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2014 Scholarship Entries

How to Increase Raffle Ticket Sales by Nicole Dennis


 Everyone loves a good raffle, especially when the prize appeals to all audiences. This is often a difficult task to achieve especially when your audience varies from children in elementary school to adults. Church groups and youth sports organizations are two of many popular categories that are always doing raffles for fundraisers. I think that if the person who was thinking of buying a raffle ticket were informed of where the proceeds would go they might be more motivated to buy a raffle ticket and encourage others to do so as well.

When someone invests their money in something especially something that they don’t have to have or necessarily need some feel comforted knowing it is going towards a good cause. When trying to have someone buy a raffle ticket make sure you are enthused about what you are selling and describe where the proceeds will be going but keep it brief. If someone inquires more information, give him or her a little bit more to reel them in. One should not pester a person to buy a ticket if they decline the offer they should move on to the next person.

In order to sell raffle tickets one needs to have someone there to promote and sell them. Most people don’t want to help sell the raffle tickets because it might not fit into their daily schedule and/or to time consuming. To motivate more people to help sell raffle tickets maybe the person in charge of the raffles could throw in mini prizes for the time that the volunteers spent helping to sell the tickets. The person in charge could also say that a certain amount of the proceeds of raffle tickets will benefit them whether it is related to their child that may be on the sports team the tickets are being sold for or maybe it is beneficial for the church that might be trying to build a new education wing for the children.

 If one is trying to sell more raffle tickets they might want to look into the location they are selling the tickets at. They might want to try busy strip malls or big shopping malls and maybe even the supermarket. One could also try the most unlikely places go to door to door in a small quaint town for the people who may not get out much. Another way to maximize sales of raffle tickets is to maybe try and get younger people involved and spreading the word and maybe passing out flyers. The flyers should be bright or stand out in a way to get one to read it and put the thought into their head.

To maximize the sales of raffles tickets one might want to pick a decent time to start and make sure they have time to spread the word and to have a deadline. Spread the word about a raffle using all of these social media sites we have now a days. Put it on Facebook or Twitter or even Instagram. Spread the word; let everyone know of your cause and who the proceeds will benefit and stay positive no matter the outcome!

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Contributed by Nicole Dennis


Sell More Raffle Tickets at Community Events by Elizabeth Kelly


One way a business can get customer loyalty and retention through a raffle is by having a representation of the business with the raffle at community events. Community residents who attend a block party for example, may enter a raffle to win a free meal at a new restaurant. 

A new restaurant may not be seen right away by all of the residents of a city depending on where it is and without traffic a restaurant will not succeed. Exposure is very necessary and if it is a new restaurant there may not be a large advertising budget as they are starting up.

A community event is a win–win situation. While some people may think they have very little chance of winning the raffle there is another approach related to the raffle that would help the restaurant with a marketing strategy as well. The restaurant could promote itself by providing small samples of things from the menu. Those samples would give people an idea of what they can expect from the restaurant and what the food is like. If people like the food they will enter the raffle and they may also be encouraged to go to the restaurant just based on the samples they tried whether they win the raffle or not. It may also help if each person that enters the raffle gets a customer loyalty punch card.

The block party raffle gives them their first punch and with each visit they receive additional punches based on the amount of their purchase. Once the punch card is complete they may receive a discount or a smaller free item on their next visit. Customers like the idea of saving money or getting something free, so this would be a way to have customers continuing to come back.

A loyalty program like this would also help with word of mouth business. Other people always tell a friend when they have won a raffle or any contest, telling that friend leads to questions like “oh how is the food”? or  “Where is that”? If you tell that friend how good the meal and service were, they are more likely to try it as well and now you have just brought more business to the new restaurant.

People are more likely to go to a new restaurant if that business supports the community it is in because they feel a business like that would treat the customers very well. If you are able to get a good reputation based on how you treat your customers and a good review on the food you provide, as business owner you can virtually expect success for many years to come.

All of that success was based on one small idea and a lot of small raffle tickets that should equal big profits, big loyalty and big smiles from your customers and the corporation.

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Contributed by Elizabeth Kelly


Social Media Sells More Raffle Tickets by Hannah Lewis


Non-profit organizations are always looking for ideas to enhance their fundraising efforts because their ability to help others in their community is based on donations.   To maximize sales holding a raffle fundraiser a non-profit organizations could use social media to advertise and provide prize incentives, create competition between companies in the community to out-buy each other, and provide a non-monetary prize for the group buying and selling the most raffle tickets.

