How to Fundraise with a 50/50 Raffle

How to Fundraise with a 50/50 Raffle

Hosting a 50/50 raffle is an easy fundraising idea that has proven to be quite 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 greatly 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 platform, even the raffle drawing can be done remotely and contact-free.

How 50/50 Raffle Fundraisers Work

online cash pot raffles

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 making a donation 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 known as 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 with a goal of raising $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 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

charity 50/50 raffles

50/50 raffles are a popular charity and nonprofit fundraisers. They offer the following 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 entires to do a live drawing in person or via live-streamed video right on your raffle fundraising website.

Client example: 50/50 Raffle Fundraiser

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 into your raffle website. Online 50/50 raffles routinely 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, you often have students or other organization supporters selling tickets for you. That’s great, but bringing all of the raffle tickets and cash together in one spot can be a real hassle. Someone (read you) need to be sure that no money is missing and ensure that everyone gets entered into the drawing. Ensuring a fair drawing for your donors is crucial to your organization’s reputation and success. 

Raffle Management functions

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 as well as 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.

DoJiggy 50/50 Raffle Websites

We make it easy to run successful 50/50 online and virtual raffles with our raffle fundraising software that manages all of the details. Our raffle websites include:

  • 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 integration (via YouTube Live, Twitch, Facebook Live, or Vimeo) for virtual 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 optionally support the platform.


How to Price Raffle Tickets for a 50/50 Drawing

As with all fundraising endeavors, it’s important to know how much your organization intends to raise on the 50/50 raffle. 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 raffle goal should be the net proceeds of the raffle, after all of the other costs have been subtracted. 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 Considerations for 50/50 Raffles

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 what is not in terms of gaming, of which raffles are included. 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 will need to verify that you are legally allowed to organize a raffle, before going live with your raffle website. You can also consult your legal counsel to ensure you are in compliance 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.

Conclusions on 50/50 Raffle Fundraisers

50/50 raffles are an easy fundraising idea for nonprofits, schools, and charity organizations alike. 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 securely raise funds. We’re here to help! 

Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

See other posts from Lisa Bennett