How To Run A Successful Fundraising Raffle
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How To Run A Successful Fundraising Raffle

A fundraising raffle can be a very successful way to raise necessary funds for your organization. Plan well in advance for success. Use your imagination to incorporate raffles in your fundraising practices. Unique coveted prizes sell the tickets themselves especially if the raffle ticket prices are low enough.

A successful fundraising raffle can tremendously boost your fundraising efforts when executed properly with thorough preparation. The last thing that needs to happen is that the raffle fails causing an organization deficit. Check with local or state gaming officials as to the legal issues governing a raffle as the first step in planning a successful fundraising raffle.

The Stand-alone Raffle

The stand-alone raffle is the major fundraising event all on its own. A number of raffle tickets are sold, on a given date the winner(s) are drawn and the prize(s) are awarded. An organization with a large member base (ticket sellers) like a church or school can successfully run this type of fundraising raffle. Otherwise, tickets can be sold through outlets in exchange for advertising.

The prizes for the stand-alone raffle need to be something the average person would love to win. A brand new automobile, a motorcycle, a pair of ATVs, a home theater setup, a large screen TV are excellent prizes. Dealers of these products may be willing to donate these or similar items to your nonprofit organization as a tax write-off especially if you name them as the sponsor of your raffle event. Others may be willing to price items at a fraction of their cost in exchange for sponsorship advertising. This cost is covered by raffle ticket sales.

A raffle of this type requires precise planning and execution. A minimum number of raffle tickets need to be sold to be successful thus requiring monitoring ticket sales on a scheduled basis such as weekly or biweekly. Procedures need to be documented as to what happens if sales fall short (extended time frame), winner responsible for paying taxes, license, insurance, is cash value a viable prize option.

The Money Raffle

The money raffle is the simplest of fundraising raffles and can be executed at the drop of a hat. This type of raffle is usually held during a function such as a New Year's Eve celebration that has quite a few participants. This kind of raffle is labeled according to the split. A 50/50 raffle awards 50% of the take to the winning draw while the organization gets to keep the other 50%. To offer 3 cash prizes when a very large group buys tickets, a 25/15/10/50 splits 50% of the take 3 ways. A 40/20/10/30 will give the house a 30% retention amount. Be aware that some state gaming laws put a maximum amount on money raffle awards.

The Prize Raffle

Like the stand-alone raffle, a prize raffle can be conducted during the few months in advance of a fundraising function that is held to include the announcement of the raffle winners. The benefit of this setup is that additional tickets will be sold on spot especially if participants can view the prizes.

Think outside the box when it comes to raffle prizes. A group of 5 or 10 tickets to a successful annual event put on by your organization will ensure a head start turnout. Proceeds from the raffle should adequately cover these ticket costs.

Local merchants are very willing to donate slow-moving merchandise or service certificates when their name is used on your raffle announcements and advertising.

Tried And True

The internet should be used to aid your fundraising raffle events. Set up a reliable free website that incorporates raffle ticket sales. Paypal is the online processor of choice. Directing buyers to your website gives them the options to purchase using their credit/debit cards as well as personal checks or bank account transfer. Include in the online transactions the cost of envelopes and postage for mailing out raffle tickets. Be aware of states that do not allow raffles. Do not go international.

Think Outside The Box

The last several years have yielded new types of raffle tickets. An organization can purchase these tickets or cards online for their members to use to raise funds. Each spot on the card carries a monetary amount for a customer to purchase and see if they win on the spot. The cards vary and offer different rewards. 

Fast Track Fundraising is an example of such a site. Their discount cards include:

Use the coupon for a 10% discount on your order. Orders can be paid for after your event. These type cards work perfectly at large gatherings where members can work the crowd.

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Comments (6)

good tips

This is an excellent guide for anyone considering running a charity raffle.

Good information. Good ways for people to have fun while raising money for charity.

Nice work Irene, some great ideas!

We have a quilt show every year and raffle off a quilt. This is an informative guide on raffles.

David S

A Better Way to Conduct a Fundraising Raffle Using Technology

Traditional raffles consisting of tickets pulled out of a hat are quite common, and in many cases quite successful. Here are some of the challenges associated with using this basic method:

Forces organization to host a banquet or post winning numbers

Some ticket buyers may question the drawing technique

Many hours of administrative work accurately documenting contact information, winners, tickets sold, tickets redeemed, prizes redeemed, etc..

No easy way to reach out to ticket buyers for future fundraising events

Drawing often lacks excitement for ticket buyers

Custom tickets can be expensive and/or time consuming to accurately produce

No easy way to run multi-tiered raffles in tandem

Traditional raffles can be much more effective and efficient by taking advantage of technology. Read more here: