Hosting a 50/50 raffle is an easy fundraising idea that has proven lucrative for many organizations. Even many professional sports teams host 50/50 charity raffles online. The success of these charity raffles used to be limited and based on reaching supporters when they had cash on hand. Not anymore! After you clear any initial hurdles with your state or provincial regulatory agency, a 50/50 raffle fundraiser is easy to host online.
Taking your 50/50 raffle online extends the reach of your campaign and makes the raffle so much easier and more secure to manage. Better yet, 50/50 online raffles are perfect virtual fundraising campaigns during COVID-19. With our raffle platform, even the raffle drawing can be done remotely and contact-free.
Here’s What We’ll Cover
How 50/50 Raffle Fundraisers Work
Fundraising raffles incentivize people to buy tickets for a chance to win a prize or prizes. Once a certain number of tickets are sold and/or a specified time passes, winning tickets are randomly chosen. The great thing about charity raffles is that supporters know they are donating to a great cause, along with getting a chance to win.
In the case of a 50-50 fundraising raffle, the prize is 50% of the money taken in through raffle ticket sales. The other 50% is retained by the nonprofit organization or charity holding the raffle. Hence the name, 50/50 raffle fundraiser. 50/50 raffles are also called Split the Pot or Cash Raffles (which can be run as 60/40 or any other split amount).
The 50% prize can be awarded as one prize or spread across more than one prize. For example, say your organization runs a 50/50 raffle to raise $50,000. You could award just one $25,000 prize winner, or you could pull prizes like this:
- Grand Prize Winner – $12,500 (or half of the winners’ pot)
- Second Prize Winner – $7,500
- Third Prize Winner – $5,000
Having three winners of a significant amount may incentivize donors to give more since they would have a greater chance to win a prize.
Benefits of 50/50 Raffles
50/50 raffles are popular charity and nonprofit fundraisers. They offer great benefits for nonprofits and charitable organizations:
- Great ROI (Return on Investment) – For the time and money invested, it’s hard to find a better return. Raffles are a low-impact fundraiser, particularly when run completely online.
- The 50-50 raffle won’t interfere with your other fundraisers and can be promoted during or in conjunction with any fundraising campaign.
- 50/50 online raffles are perfect for no-contact and virtual fundraising during COVID.
- With 50/50 raffles, your organization can completely skip the raffle prize procurement process and focus on promoting the charity raffle instead.
Reasons to Take Your 50/50 Charity Raffle Online
Taking your 50/50 fundraiser online takes the game to a whole new level. Your organization will have a customized URL and website for selling 50/50 raffle tickets. No need for printing or processing raffle tickets, as our system can randomly draw your raffle winners. Of course, you can always print the entries to do a live drawing in person or via live-streamed video on your raffle fundraising website.
You Can Charge More Online
While you can certainly run a 50/50 fundraiser with $1 tickets at a school sporting event, how much will you realistically raise doing this? Maybe a couple of hundred dollars if your organization has some good sellers. However, taking your 50/50 fundraiser online allows you to raise way more.
Nothing against spare change raffles, and you can enter entries sold in person on your raffle website. Online 50/50 raffles can sell tickets for $25 – $100 or even more. Funds are taken securely online by credit card, so donors don’t need to have cash in their pockets to participate.
Online Raffles Keep Everything Organized
With paper raffle ticket sales, students or other supporters often sell tickets. That’s great, but bringing all the raffle tickets and cash together in one spot can be a hassle. Someone (read you) needs to ensure that no money is missing and everyone gets entered into the drawing. Ensuring a fair drawing for your donors is crucial to your organization’s reputation and success.
All of these tasks are handled seamlessly online with our raffle platform.
Participants Can Sell Raffle Tickets with Personal Fundraising Pages
Our online raffle platform makes it easy for your organization to succeed when peer to peer fundraising is enabled. Here’s how P2P fundraising works – all of your organization’s participants (think staff, volunteers, students) will have their own raffle fundraising page and URL. All sales that come through that page will count towards their fundraising thermometer goal and the organization’s total goal. Participants can easily share the page on social media and via email and sit back to watch the 50/50 raffle sales come in! You can award prizes for top fundraisers to sweeten the deal.
Our 50/50 Raffle Websites Sell
We make it easy to run successful online and virtual 50/50 raffles with our fundraising software that manages all the details. Our raffle websites include the following:
- Free text to give (US clients only at this time)
- A fundraising thermometer to show supporters your progress and their potential winnings
- Optional P2P fundraising pages for raffle ticket sellers
- Automatic, randomized drawing capabilities
- Live Stream video studio for virtual drawing and fundraising events
- Social Media sharing options to reward supporters who share links and bring in other donors with more raffle entries
Best of all, our raffle websites can be run completely free of charge with our innovative tipping model that allows donors to support the platform.
How to Price Raffle Tickets for a 50/50 Drawing
As with all fundraising campaigns, knowing how much your organization intends to raise on the 50/50 raffle is important when pricing tickets. Don’t just leave this to chance, or your organization may not win. Your fundraising goal should be publicized widely since, in the case of a 50/50 cash pot, your supporters want to know how much they can win.
Remember, the fundraising goal should be the raffle’s net proceeds after subtracting all costs. For large-scale fundraising raffles, you may want to implement a fundraising event budget to ensure that you haven’t missed anything.
Read more on the strategy involved in pricing raffle tickets.
Legal Consideration: Is It Legal to Run a 50/50 Raffle Online?
While the IRS considers all raffles a form of gambling, it does allow them to be run by qualified 501(c) nonprofit organizations. This means that all funds raised from a raffle must be sent directly to a 501(c) organization and that the organization must agree to take responsibility for the legal compliance of the raffle fundraiser.
States have exclusive rights to determine what is allowed and not in gaming, including raffles. The laws for raffles vary from state to state and even within states themselves. Some states require a license or permit to run a raffle. Online raffles are currently prohibited in the following states: Alabama, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Utah, Washington, Iowa, and Minnesota. Montana prohibits raffle ticket purchases by credit card.
Be sure to check with your state’s Attorney General’s office before planning a raffle to determine regulations surrounding nonprofit raffles in your state. You must verify that you are legally allowed to organize a raffle before going live with your raffle website. You can consult your legal counsel to ensure your organization complies with federal, state, and local laws.
Similarly, in Canada, fundraising raffles are governed by the provinces, and the charity or organization running the raffle may need to apply for a provincial license.
Read our blog on legal considerations for UK charity raffles.
Conclusion: 50/50 Raffle Fundraisers Rock!
50/50 raffles are an easy fundraising idea for nonprofits, schools, and charity organizations. Just be sure that your organization is in compliance with all local laws and regulations and uses an online platform to make it easy to raise funds securely. We’re here to help!