You’ve held the signature special event, written the online appeal letter and the grant applications, yet you are still looking for a creative, and fun, way to raise additional funds for your mission and programs. A raffle fundraiser may just be the thing that brings your fundraising success to the next level in 2016.
A fundraising raffle is a way in which you can raise essential funds for your mission, while your donors and supporters try their luck at the chance of winning prizes such as money, trips, special experiences or unique items. Fundraising raffles can be an easy, and lucrative, way to raise both funds for your programs and a bit of excitement among your donors and supporters.
Here’s how a raffle fundraiser happens. Your donors, supporters, team members and constituents sell tickets to people for the chance to win the grand prize, or a series of prizes. People understand that they are buying a chance at winning an amazing prize, all while supporting your life-changing mission that they may already know about, or will now learn more about as a new supporter of your mission.
There are some key elements to creating, and running, a successful raffle fundraiser. A raffle can be easy to set-up and manage, when it’s done right utilizing resources and programs that are available to help.
Where to Start
The first step in running a successful raffle is to determine how much money you want to raise. Is the goal to raise net proceeds of $10,000 or $1,000? The key words here are net proceeds. When you start with the end in mind, you can determine the type of item, or items, that you would like as part of the raffle and how much you need to raise to cover the costs of the item, or items, and raise the proceeds that are needed for your budget.
Once you know the amount of net proceeds that need to be raised, you can get started on the process for running a successful raffle fundraiser.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Once you know how much money you need to raise, you can determine the prize, or prizes, that are best suited to raise the level of funds necessary. The larger the cost of the prizes, the higher the amount of money needed to raise the money to not only cover the cost of the prizes, but to raise the net proceeds needed for your organization.
For example, let’s say the prizes you are raffling off total $5,000 and you need to have net proceeds of $10,000 for your program. Therefore you would need to raise a total of $15,000 to cover the prize money and the budgeted amount for your program.
Now that you have determined the dollars, let’s talk about the prize, or prizes. One strategy that can be extremely successful is to get prizes donated from your already loyal donors and supporters. Often an organization’s Board of Directors or top donors can be helpful in this strategy. The prize money could be underwritten to ensure that all of the money raised comes right back into the mission of the organization. Maybe they have airline points, condos in tropical locations or unique business offerings that could be grouped together for amazing and unique excursions that are raffle worthy.
Another way to ease the work of determining an exciting prize is to use one that is already put together for you, like DoJiggy’s travel packages. With our travel packages, you can pick an experience that you know would be an exciting one for your supporters to win, while already knowing the upfront cost of the package, without having to do all of the work yourself. You can even offer the raffle contest winner a choice of travel packages, so that they can select mountains or ocean, based on their family’s desire.
We do the work for you allowing you to focus on thanking, stewarding and acknowledging your donors without having to worry about travel arrangements and details. There’s also no risk involved with our travel packages. If you don’t raise the money to cover the cost of the prize, you haven’t already purchased it. You simply refund the money to your donors and your nonprofit organization isn’t stuck with a prize that you can’t pay for. Less risk, less work and all the excitement that you would want your grand prize to have.
Find People & Pricing That Work
Once you have an idea as to what your fundraising raffle prize, or prizes, will be, it’s time to determine the price of tickets and how many you need to sell in order to cover the cost of the prize and meet your net proceeds goal.
Let’s run the numbers. So we know that we need to raise $15,000 to cover the cost of the prizes and raise the budgeted amount of money for the organization. The next step is to look at how many tickets at certain price points that we need to sell in order to achieve that financial target.
Whether your organization decides to sell 100 tickets at $150 or 1,000 tickets at $15 makes a big difference in how you market the raffle, who your target audience is and the amount of effort it will take in order to sell those tickets. Making the decision for pricing and number of tickets needed to be sold should be done with your current donor and supporter base in mind.
If you have a donor and supporter email list that consists of 20,000 individuals whose average gift is $25, pricing your raffle tickets at $150 may not be the best idea. You need to look at how many supporters you will be able to reach, how you will be reaching them and the trends of giving that your donors already have established. Take the time to look at average gift size, potential donors, already established donors, list size, social media reach, website visitors and volunteer base when determining the scope and reach for the raffle.
By using the data to determine the possibility of sales and ticket price you are set up for greater success from the beginning of your raffle.
Dedicate Time & Resources
In order to have a successful raffle, it’s important to plan ahead and give your group the necessary time to make raffle sales successful. Therefore, if you are considering a raffle fundraiser as one of your yearly fundraising activities, plan for at least two months of work and selling time to ensure success.
Once you have determined your prize, or prizes, ticket price and sales goal, it’s time to get creative. The more creative, fun and professional looking your raffle is, the more apt supporters will be to support it. Make sure that the branding for your nonprofit is present on the raffle tickets themselves, in addition to all marketing collateral such as your website, social media posts and mail letters and e-newsletters.
Enlisting the help of your Board of Directors, committee members, staff and volunteers to help sell tickets is a great way to not only engage them, but empower them in the excitement of the raffle. You may also consider incentives to entice your ticket selling volunteers to sell a certain number of tickets.
Establish a Fundraising Raffle Website
Yet, with all of this hard work, if your website doesn’t support your efforts, you won’t be set up for the maximum amount of success. Does your organization’s website have the ability to sell raffle tickets? This is especially important if you are selling higher priced raffle tickets. Most people don’t have $100 or even $50 on them in cash and may not be willing to make a commitment to this level of support on the spot.
Here’s where DoJiggy can help. We offer options for direct raffle sales or crowdfunding websites where your sellers can get credit for each raffle purchase that comes through their personal fundraising page.
Be sure the user experience is seamless and professional when a constituent wants to make a gift or purchase a raffle ticket. We can help you maximize your fundraising efforts to exceed your raffle, and yearly, fundraising goals.
Once the prizes have been determined, design work done, volunteers deployed and all the tickets are sold the best part comes at the end- picking the winner! Picking the raffle prize winner is one of the best parts of the raffle process and is a great way of adding excitement to the culmination of the raffle. This should be done in a public setting to build excitement and ensure everyone feels the process was done fairly. The raffle drawing could be done at your offices or service location, as part of an Open House event. Or, host the drawing at a local bar or restaurant with a portion of the night’s proceeds going towards your cause.
Once a winner is picked make sure you communicate it to the winner first and reach their agreement before announcing it publicly. When you make the announcement publicly, it’s a great opportunity to thank your supporters, illustrate the importance of the work that they supported and continue to reach out to them with stewardship activities to ensure that they stay close to your organization’s mission.
Whatever the prize, a fundraising raffle is a fun and engaging way to not only raise vitally important funds for your work, but to also engage your amazing supporters at every donation level.