Mitchell LeGrand essay

We Can All Benefit From A Raffle

The best way to encourage donations from people is to give people a chance to earn something for themselves. Sometimes I say this to people and they get defensive. “You don’t need to force people to be nice,” or maybe something like “people will donate if it is a good cause,” and these things are true! However, it makes logical sense to do good things when something good happens to you in return. It isn’t wrong to want to benefit from things. Incentives are good and they are incredibly motivating! We can all win from giving and it doesn’t just have to be a feeling of gratitude or that we have done something nice.

Most of the work I do for charitable giving is through student organizations. I don’t have a lot of my own money to give to organizations I care about, but I do have the time to give. I’m not alone in not having a lot of funds. College students don’t have much to give. After all, our tuition is thousands and thousands of dollars, we need to pay rent and our bills, and we have to make sure our basic needs are taken care of before we can give to others. That is why it is important on a college campus to have fundraisers that help students too.

There are a lot of clever ways to go about fundraising for students. When it comes to raising money for our organizations, a lot of restaurants offer nights where they donate part of their sales to a student group on campus. Another awesome fundraiser is when one of the clubs on campus drives all of the way to Iowa to pick-up KrispyNo one loses when donuts are involved. These kinds of clever fundraisers are what really benefit students and the organizations we care about.

One of the fundraisers that I ran last year was the Minnesota Masquerade Ball. The goal was to raise five-hundred dollars for a scholarship that would be given to a student at our local high school. We reserved the alumni center at our University and had a great night of music and dancing. To boost our funds, we also had a prize raffle. Students often underestimate raffles and in two ways; first, they don’t believe anyone will donate. The truth is that people love donating small items to these kinds of events. All of those small items add up. The second thing that they get wrong, they don’t believe people will be bid on things. They think that students don’t want to spend extra money on maybes. If it is affordable, the price is low, and the prizes are good, then students will buy in.

We had donations from almost every restaurant and business on campus. We even went into Minneapolis to find businesses that would donate bigger items. We sold tickets at a rate students could afford. For one dollar people could buy a small prize ticket, which included items like single gift cards to a Punch Pizza or a small local bookshop. For five dollars, students got two small prize tickets and 1 big prize ticket, which included items like 7 free yoga sessions at CorePower Yoga with a new yoga mat or a date night package including a nice restaurant gift car and theater tickets. In total, we had 55 packages. By the end of the night, we had doubled our fundraising goal! We were able to donate two five hundred dollar scholarships instead of one.

The long story short, no one should underestimate the power of a raffle. It may seem like a lot of little thing that won’t make a difference, but they add up quick! That raffle was the biggest source of our profits. Those scholarships were completely funded by students who were willing to donate because they also could benefit from the fundraiser. Two students received scholarships, a few hundred had a fun night of dancing, and fifty-five people left with some sort of prize. With a raffle, everyone has an opportunity at winning.

 

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