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Sell More Raffle Tickets by Knowing Your Audience by Michaela Reichhoff

Sell More Raffle Tickets by Knowing Your Audience by Michaela Reichhoff


Having a mother who works for a non-profit organization as a fundraiser, and who raises most of the funds off of hosting concerts, and events in which many raffles and silent auctions take place, I have seen what helps make a turnout in means of raising money. My take on this is that you need to know your audience, meaning you need to know what they want, and what they are willing to pay for. My mother best demonstrates this by having concerts with around 200 people at them, and is also is the person they come to or get in contact with personally to buy the tickets for the concert. Not only are they paying for their seat but they are helping other families in need. By being the person that her audience comes to for the tickets, for answers and by showing them what it means to be out there, my mother gets to know her audience, in doing that she will know what kinds of items she should have in the raffle. For instance one of her biggest donors is not going to spend money on a raffle that has girly items and kitchen ware, instead he and many of the others spend the top dollar for the hunting packages. This is another thing that I have noticed, people want you to have items that are worth their investment, otherwise they would just donate and not come to the event.


A technique for raffles related to fundraising from my perspective is to offset the expense, by having something of value, something that is one of a kind, or even something suspenseful. I have helped put packages together to do this. An example of offsetting the expense is we raffled off 25 ring boxes with numbers inside, for twenty-five dollars each, for a cruise that had a value of three thousand dollars. Many people were willing to pay the twenty-five dollars, because they had a higher chance at at their number being selected and if they won then they were in turn receiving a donated cruise one hundred and twenty times what they spent, and if they didn’t win they simply felt better having at least donated.


Yet another technique would be to have something that is one of a kind. An example is that we have a friend who hand-makes knives, the blade and all and they retail for over five hundred dollars each, and one is never the same as another. People, certainly the audience that my mother has are willing to pay for this because again, it has an offset expense and it is one of a kind, meaning each knife made is different from the last. This is also where you can see knowing your audience comes in very handy. Many people always ask where can I get one of the items after a raffle, and in this instance you can say well, that is a one of a kind, but knowing your donators, (the people who donate the items,) you can say I will have another, at the next event, and still tell them who your donator is. This not only keeps your donators happy but it also allows the customer to see each unique item and what it costs, luring them into the next event.


The third technique I have noticed really lures in the audience, and helps raise money is to have something suspenseful. My grandmother and I donated a huge, vintage trunk with many assorted items that we had gathered from many different states using our friends and family that live amongst them to get the items. The items that went into the chest were not only of value, but they were also one of a kind. You now have three elements that will help you sell your item in a raffle. We left the trunk closed, told the audience its value, and people paid a lot for the chance to be the one to take the trunk home. With those three techniques you can have a very successful raffle that your audience is willing to pay for, because they are in return leaving with something. Keep in mind everything you raffle off should be something that is donated to your non-profit organization, so as not to lose money.


Now to get your volunteers more engaged in selling raffle tickets, you could make it into a competition, where they are all trying to raise more than each other. To get them interested you could offer the winner of whoever sells the most raffle tickets five tickets to put their own names on and put toward whatever raffle they choose. This will help you sell more tickets for your event and raise money for your non-profit organization all the while keeping your volunteers interested in their job. This is a technique that will allow your volunteers to benefit, while also raising more money for your non-profit organization, because you could state that whoever sells a set amount of tickets first or the volunteer that has the most tickets sold after a set number gets the reward or the recognition.


With the techniques listed you could have and will have a very successful raffle in which your non-profit organization will benefit from. By being an approachable funds developer and having a strong team that stands behind you and offering not only a valuable, but a suspenseful one of a kind raffle item, you will draw in more people. A quote by G.T Smith, sums the entire idea of getting to know your audience and being an approachable funds developer up for me, “Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and in people in whom they believe.”


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Contributed by Michaela Reichhoff