved to read, and I truly believe that I have The Literacy Council of Southwestern PA to thank. Almost eighteen years ago, my mom received a bag, and her and my dad would read to me every night. It was always our little thing, and it was special. Ever since then, I’ve always been drawn to books, and after all those years, I wanted to give The Literacy Council a proper thank you.

Undoubtedly, volunteering is a part of who I am. Whenever given the opportunity, I love to help others, be around others, and improve my hometown. My goal over the next chapter of my life is to expand my mind and excel in learning about physical therapy by attending a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Currently in my senior year of high school, I am also taking classes towards a bachelor’s degree at California University of Pennsylvania. I am involved with several community service projects and very active at my high school. Outside of volunteering and school, I love trying new things, shopping, sports, spending time with my best friends and family, and traveling. Throughout my whole life, acts of my determination can be seen by my friends, family, teachers, and peers. Positive, patient, passionate, and persistent: these are just a few words that describe Sadie Presto from the inside out.

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor:  Sadie Presto

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