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The Raffle Perfecting a Classic Fundraiser by Marquila Herrera

The Raffle:  Perfecting a Classic Fundraiser by Marquila Herrera


Hosting raffles as fundraisers may seem like a traditional method, however, it being a standard method is of fundraising is fully justified by its effectiveness. Its benefits to the host organization as well as the participants can be maximized through thoughtful and creative execution. Some of the most important factors to consider and manage in order to have a successful raffle fundraiser include the prizes, the volunteers, and the ticket sales.


One option for acquiring prizes for the raffle is for the non-profit to invest directly and buying items from wholesale dealers is one way to ensure profitable margins. Another option if the organization does not want to invest its own income (as most non-profits lack this freedom in their budgets), is to seek out donated prizes. By creating strong relationships with other businesses, especially local ones, a non-profit may lower expenses with donated prizes. These donations can be in the form of vouchers and products/services, which can be a promotional tool for the other companies involved.


In regards to the pricing of the tickets, it may be best to offer low prices. Higher ticket prices may require fewer tickets sold in order to be profitable, but it also stifles high quantities of ticket sales. With lower prices of only several dollars, raffle tickets can be made more accessible to the public of varying economic situations, so that the less well-off may buy one or two, while others may buy more. This method also encourages larger ticket sales from individuals who wish to purchase multiple tickets at a single time, then a few more later.


The prizes that the non-profit chooses should be several small ones with one or two large ones. By having many small prizes, more participants will be able to win and this will give them a more personal connection to the organization. The large prize will be aspirational to the participants, keeping their excitement, since the smaller items may not draw in crowds as much.


Although the prizes can be unrelated and still desirable to the public, prizes related to the organization can make an excellent promotional tool. It is an opportunity to keep the focus on the organization itself. For instance, if the organization is focused on the arts, then pieces of art or custom artwork from a member can be offered as small prizes. For music or sports based organizations, event tickets to concerts or games would be appropriate. Prizes like these will remind the winners at a later time of the organization and may encourage them to donate or participate in the future. This will contribute to promoting the organization for the long term and encourages public interest for future needs should they arrive. This is significant because it shows that the organization’s needs exceed what the raffle is for in the short term.


It is highly important to have motivated volunteers to sell the tickets. They will be more active in their efforts to sell tickets and promote the cause. Using volunteers who are personally involved in the non-profit is a great benefit because their passion and self-motivation will make them more convincing and authentic as they sell. However, if these volunteers are in short supply or they lack motivation, additional incentives can make them more driven. These incentives for the highest sellers could be small gift cards or simply entries into the raffle itself. In order to understand how the volunteers feel about selling tickets, group leaders could hold brief meetings with the group and speak to them about sales. If the group has little morale, then a charismatic leader will be very useful in exciting the group again and reminding them of what they are working towards. Even volunteers with a sincere personal concern for the organization may begin to lose their drive and passion. Whether it is direct with awards or indirect through benefits to the non-profit, volunteers simply want to know that their efforts are worthwhile. The motivation of the volunteers will only serve to benefit the organization and thee fundraiser.


In a truly successful raffle fundraiser, all those involved will feel satisfied with the results. The organization and its volunteers will benefit from the earnings, while the raffle contestants will either be happy to have won something, or happy to have participated in a worthy cause. By offering exciting prizes at modest fees, and maintaining the enthusiastic spirit of the volunteers, an organization can capitalize on a raffle and make it an event that everyone will want to repeat.


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Contributed by Marquila Herrera