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap Chat are used by thousands and can easily advertise the fundraiser and spread the word about the raffle.  These media areas can be used to give information about the raffle such as where to buy tickets, friendly competition goals, and the purpose of the raffle fundraiser.  A successful raffle should be based on showing others exactly what the fundraiser is for.  This gives potential participants access to know what your goals and ideas are and feel like they are part of the success of your non-profit.  Posting pictures through social media can enhance any raffle fundraiser.  Pictures can be posted of the specific goal, a measurement tool showing how much has been raised vs the goal, and competition between businesses and individuals in the community on who has bought the most tickets as well as who has sold the most.

Most people love to win a competition, especially when the cause is for a community based non-profit organization which helps others less fortunate in the community.   Create a friendly competition using social medial and a sign in front of the non-profit office to show who is participating and winning the raffle ticket sales for their business or organization.   Making something fun, such as adding an animated character on your social media pointing out who their best friend is based on the ticket sales.  To get companies to participate, think about having a kick-off lunch, visit business owners to “sell” them on your goals for the raffle fundraiser and utilize your volunteer base to be the contact person for the companies they work for.

Offering non-monetary prizes and incentives is a great way to get businesses and individuals involved with a raffle fundraiser.  Most people love to win a competition, especially when the cause is for a community based non-profit organization which helps others less fortunate in the community.   Prizes or incentives could be free advertisement on the non-profit website as well as social media pages, a sign in front of the non-profit office with the name or business logo, and individual fun awards.  People love fun awards such as ‘Best effort to Sell Tickets’, ‘Most creative ticket activity’, etc.  A plaque could also be created showing best seller/buyer every year and hung at the non-profit office as well as giving an individual or company their own plaque. 

Having a raffle fundraiser is a great way for a non-profit organization to raise funds.  A fundraiser can be successful by partnering with volunteers, individuals, and business organizations to buy and sell tickets for the raffle.  People enjoy helping non-profit organizations because it is their way of helping those less fortunate in the community. 

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Contributed by Hannah Lewis


How To Ensure Maximum Raffle Ticket Sales by Luis Valenzuela


Non-profit organizations most commonly use raffle tickets to fundraise and assist their cause. The best way to fully benefit from a raffle and maximize revenue, is to include the price, the prize, and finally, to have the motivation to sell all of your designated tickets.

One of the biggest reasons why people ignore buying raffle tickets is because of the uninviting price of the ticket itself. To ensure maximum selling of the tickets one must choose a reasonable, affordable price, while taking into consideration the value of the prize. At times like these people are usually more inclined to buy the cheapest item available, so when planning the raffle, it is better to make a high number of raffle tickets and sell them at a cheaper price rather than making a limited amount of tickets and a more expensive price.

We are all naturally attracted to things we can’t afford. Therefore the prize of the raffle needs to be appealing to almost everyone. With a desirable prize, the general public will be more attracted to buying tickets in hopes of winning the prize. It needs to be kept in mind that the people that buy raffle tickets mostly do it for the prize; only few do it to actually benefit your cause. With a boring prize you will only sell to those few people that only want to help the organization, without caring if there is a reward-that approach will attract a substantially less amount of potential raffle ticket buyers.

The most important aspect of any raffle is the motivation of each individual or organization to sell all of the tickets. Every single person involved must give it everything they have and guarantee the selling of all of their tickets. If this part of the equation is missing, then everything else previously mentioned will not matter. The tickets need to be sold in order to come up with the desired result and maximize your revenue. To assist in the selling process, flyers can be made, as well as any type of advertisement to promote the raffle and get as many people interested as possible.

To ensure a successful raffle you must take into consideration the price, prize and motivation, if all of these are perfected, a successful raffle will take place. 

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Contributed by Luis Valenzuela


Raffle Fundraising for Your Non-Profit by Frank Kim


One buys a ticket, perhaps two or more, the precise amount being proportional to the strength of one's conscience, of one's desire for a prize, of a volunteer's badgering, or a combination thereof, and one later waits in eager anticipation whilst the tickets are drawn, earnestly hoping that the numbers selected will match those of the ticket(s) bought so that one can be a lucky winner of one of the lovely incentives "X" organization has decided to offer in order to raise funds for its charitable services.


