Caleb Edward White essay

Describe how non-profit organizations, (including church groups, civic groups, youth sports organizations) can best derive benefit for their fundraising effort by holding a raffle fundraiser. Offer proposals for a) maximizing the sales of their raffle tickets b) prizes that would encourage and stimulate ticket sales c) suggested ways to motivate volunteers to sell more tickets.

To maintain long-term success, every organization must learn how to earn and manage money. Many non-profit businesses, such as Wikipedia, find ways to raise the money required to cover operating expenses. Most of this revenue is generated from fundraising efforts. Many small groups rely on this, as its survival is often dependent on the generosity of others. This is key, as “it is for a good cause” is a major selling point. Customers will more likely purchase an item if they gain moral gratitude in the process.

One of the easiest ways to raise money is through the use of raffle tickets. This process is simple. Usually, the group in need of revenue will ask a larger business to donate a prize. This doesn’t hurt the donor, as they often lose little to no money in the process. Sometimes, the larger business will sponsor the raffle, gaining free advertising in the process. After the donation, the smaller group will give tickets out to volunteering sellers. This process is very effective, as each ticket sold is counted as profit. There is no initial expense, therefore no break-even point to try to catch. However, sometimes raffles still come up short.

Moral gratitude is not enough for some. Spending a dollar or two on a raffle ticket is still not worth the value if the prize is unappealing to the customer. This is where a business must do its research. First, a business must determine its target market. Who are they selling the tickets to? After that, they must find the wants and needs of the particular market and attempt to fill a demand. For example, Pasquotank County High School is known for its superb fundraising skills. The athletic department conducted a raffle that included a car as a prize. By offering a prize so appealing, interest in the raffle skyrocketed, and the department gained a lot of revenue. However, many organizations cannot acquire such a prize and must improvise. The school’s DECA program has done this countless times. One of the most profitable events is the annual Captain Bob’s fundraiser. Customers are willing to drive across the entire city to purchase an eight dollar plate of chicken. By offering prizes that never lose interest, DECA maintains a reliable source of revenue.

With an appealing prize, businesses then have to find incentives for volunteering sellers. Again, moral gratitude is not enough for some. If money cannot be directly paid to a seller, many organizations offer prizes to those who sell. An example of this is the Jump Rope for Heart program, where the prizes appeal to the elementary seller. This event always succeeds, due to the marketing team’s extensive research. Ten years ago, the prizes were in-demand toys such as Slinkies and Rubik’s Cubes. Now, they have evolved to include the likes of the modern generation, such as wireless speakers and air hockey tables. This is key, as a prize offered in the past may not appeal to the current seller.

Now that the tools are in place for a successful sell, a business must trust the process. Some fundraisers will exceed expectations while others may underwhelm. Businesses should try to repeat their successes practices and learn from their failures.  As long as a business has good intentions, and engages in proper practices, they will find success.



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