Adam Klein essay
Essay topic 1 Adam Klein
This is the story of how one raffle kept a family together.
During the fall of 2016, my hometown highschool of Tualatin made the decision to sponsor a child in our community suffering from a terminal illness. Otto Stuckman, at just 5 years old, was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, and to make matters worse, the breadwinner of the family, his mother, had just gotten a new job and found the family a new house, putting them in extreme financial difficulty.
Otto’s mom, Emily, had begun by starting a fairly modern form of fundraising: a gofundme page. The page worked well for a while, but it was hard for the family to get beyond the reach of close family and friends.
Later that year, Otto’s condition worsened, and the family turned to the school to help raise funds for Otto. I was inspired by this call for help to organize a school carnival; the cover fee for the event would go directly to Otto and his family. However, this strategy turned out to be extremely hard to organize: contacting businesses was intimidating and relatively unsuccessful, marketing the event was a nightmare, and in the end, the businesses who said they would donate ultimately donated to a separate fundraising organization in Otto’s name which claimed 17% of all donations.
Although the carnival was a fun event for the school, I quickly learned the hard way how much work it was to put everything together, and I will be the first to say that it was not an effective way of raising money.
The following year, Otto was miraculously recovering from the terminal illness, but the family still needed help covering their medical expenses. After the lessons learned from the carnival, it was decided that the fundraiser be a smaller pizza party, with the main source of revenue from raffle tickets for various prizes. This is where we finally had some success.
The raffle functioned perfectly: tickets were sold for $2 a piece or 3 for $5. A mason jar was placed in front of each raffle item and participants placed raffle tickets into the jar they were interested in. At the end of the event, tickets were drawn out of each mason jar to create suspense for each individual item. What’s beautiful about this design is that people do not know exactly how many others are in contest with the particular prize, increasing competition and, therefore revenue, for the cause.
In addition, the prizes at the event helped give it a more cohesive theme; Otto loves superheroes, so the prizes were superhero themed to match all of the decorations, creating a whimsical and lighthearted atmosphere. Furthermore, the fun prizes made advertising infinitely more effective. Students were incredibly excited to be able to support Otto and his family while also getting a chance to win fun prizes!
In this setting, the raffle turned a normal fundraiser into a win-win situation for participants, increasing revenue to more than any of the other fundraising ideas. Businesses were also able to be involved more easily because they were much more likely to donate an item that was already on sale than they were to donate money. Finally, the raffle was a good option for the party because it provided a good environment: the event was clearly to raise money, but people donated out of their own will rather than having expensive cover fees. The tone and success of the event was wildly different, and the results showed in both the income as well as the smiles on the family’s face. In short, the structure and landscape of a fundraiser are fundamental to success.
In my experience, raffle tickets provide a great way to blend the grass roots positivity and energy with the more successful help from business. This approach does an amazing job of raising genuine awareness while still ensuring that the event is successful and worthwhile to put on.
cessful and worthwhile to put on.Place An Order