Why Are Raffle Tickets Important by Megan Gauler

Why Are Raffle Tickets Important by Megan Gauler

 

Throughout schooling, many students do not see “starting a non-profit organization” on their to-do list for the future. I was also one of those students. I went throughout most of my schooling career with dreams of getting a big job, or moving to another country. I never saw a non-profit organization in my future. However, things to not always go according to our plans.

In 2012, I met my best friend. We love music, played on the volleyball team, are obsessed with Disney, but most importantly have relatives with autism. This is what sparked the flames of the Bo Foundation. The Bo Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to give special needs children the technology and help they need in the classroom. Our goal is to help children with special needs succeed, and to aid the special education teachers in guiding those children to success. The Bo Foundation began as an idea that soon blossomed into an actual organization.

At first, funds were rather handed to us than earned. We were invited to be the organization to receive money from other fundraisers, such as a benefit dinner. As the foundation grew, however, the team needed a different game plan. We had a bake sale fundraiser at a high school girls’ volleyball game, but we knew it was only the beginning. The Bo Foundation needs another way to raise money to be able to give back to the community. The answer is right in front of us, a raffle.

Raffles are important to any organization looking to raise funds for an item or event. Commonly seen at sporting events, raffles give organizations the advantage of winning while giving. You may be giving to a few people, or even just one person, but the community is giving to you. There are a few key points to keep in mind when holding a raffle.

The first point is to know how big the crowd is going to be. If one holds a raffle for a car at the mall over a three-week period, the crowd is going to be larger than that at a middle school basketball game. This will help determine what the prize of the raffle should offer, and how much to charge per ticket. It will also help determine whether to raffle away more than one item. Along with that, let people know what the organization will be doing with the money earned from the raffle. Whether it is buying new jerseys for the soccer team, or sending kids on a trip to Disney World, people want to know where their money is going.

Another aspect to remember is what to raffle. In today’s society, everyone wants what’s better, faster, and the newest all for the lowest price possible. Therefore, raffling off items that are name brand, new, and popular are going to be the best ticket items. Items such as TOMS shoes, iPods, iPads, gift cards, smart watches, Blue-Ray players, and flat-screen televisions are only a few of the most wanted items in a raffle.

The toughest part about holding raffles is acquiring volunteers. Many students and adults are bored with volunteering at a raffle booth. There are a few steps to take that will encourage people to volunteer. First, work around their schedules. Although it is important to have a schedule showing the time slots for each shift at the raffle, it is important to be able to work around the volunteers’ daily schedules. Second, remind the volunteers about their shifts consistently. One problem often heard of is that volunteers forget their shift and don’t show up. It is important to have a list of contacts to be able to remind each volunteer of when his/her shift is. Third, provide food. Many people go to events for free food, and people will work for food as well. Show your volunteers that you care about them and that they are truly helping you with your fundraiser.

Organizations such as non-profits, sports teams, and academic teams are not the only groups to benefit from a raffle fundraiser. Businesses such as retail and service can also benefit from holding a raffle in their marketing efforts. A raffle is not only a way to raise funds, but also be promotional to the company and help obtain customer loyalty.

Raffles can promote a company by raffling off items from the retail or service. If it is an item or service that usually has a hefty price tag, the raffle can provide that item or service for free. This grabs the eyes of everyone who is trying to save a few dollars. An excellent example is of cleaning services raffling a service of free carpet cleaning of a whole house. Many people will be interested in the offer because of the word free.

Raffles for businesses should be taken differently than raffles for organizations. To gain more customer loyalty, raffles should only be offered to customers who are part of the company, either through a rewards program or an emailing list. The raffle could also be offered to those who have so many points on their rewards card, or have spent so much money at the store or on a service. When this happens, many people who are interested in the prize for the raffle will buy into it, literally.

Raffles are an important fundraiser for any group looking to gain money, interest in the group, and customer loyalty, such as the Bo Foundation. Although customer loyalty is different for the Bo Foundation, the main goal in mind is to get people excited about something. The something could be the group holding the raffle, the item being raffled for, or even just the excitement of putting one’s name in the raffle. All in all, raffles are an excellent way to get a community involved in helping a group reach their goal.

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Contributed by Megan Gauler

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