Chris Johnson essay


Habitat for Humanity


Nine months ago, I landed a job with Habitat for Humanity. At the time I was just looking for work, I had no idea about their mission or any of the inner workings. Unknown to me at the time Habitat for Humanity was and still is one of the best and most trusted nonprofits in the United States. The community impact is incredible. In the time I’ve been here to my surprise I have yet to a single fundraising raffle.

The amount of charitable contribution we generate is immense. The homes Habitat builds are significantly built using donations from all sorts of businesses and organizations. The time that I’ve worked here there has only been one fundraising event. Not a raffle but an auction. Everything being auctioned was donated and all proceeded went to the current house build. I thought about a raffle and even mentioned it to our volunteer coordinator but with no success. The amount of reach we have within the community would be perfect for a raffle.

I work for the ReStore. A retail branch of Habitat for Humanity where all profits go into the community builds. Now a raffle to benefit Habitat for Humanity could either be held for our store only, or as a collective of the Restores in the county. With the right person working with right people, %100 of the raffle prizes could be donated at zero cost to us, letting us maximize our profits. I think the most important thing about a raffle is drawing people in. To draw people in you need good prizes to give away. And to do that you need donations. The community we live in nowhere near large enough for those huge ticket items. You see expensive raffles giving away items in the tens of thousands of dollars, which is just not applicable in our situation. Just because we won’t do a high-end item raffle doesn’t mean it won’t be successful, it could be even more profitable. More quantity of smaller prizes, means more winners. And the people who support us aren’t rich themselves, and the money won’t come from the community playing the lottery and trying the win that $10,000 item but from the huge number of supporters we have that buy the tickets to help the community, not to help themselves.

We already have an enormous customer base, and to not take advantage of that in a positive way would be shame. The personal and professional connections we have with the business around Lincoln County would make getting raffle prizes as donation a piece of cake. As for buyers, send out word to our loyal customers and even hand out free tickets to them. Show them we care about them, and they will return the favor. Not only would a raffle benefit the Habitat for Humanity Mission but a successful raffle would increase our customer outreach. Because hey, no none can get mad when they win prizes. In the end, everyone who participated in the raffle, whether they have been regular customers or not will know more about us, about our ReStore, and being a widely known in the community as a great charity is one of the best marketing strategies there are.



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