Leah Sledge essay
- Chronicle a successful raffle fundraising campaign you or a family member has been a part of. What results were achieved? How did it help the organization and/or the community it was meant to benefit? How did the experience enrich you?
Several years ago, the women’s department at the church I attend, decided to have a raffle. The first order of business was to decide what the prize would be because a raffle will not be successful if the winner would not be satisfied with the prize. With that in mind, we asked my mother to donate one of her handmade quilts as the prize; she gladly did so. After we had the prize, we determined that the cost of the tickets would be $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. The hope would be that individuals would be more willing to contribute to our cause if they felt that they were getting a “bonus” deal for spending the larger sum of money rather than just buying two or three tickets. The drawing was held during our annual prayer breakfast so we advertised the raffle on flyers that were posted in our grocery store and our post office. In addition, we also sent information directly to the local churches in our area for participation in the raffle as well as the prayer breakfast. I believe we publicized and sold tickets for about 3 weeks before the actual event and we also sold a few “at the door”. The winner was present and we had a great time with the raffle and the prayer breakfast as a whole.
This was an interesting experience for me because I had never participated in a raffle growing up. My mom was of the era that we would give money to support but we wouldn’t participate in the raffles because that was “gambling”. Well, in my reality, almost anything people are involved in are a gamble but this was not about trying to get rich quick, but giving a way for people to support an organization in a fun manner. Because I had members on the committee who had participated in raffles before, I was surprised at how easy it was. The difficulty for us was that we created our own tickets for the drawing as we did not have time to preorder them from a company. With that struggle, I am convinced that I would rather plan ahead so that someone with knowledge of creating tickets can take my ideas and work his/her magic than what I did by laboring over the computer and a template for hours. I also learned that there still are individuals such as my mom who think it is gambling but will give a donation to support; however, because the prize was homemade, I think it made a difference in the amount people were willing to spend to increase their chances of winning.
The raffle benefitted the women’s department by helping us to raise funds to support different programs at our church, specifically activities for our youth. I am the type of person who would rather use resources to raise money than to constantly ask my parents for funds for this and funds for that. Being in a military environment, money can be tight sometimes and families on tight budgets don’t always have the “extra” to donate to the church. The raffle was a great idea and help to meet the needs of the church at that time.
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