On one level, one wins, or one loses, but either way, the organization wins in gaining money for its various needs and the customer of the raffle ticket(s) wins the privilege of going home with the moral satisfaction that he or she gave to a noble cause, possibly also with the satisfaction of winning a prize that draws the envy of the neighbors. The organization raises hundreds of dollars, and everyone is happy. That's how a raffle works… So goes the ideal, at least. Unfortunately, in reality, raffles often suffer certain shortcomings that detract from their functioning smoothly and effectively.


One very common mistake that groups like youth organizations make in holding raffles is not giving them enough visibility. The ability of a raffle to attract attention is key — successful raffles are advertised well and boldly; they should be at the forefront of attention. Booths should not be placed in an inaccessible corner of a room, and more active advertising (i.e. having volunteers post fliers around town) is also definitely a good idea. As one might easily intuit, people need to be aware of the raffle if even the possibility of raising money is to exist.


By extension, the more people are aware of the raffle, the more potential there is for funds to be raised. Further, the significance of visibility also applies to prizes. Buyers should be made clearly aware of raffle prizes. If the raffle has a physical booth, then having prizes displayed attractively near it may be a good idea, if feasible. People are more likely to enter a raffle if they are well enticed.


However, in informing potential customers about the raffle, it is also important to emphasize and remind them of the benevolence of the cause to which they are contributing.


In fact, it is important to remind buyers of the fact that they are contributing to a worthy cause at all. Raffles that make the frequent mistake of placing emphasis only on their prizes don't reach their full potential. Remember that people who buy raffle tickets generally are not buying them only to win a prize — that is only part of the picture. They realize their raffle ticket only gives them a chance at winning material incentives. If the prize was really all they wanted, they would simply go and purchase the item on their own. People typically buy raffle tickets, at least in part, to support organizations; thus, it is important not to neglect underscoring this aspect when marketing raffle tickets to potential buyers.


To motivate volunteers to do a good job at advertising and selling raffle tickets in the first place, though, it is helpful to offer them incentives of their own. Many catalog-based fundraisers offer participants prizes in exchange for their selling certain amounts of merchandise. Such prizes range from candy to toys. This principle could easily be adapted for volunteers of raffle fundraisers.


Certainly, the age of the volunteers should be a factor to consider for this, as well as the budget of the organization in question. Nonetheless, it is helpful to award volunteers in some way for their work and motivate them to work even harder. Incentives for volunteers can even encompass gift cards, special parties, and raises in rank, if there is a hierarchy in place. It is also important, more generally, to foster a sense of community and personal involvement amongst volunteers. This can be done through frequent communication. The opinions of volunteers should honestly be considered, and their feedback should be taken seriously. This all owes to the simple rule that volunteers who are personally invested in their work are bound to put more into their efforts than volunteers who work halfheartedly.

As far as prizes go, another tip that helps in creating a successful raffle is to keep incentives appealing to as many people possible in the target audience. For instance, if customers of raffle tickets are likely to be of any gender, as they usually are, find prizes that make gender irrelevant. Items like a basket of toiletries would therefore probably not be optimal for such a demographic. Age is also another consideration — if targeting the raffle towards people who are or have children, it is a good idea to include prizes like children's art supplies or stuffed animals. Simply stated, the key is to match prizes to customers of raffle tickets. People often avoid buying tickets for raffles in which prizes are useless or unappealing to them, which makes sense — who would want to win such a raffle and have to hoard something, whether it was basically free or not, only to see it collect dust and re-gift it to an unfortunate friend or family member?


Nevertheless, there are certain prizes that are a safe bet for any group. Electronics like music players, laptops, and tablets appeal to a wide range of people. They are utilitarian and can find a place in almost anyone's life, so they are likely to draw in more participation. Another widely appealing prize is an automobile, if the budget of the organization allows. A new, better means of transport is a welcome thing for many families and individuals. A less expensive yet also popular prize is food. Homemade desserts, well-cooked main dishes, even a basket of snack foods are all choices that appeal to many people, as there is, of course, not a single person who does not eat. Specifics aside, however, the simple key is to increase appeal.


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Contributed by Frank Kim


Non-Profit Fundraising Tips and Ideas by Paige Bradish


People like you and I are a part of so many everyday organizations like churches, youth sports organizations, libraries, and food pantries. Without these many of us would be devastated and have nothing to do with our time.

The people apart of these organizations are extremely important to keep happy for quite a few reasons. Any donations that these places see come from the investors that have family members in these groups for example.

