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Allison Segal

Working for a non-profit organization, I understanding how important fundraising efforts are. Each year we work with another local non-profit to host a free film festival  to show environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. In addition to educating the public on important environmental topics, the local non-profit holds a raffle during the event. Considering the leader of group is very well known in the community for her longstanding efforts to maintain the local wildlife and their habitat she is able to secure many fantastic raffle prizes that. As we live in a very outdoorsy community we can cater to this audience with raffle prizes that are enticing and useful to them, which is an important aspect of maximizing the sales of raffle tickets. We have anything ranging from gift certificates to the local bicycle shop to a hoodie donated from a local brewery to a free day ski pass (which is the most coveted prize of all). We have something for everyone, which encourages and stimulates ticket sales as the audience can find something to put their ticket towards all the while knowing what they paid goes to a great cause.

Through the collaboration of many local non-profits, we are able to host this event free to the public, offer free beer, and have free snacks. Having a free event in the community draws a diverse crowd as most other film festivals charge a fee to cover their costs. With the incentive of having a cheap night out, we make it clear through press releases and event postings that this is a benefit for the local non-profit. We open the event at five and start the films at six so the volunteers from the local non-profit can sell the early attendees on the raffle. At the beginning of the event, the emcee will make announcements about the raffle so the audience can make purchases during intermission had they already not done so. After intermission the winners are chosen and posted at the raffle table. Checking to see if you are a winner makes for a fun ending to the evening as there is no waiting time between the purchase of the ticket and the winner announcements. Overall, the raffle in the past two years has grossed 20% of the local non-profit’s budget, which is a huge success for them.

                Being part of this community who cares so much about their immediate environment is enriching in itself. Being aware of our audience and why we are working in the field we do is the key to keeping this raffle successful. Working as a team to help fundraise for a local non-profit helps build relationships in this wonderful community and fosters a stronger working relationship between everyone. Local businesses are always so supportive of the work that we do and we are always able to count on them for a donation, which says a lot about those relationships that have been built over the years. Overall, being part of this project makes me realize that team efforts mean so much and that we have to support each other in order for us to keep on accomplishing such great things.