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Raffle Fundraisers Generate Funds and Improve Camaraderie

Nathan Chiu offers a “plethora” of tips for holding a better raffle in his “Impact a Life” college scholarship essay.

Follow along as Nathan offers up some unique and proven ideas to improve your organization’s next raffle fundraiser. Nathan is a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thanks so much Nathan for your interesting tips, and best of luck!

“Impact a Life” Scholarship contributor:  Nathan Chiu
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Raffle fundraisers offer a rare opportunity to both generate funds for a worthy cause and improve camaraderie within a group. I saw this first hand as the president of my high school’s National Honors Society, where we held a raffle fundraiser called the NHS Duckathon. Each raffle ticket sold is represented by a duck. At the end of the selling period, the rubber ducks are released in a local stream, where they race each other. The possessor of the ticket of the winning duck wins a prize. The Duckathon event is a great raffle event for a non-profit organization to host because it is rewarding both in terms of fun and the amount of money raised. Each year that I’ve hosted the Duckathon raffle event, I have raised several thousand dollars. A Duckathon-style raffle fundraiser is perfect for all non-profit organizations.


First and foremost, the Duckathon is excellent at generating excitement for community service and teaches students how to interact with local businesses, which in turn, maximizes ticket sales. Participating in the Duckathon as a NHS member is easy: Simply sell tickets to friends and family or ask local businesses to donate prizes for the raffle. Asking local businesses for prizes teaches students salesmanship and the proper etiquette for asking for donations. Moreover, local businesses are more than happy to provide their services or products to a worthy non-profit organization such as NHS. With locally sourced prizes, community members have an incentive to purchase more raffle tickets. Moreover, since all funds raised in the Duckathon go to a charity, purchasers of the raffle tickets know that they are contributing and making a difference in the community. This feel good sensation is perhaps the strongest driving factor behind raffle ticket sales.


In terms of prizes, gifts bundles are the most attractive option for potential ticket purchasers. Gift bundles include, but are not limited to candy baskets, gift card baskets, and toy bundles. Bundling the prizes gives the impression of greater worth, enticing people to purchase more tickets. Moreover, bundling gifts is not difficult in itself. When I ran the Duckathon, I asked all NHS members to ask or purchase a small gift from any local store. Once I had gathered all of these small gifts, I grouped the prizes by categories such as gift cards and food. Similarly, the prizes must be relevant to the target audience, rendering generic gifts such as candy, gift cards, and electronic devices the best sort of prizes to offer. Pretty much all members of my community, especially millennials and teenagers want Starbucks gift cards or an iPad. Thus, offering gift bundles and gifts attractive to the general populace is best for selling the greatest number of tickets.


To incentivize volunteers, I offer hours and make the selection process of the raffle as fun as possible. NHS members that participate receive a certificate certifying that they sold tickets or helped organize the duck races. In addition, volunteers that organize the races get to wade in the stream in the summer and get to dump the ducks in the water and watch them race. It’s an enjoyable experience for all as opposed to a plain raffle, which is boring in comparison to the duck races. Therefore, by making the raffle ticket selection process as fun as possible and rewarding volunteers’ contribution with certificates and an enjoyable experience, non-profit organization can motivate more volunteers to participate.