Kelley S Payne essay
The task of keeping a non-profit organization running is a very daunting ordeal. Not only is the acquisition of funds and services essential for day-to-day operations but the allocation of those funds and services as well. Not to mention maintaining a presence in the local market for current projects and advertising for future sponsorship and donations. There are many ways to finance ongoing organizational operations, not the least of which is raising funds through raffle ticket sales. One way to maximize the sale of tickets is to sell raffle tickets in groups for two-thirds that of the original, single-ticket, price. That way potential patrons are encouraged to buy more than just one ticket. Offering prizes to those responsible for selling raffle tickets will help promote the sale of tickets as well. When good sellers have a goal to work toward, the more competitive sellers tend to work harder and be more creative in selling their tickets.
For instance, when selling tickets, it may be a good idea to create a sales tier that will help ticket sellers measure their progress. Those sellers that sell anywhere from one to 100 tickets earns a five dollar prize. For those that sell anywhere from 101 to 200 tickets wins a 50.00 dollar prize, and those that sell over 400 tickets win a 100.00 dollar prize and so on. Giving everyone who put forth some effort to sell tickets an incentive for doing so. The volunteer who sells the most tickets over all earns a prize that exceeds the value of all the other seller’s prizes put together.
Another way to sell tickets is to create ticket deals where tickets for raffle may be included in the price of admission to a fundraising event or included in the cost of purchasing a dinner or luncheon plate to attend an auction or benefit.
For example, while in foster care and living in a children’s home, I was encouraged to participate in a non-profit fundraising dinner hosted by United Way to benefit my and other children’s homes that were responsible for caring for foster children. I was fifteen at the time and was asked to help with the distribution of raffle tickets. The great thing about contributing toward the sale of tickets was the human element associated with each raffle. Local foster kids stood to benefit directly from the purchase of each ticket.
We presented ourselves in elegant attire for the occasion as if to suggest great potential for future success upon the receipt of much-needed funds and services for our foster care facilities. Many of our supporters were staff and personnel who worked at these facilities and so were impressed to see the kids they “house-parented” on a daily basis, and encouraged to give more than they could afford just because they too wanted to invest in our future. The dinner was a success, and the funds raised went directly to aid in the process of maintaining a healthy and active environment and lifestyle for kids growing up in the Texas foster care system.
Another way to stimulate ticket sales is to offer raffle prizes that your target audience will enjoy. Offering relevant prizes may seem obvious to some, but it’s not uncommon to find very little to no support for the cause due to the lack of desirable items on the raffle prize list. Hunters and firearm enthusiasts most likely won’t care that the main prize for a raffle is a free yoga lesson with a private instructor. Know your audience.
Take stock of the potential supporters and sponsors expected to participate in the fundraiser. Understand by and large what they enjoy. Couples with kids usually love to experience family activities which at times can be expensive. So then in anticipation, place free or reduced priced family vacations to theme parks, water parks, or overseas travel. Thrill seekers enjoy engaging in physically demanding activities that required a lot of exertion for participants to be in relatively good shape. In which case, offering raffle prizes such as free white water rafting, scuba diving, and hand gliding experiences are more attractive.
For sports fanatics and enthusiasts, finding free or reduced priced passes to some of the most popular, and most expensive, sports events will encourage even the reluctant spectator to put up cash for a raffle entry. Prizes should include admittance to events such as the annual PGA tour, Super Bowl, or World Cup final.
Presentation of raffle prizes is a potentially powerful motivator for future sponsors to buy more raffle tickets. Be sure your supporters can visualize themselves enjoying their winnings in the event their name is called. So if you have deep sea fishing passes as raffle prizes be sure to be creative in presenting that prize. Don’t just print out an 8×11 black and white size paper printout that reads “deep sea fishing prize.” Buy or create poster board cut-outs of full-color snapper, or sword fishes hanging from a hook adjacent on each side to two-speed, level wind reel and rod combos with a line, arranged in front of fish netting to get people to visualize their experience as deep sea fishers. The same principle applies for attracting sports enthusiasts, world travelers, and fine diners. Such creative and vividly colorful displays are sure to pique your target audience’s interest.
From personal experience, raffle tickets have helped to support causes near and dear to my own heart such as Combat Veterans Outreach and the Pregnancy Help Center. Both non-profit organizations were able to raise thousands of dollars in much-needed funds that directly benefit those in need. Whether it military veterans or pregnant young or youngish women, they all found themselves in crisis with nowhere to turn but to seek outside help. In both cases, raffle ticket sales played a significant role in supporting organizational operations and distribution of resources for the greater good of my community.
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