Parents that have children apart of town sports teams will a good percent of the time be the ones giving donations to keep the program on its feet. People that use the many resources a library has to offer are also the ones that are donating money or books things like that.

Since these types of groups mean a lot to many people, holding fundraisers like bake sales, yard sales, library book sales, town fairs, volunteer car washes, etc would be excessively profitable. The families of the community members are usually happy to donate whatever they could to help these organizations, whether it is money or little things like snacks and water since it benefits their loved ones and they could still attend and do what they love to do.

These social groups are very popular usually so posting signs about special events or even just word of mouth can make events like those listed above very popular. Posters might be easier for some because people are more likely to look at posters than to listen when people are rambling on at them. But there are also the people who are close to the organization, and are always willing to listen.

On the posters there should be advertisements for any major activities that would be at these events for instance, a pie eating contest, or a scavenger hunt for a cash prize. Depending on the organization though, there should always be something for the adults to do and something for children to do. Reason being, if parents are coming they are most likely going to be dragging along their kids with them.

Volunteers are the most important thing when it comes to events for social groups, things like that. Sometimes it can be tough to get volunteers for these kinds of events but there are always ways to motivate them.

Some might say bribing is wrong especially since it is for a non-profit organization. But this is not really bribing them. These people are putting in time and effort into something that they don’t even need to be doing this but they are because they want to so why shouldn’t they get a prize?

Holding a contest for just volunteers, or even giving every volunteer a thank you prize for helping out is a good way to get many people to help out. Or maybe even give them an alterative, like whoever sells the most gets a prize. A free membership to the group, or cash, etc. They would definitely feel appreciated and be more inclined to help.

Overall the community where these organizations are based and the people apart of them are what makes or breaks how they run.


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Contributed by Paige Bradish


Bump Up Your Business With Raffle Tickets by Christian Espinosa


In order for a business to further their profits as well as drive higher foot traffic with their loyal customers, they can use the ever-versatile gimmick of a raffle. In the business’s raffle, they could attract the attention of their customers by making them enter their name into a drawing for a product that can be very useful to the customer at their place of business. This could range from a new TV, tablet, computer, cell phone, etc. this will help drive sales since the customers that win these products through the raffle will be able to use the products before they actually purchase such a product at the store. This will also help drive for customer reviews on how a product works, quality of service, buy back plans, etc. On top of raffling off actually products in a business, gift cards can be used to attract attention as well.

I have learned that when working in retail, you must be able to attract the attention of customers by marketing off giveaways. One item that can be popularly raffled off is a gift card with a preset amount. This is important since raffling off a gift card to a customer for a business will encourage them and their friends to come in and purchase the products for the business which will help with furthering profits.

Gift cards will also help promote the business’s name through customer word of mouth because as the customer who wins a raffle purchases goods with the business, his or her experience will be relayed to others giving positive outlook on the business in question. In return, this means that those who were told about the business ill then come and shop at the establishment helping benefit the customers and the business. Other than locally advertising a raffle to customers, the business can also use social media and the internet to advertise a raffle to the public.

The internet is a versatile advertising tool since millions of people around the world log on to computers daily to use the internet. Advertising a raffle for a business will further push profitability and customer satisfaction.

What I have seen most businesses do is place ribbons on the side of social media sites in order to gain the attention of people in order for them to purchase their goods and services. If they use this same technique to advertise a drawing for a high ticket item, this will spark interest in the customers on the web since they will click on the online advertisement as they browse. Doing such will then require the customer to enter in the drawing as well as possibly increase sales and satisfaction through the use of e-commerce.

This is helpful to the customers and the business since the customer would no longer have to get in their car or means of transportation to travel to a place of business in order to purchase goods. They could simply go online; enter the raffle, and purchase goods or services without spending money on gas or travel. The business would also cut on the cost of man power since the customer would not have to deal with a “third man” at a local business. They could skip straight to purchase without the help of a sales representative. However, if the customer wanted extra feedback on a business’s products or services, they can simply go online and talk to a representative from that business in order to gain greater knowledge of the product they are purchasing. All of these amazing benefits for the business and customers can come from a simple ad for a raffle.

Most raffles can truly help the benefit for the customer as well as improve the general profitability for a local business. The business will then be able to take those profits and donate them to charity as well as help the cause for hiring more employees. Without raffles, the community in the outlying business would not be as helpful or giving ton the people. With the use of raffles, the community and local businesses will thrive tremendously through the help of advertising and, most importantly, the people.

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Contributed by Christian Espinosa