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Maximizing Sales in Raffle Fundraising by Ingrid Lecot

Maximizing Sales in Raffle Fundraising by Ingrid Lecot


Many non-profit organizations use raffles as a fundraising mechanism.  People are more inclined to buy raffle tickets than simply donate money because with raffles, there is a chance to win something.  It is easier to spend money if you know there is a (small) chance you might win something rather than donate the money with no prospect of any return, other than a possible tax deduction and the personal satisfaction of aiding a cause.

There are several ways to maximize sales of raffle tickets.  For example, you could offer customers extra tickets it they buy a certain amount of tickets. For example, a raffle ticket sale of $1 tickets could offer 6 tickets for $5, 13 tickets for $10, etc.   The other technique is to get as many volunteers involved as possible as they will approach their friends and family.  In addition, you want to make sure that tickets are offered at as many events as possible. The prizes that one can win in the raffle are very important as well and it helps if those prizes are on display in one of the locations where tickets are sold.  I would like to illustrate that point with those raffles that I was personally involved in. 

First of all, I organized a raffle ticket sale for my Girl Scouts Gold Award project.  The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts for community service.  I needed to raise money for various types of supplies that I needed for my service project.   My mom and I decided to make gift baskets and raffle them.  We made 10 different baskets, each one of a different theme such as car wash supplies, Italian dinner, chocolate, etc.  Mom is pretty handy and she did a beautiful job.  Each basket cost about $25 to make so we spent a total of $250 on this.  Raffle tickets were $1 each or $6 for $5.  We would bring the baskets to each Girl Scout meeting for about 2 months, which included the Christmas holidays when lots of family members would attend the weekly meetings.  The fact that people were able to see to gift baskets was a big reason why we raised close to $1,500 in ticket sales.   It was extra work for us each week to bring these baskets to the meeting and set them up in nice display but it was worth it.

Another example is the annual Fall Fair at the Saints Simon and Jude church in Huntington Beach.  They have a famous yearly raffle with only one prize, a $20,000 car.  The car is on display on the parking lot of the church, not only during the 4 day Fair but also several weeks before the event.  We always buy a lot of tickets for this raffle, as most people, as they idea of winning that beautiful $20,000 car for a $50 investment is so appealing.

But great prizes are not the only way of increasing sales.  Providing incentives to motivate the volunteers is another method for growing tickets sales.  One common technique is to give them a free ticket for every 100 tickets they sell.  That works if the prizes are something the volunteers would be interested in.  If not, one could provide some other type of incentives for reaching certain sales goals.  For example, when I was selling raffle tickets to raise money for my private elementary school, I was able to win toys, based on my sales.

The bottom line is that fundraising by means of raffle sales works well in most cases because people are interested in winning something.

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Contributed by Ingrid Lecot