The Raffle Objective by Nakota DiFonzo

The Raffle Objective by Nakota DiFonzo


If you have ever bought a lottery ticket, you have probably fathomed driving a brand new car, or relaxing on a tanning chair while on a cruise around the Caribbean. The only reason that the idea is even sweeter is because the possibility of having that luxurious opportunity only had cost a dollar. Big lottery companies aren’t the only ones who can benefit from raffle type games though. Raffles don’t need to be extravagant, but just like a good book they need to grab people’s attention. Non-profit organizations have a large incentive to derive exceptional benefit from raffles. But no raffle is successful if the prize is generic, cheap, or is only useable temporarily.

The Buyer’s Incentive

The point I just stated was that a prize shouldn’t only be useable temporarily. If the winner only gets a bottle of wine, you would find that they would go home, drink the wine, throw out the bottle, and completely forget about the raffle. A famous concept in psychology is “Positive Association”. If the winner of the raffle receives something they will use constantly, they will begin to positively associate the raffle with how much they enjoy their prize. Prizes could be: a laptop, a game station, an iPad, a bicycle, etc. The prize being given away is especially important if an organization’s raffle is held monthly or annually. This is where The Buyer’s Incentive comes in. If the cost of a ticket is only five-dollars and the potential gain is a brand new laptop, then even if the person who purchased that ticket did not win they would likely come back to the raffle the next time and buy another five-dollar ticket. If the prize were something less interesting, the contestant may not feel compelled to return to the recurring raffle. Incentivizing the situation means offering the contestant something they couldn’t just buy on a whim.


Internal Harmony

For many non-profit organizations, volunteers are the only way to receive help for a raffle. The problem is that when people are working for free, they may not be motivated to make tremendous sales. In order for a raffle to achieve Internal Harmony, the volunteers must be working to their greatest extent to maximize sales. Just like The Buyer’s Incentive, the volunteer must have a reason make good sales. One effective way to establish and maintain Internal Harmony is to reward workers with a raffle ticket for every time they sell a certain amount of tickets. The workers will feel like they are participants in the raffle and not just bystanders watching other people win. Economics tells us that when people have a stake in a project they are more apt to get it to succeed because there is something in it for them. Once the volunteers have a goal (for example, every one hundred tickets sold earns the volunteer one ticket) they will have the motivation to sell as many tickets as they can, and possibly even advertise the event to their friends and family.


The Revolving Effect

The concept of The Revolving Effect is that anything that leaves from Point A will return to that point if a certain amount of “pull” is applied. In the scenario I mentioned earlier, if a man only has to pay five-dollars for a ticket for the possibility of winning a brand new laptop, even if he doesn’t win he would likely come back the next time since the ticket is cheap. Although he may have left empty handed one year, he has revolved back to the raffle the next year to try to win another laptop. The success of a non-profit organization’s fundraising efforts should not be determined by one raffle, but by the organizations ability to keep a retentive audience. This is even a common tactic for social media figures to gain and retain a large audience.

            Of course, non-profit organizations also are interested in short term success which means raising a lot of funds in the raffle they are conducting now. Also if a non-profit organization is only interested in holding one raffle and not utilizing The Revolving Effect, then raising a lot of funds in one raffle is critical. At this point I will reintroduce The Buyer’s Incentive. Just like at the store, a raffle can have a “buy two tickets and get one free” special. Due to human nature, the contestant wants to feel like they have a statistical edge, or that they are getting a great deal because now they have three tickets for the price of two. What the organization will likely find is that not only will people buy more tickets, but that the turnout for the raffle will be higher. Similar incentive tactics such as “kids get tickets half off” will tempt parents into having their children buy several tickets and will cause other parents to bring their children, which means higher ticket sales.

            Another method of utilizing The Revolving Effect is by informing participants in the raffle that a portion of the money raised will go to a charity. At first this may seem irrelevant to getting people to come back the following years and the organization will seemingly lose money. Psychologists suggest that sympathy and kindness triggers reaction in human beings. If a non-profit organization is standing for a cause then people will be more likely join the raffle, buy several tickets, and tell others about it. Even though a portion of the funds would leave the organization, they will have built a good image for themselves. This image will serve to give the non-profit group higher ticket sales during current and future events.


            The success of raffles depends on three factors that increase the amount of benefit a non-profit organization receives. The Buyer’s Incentive is key, but long term success lies in The Revolving Effect while the best way to maximize sales is through Internal Harmony.


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Contributed by Nakota DiFonzo

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