To Raffle Or Not To Raffle by McKensie Sheppard

To Raffle Or Not To Raffle by McKensie Sheppard


Non-profits unlike other types of organizations do not have many employees, if any at all, to assist in fundraising. That being said they rely heavily on volunteers to accumulate those necessary funds to continue achieving the goals they have. Simple fundraisers, such as a raffle, are heavenly for such groups; they are functional, easy, relatively cheap, do not take up much time, and are often successful.

The aforementioned attributes of raffles are why non-profits benefit from them so greatly. The way a raffle works is simple and straightforward; the group hosting buys a prize of some sort, or it may be donated to them, they then pass out tickets for their volunteers. These tickets are set at a certain price each, or perhaps a bundle of tickets for a set price, to be sold to the general public.

Purchasing of the tickets by an individual enters them a chance to win whatever prize was chosen by the host group. The only problem with hosting a raffle is actually getting the public to buy into it by purchasing said tickets, maximizing sales is the name of the game.

There are various ways to push the sale of tickets; the easiest is to give your volunteers or employees an incentive that encourages them to sell, sell, and sell. Having small inexpensive gifts that are still worth the effort, offered to the sellers for hitting a goal of a set number of tickets is a highly effective way to encourage them to push their tickets, thus maximizing the potential sales and profits.

Another effective way to increase sales is having a prize that is actually worth buying a chance to win; this is where the start of a raffle may get expensive. The prize has to be worth the chance of playing the odds, and the cost per ticket has to be a reasonable amount at the same time. The difficulty of choosing a proper prize comes down to one main principle; knowing the audience that one is selling the tickets too.  Many factors come into play when thinking about a target audience; age, area, beliefs systems, and activities in the area are but a drop of what these could be. If one is planning on selling tickets in a busy metropolitan area selling chances to win some sort of hunting license most likely is not going to raise much, if any, money for the organization. The same prize however in a rural farming area would sell tremendously.

The facts that the license itself is vastly expensive to purchase on one’s own dime, and that hunting was a large sport in that area means that nearly every individual the group members reach out to will pour money into buying tickets at a chance to win the prize. This would absolutely maximize the non-profit group’s sales and potential profits, leading them into the great store of funds they need to keep their operation a float. These are just a few ways that non-profits can; and will, benefit from hosting raffles. 

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Contributed by McKensie Sheppard

December 22, 2015

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