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Caitlynn Anne Solewin

  Nearly everyone, at some point in their life, has looked on with bated breath at the raffle tickets clutched in their hands as an event host read out the winning numbers. The lucky few who have held a winning ticket know the satisfaction of being able to go and claim their prize! When the event is being hosted by a non-profit, the true winners are the communities who are positively impacted by the funds raised during the raffle process.


  Non-profits are entirely run on volunteer people-power and funded by donations large and small from their community. This means that those actively involved in the non-profit must always come up with exciting and involved ways to include the general public in their operation and encourage them to give monetary support to their cause. A popular method that has stood the test of time is by holding a raffle fundraiser, in which tickets are sold and later drawn for prizes. Selling tickets can be hard, however, there are a few ways in which incentive can be increased and interest in the fundraiser maximized.


  Perhaps the most important part of holding a successful raffle fundraiser is making sure that the prizes available to be won are items that people will actually want in some capacity. When selecting prizes, the dynamic of the crowd that most likely be attending the fundraiser should be taken into account. For example, if it is for a youth sports league, there will most likely be many families in attendance. Passes to waters parks, movie tickets, or gift certificates to family friendly restaurants that are in the area would all be useful and attractive to that crowd. If possible to get big ticket items such as new gaming consoles, it would create even more of a draw. Another positive aspect about obtaining prizes for a non-profit organization is if a company donates items, they can generally use the value of the items given as a tax deduction. This can be a great incentive and could lead to bigger and better prizes, which in turn will generate more revenue from higher ticket sales. One other popular and effective way to use raffle tickets to raise funds is a 50/50 raffle. In this kind of raffle the prize is straight cash, which is always a big draw and desired by everyone. The pot is made directly from the proceeds of people buying tickets for the 50/50 raffle, and then the sum is split in half between the lucky recipient of the winning ticket and the organization hosting it. Money is raised for the non-profit, and somebody gets to go home with extra cash!


  Sometimes, no matter how good the prizes are and how important the cause is that an organization is raising funds for, tickets just aren’t selling. This could be due to the crowd not being interested or from the volunteers not being entirely motivated or comfortable selling. If tickets sales are going slowly, one action that could be taken is giving a deal on multiple tickets. For instance, if a non-profit is selling individual tickets at $5 each, they could make a deal where five tickets could be purchased for $20. That way if the tickets are bought in bulk, each person who buys is essentially getting an extra free ticket towards the prize, which hopefully would result in more people taking advantage of that option and thus more money being raised for the non-profit. To motivate volunteers to put themselves out there and sell as many tickets as possible, there could be friendly competitions held between them with separate prizes of their own. There could be categories such as who sold the most tickets overall, who sold out their first roll of tickets fastest, or who sold the most tickets in bulk. This is a way to make a somewhat daunting task fun and enjoyable, and in addition to the volunteers motivation to raise money for the cause they believe in, should result in a very successful fundraiser.

  Raffle fundraisers are a fun and involved way of bringing a community together, from the non-profit organization hosting it, to the companies who donate prizes, the volunteers who put in the hours to make it all come together, and the members of that community who show up to support the cause. No matter the numbers on the ticket, anyone who participates walks away a winner.