Veronica Schweitzer essay

Winning with Raffles: a short recipe for fundraising success.

 

Raffle ticket fundraising can be a really great way for an organization to raise funds. Not only is there is a great chance of making a lot of money, raffles can also bring higher awareness of the organization’s goals to the community, and engage new supporters and volunteers.

The first thing one should do when thinking of starting a raffle fundraiser is to do a little research. You will need to follow the local laws. In many states, raffles are considered a form of gambling. In Georgia, only non-profit organizations can legally engage in raffles, but the permitting process was quite easy. Cover your bases and check the regulations in your area before you begin. Once you have your permit in hand (if needed), the second thing you’ll want to do is find out what items are popular, and what items you can get donated. The desirability of your prize items will be key in your raffle ticket fundraiser’s success. The more you can get donated, the better! However, if you must purchase the items yourself, you’ll want to make sure that you will be able to easily recoup the price, plus make a profit.

As a volunteer to a non-profit that serves children and adults with disabilities, I wanted to raise money to help expand the services offered by the organization. I decided that a raffle would be the easiest and fastest way for us to accomplish our fundraising goal. For our first raffle ticket fundraiser, we chose to offer an iPad as the prize. Although we were not able to get the iPad donated, there was a high interest in winning it within the group of people the non-profit served. We were able to utilize that interest by offering ticket-sellers an incentive by giving them a second raffle just for the sellers. In order to get a ticket to the second raffle, each seller had to sell a certain number of tickets. So, in essence we gave away two iPads! This energized our volunteer sellers, and engaged the families we served. By getting the very people we served out in the community telling their own stories, many community members who were unaware of the need of the organization were enlightened. This new awareness brought us in contact with many individuals who later became long-term financial supporters.  These were individuals who would have never known how they could support families with special needs in their own community, or that there was even a need.

Our first raffle ticket fundraiser turned out to be a great success, and we surpassed our original fundraising goal. Even after paying retail price for the two prizes, our volunteer ticket-sellers raised an impressive amount of profit.  If your organization is looking to raise funds, spread awareness, or increase engagement with the community, a raffle ticket fundraiser is a great way to go. Cover the legalities by obtaining a permit, find a great prize, utilize volunteers and you’ll have a great recipe for fundraising success. And who knows, maybe your raffle fundraiser will also have the side-effect of engaging new long-term donors and volunteers like ours did.

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