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Matthew Blackledge entry

Non-profit organizations are really a great thing. Whether they're building up the youth, making better communities, helping the poor, or just improving the quality of people's lives, they play an important role in many lives. However, one problem that arises with non-profit organizations is the need for funding; members are willing to serve whatever job needs to be met, but when it comes to raise money it's hard to make the push for it. This is precisely the benefit of using a raffle as a fundraiser; it isn't hard to sell. During most efforts to raise money sellers are out to talk up the product and to make it seem as if it is, in fact, useful (which usually isn't the case). Here is where the difference lies; raffles are geared to sell the odds and when the price is cheap it acts much like a lottery— potentially low risk, high reward.

This is why getting the right price for a raffle is very essential to its success. You'll only maximize the sales if you ask the right price. When looking into doing a raffle, non-profit organizations should actually put some time and thought into what the most effect price would be. The price needs to be low enough where it isn't a stretch for people to buy it and it also needs to make a significant profit. The money received won't come from the price of the ticket, but rather the amount of tickets sold. If a buyer is willing to spend more than the ticket price, it doesn't mean you have lost money, because you can simply sell them more tickets. Although enthused sellers aren't as important as with straight sales, it still plays a very important part— you need someone to at least make the tickets known.

Like I said, selling raffle tickets doesn't take a lot of "selling." What it does take is people to actually do it; so encouraging them with the simple thought that if they make the sale known they don't have to really talk it up, just be confident. One way to do this is to give them an incentive. You don't want to make the prize so significant that it will greatly effect your profit, but you also actually want it to be an incentive. This again takes planning and thought (hopefully you're seeing a common theme throughout this). One idea in order to reduce the amount of money spent on the prize would be to offer a few raffle tickets to the leaders in sales, of coarse this would have to be discussed. Other ideas include: a straight percent of earning, outside prizes, and stressing the benefits the program would get. Whatever the incentive, overall, you need to make sure your sellers have a view of the purpose of the fundraiser; if you can get them to pursue the goal of bettering the organization you've got a great start.

Using raffles as a fundraiser is a great way to take the stress off the seller. It requires some planning of both price and prizes, but it potentially offers great rewards in terms of profit. It's a simple way for any non-profit organization to earn some money for their cause, and should be pursued by these organizations in need of financial support.