Raffle fundraising can be a very successful way for groups to raise fundraising dollars and can be successfully run by schools, churches and non-profit organizations alike. A successful fundraising raffle has the capacity to produce high profit margins with few upfront costs – making raffles a popular non-profit fundraising strategy. Fundraising raffles are also a great option for a group of any size. For instance, a high-school yearbook club that has only five members can be just as successful with a raffle fundraiser as a large sports team.
Is Raffle Fundraising Legal?
Please note that to be legal, the proceeds from a fundraising raffle must benefit a legally registered non-profit or charitable organization. States have exclusive rights to determine what is allowed and what is not in terms of gaming, of which raffles are included. Be sure to check with your state’s Attorney General office before planning your raffle to determine regulations surrounding nonprofit raffles in your state.
Also, many payment processing gateways (including PayPal) consider raffle fundraising to be the same as gambling, and therefore, do not allow organizations to process raffle funds. You may be able to get special permission in some cases – so it’s best to check with your preferred payment processing gateway before planning to host an online raffle fundraiser.
Establishing Fundraising Goals
Determining how much money you wish to raise from the raffle is the first step in creating fundraising goals. Once you determine your fundraising goal, you’ll set your price structure. Many organizations have a single raffle ticket price, as well as a discounted rate for multiple purchases.
Next, decide if your students or participants have a minimum quantity to sell. For example, if a sports team is raising money for new equipment, perhaps each team member is tasked with selling a minimum of ten raffle tickets. Setting realistic goals always helps with raffle sales. Make sure to allow a reasonable amount of time for the raffle ticket sales (a minimum of one month to 6 weeks). Trying to sell raffle tickets last-minute will make it very difficult to accomplish your goals.
Don’t forget to create incentives for your ticket sellers. Establish milestones that reward sellers and great prizes for top-performers. This will motivate your group to achieve more and keep everyone focused on the fundraising goals.
Setting Raffle Ticket Prices
Raffle ticket price should be high enough to reflect the value of the prize and raise the funds needed, but shouldn’t be so high that few will buy a ticket. You have to know your audience. Keep in mind that if students are participating and purchasing tickets, you’ll want to have some low price-point items and plan to sell more tickets. Remember, you can charge higher ticket prices for the larger prizes. Many organizations have a single raffle ticket price (say $20-30), as well as a discounted rate for multiple purchases (perhaps 5 for $100).
Managing Raffle Sales and Donations Online
The next question may be “Where can we sell raffle tickets?” One of the most important considerations when planning a fundraiser raffle is how to successfully manage the money raised through raffle ticket sales and donations. Online raffle sales are a great way to spread the word, plus, accepting credit cards makes it easy for your constituents to participate and less hassle for your ticket sellers to collect cash and checks. Who has $100 to spare in their wallets, after all?
DoJiggy Offers Affordable Fundraising Software for Online Raffle Fundraising.
DoJiggy offers a complete registration and donation management system for fundraising raffles, where various volunteers and/or students collect raffle donations. With our crowdfunding platform, each seller creates and manages a personal fundraising page and invites friends and family to make secure raffle donations on the page. Each donation of a certain amount qualifies the donor for a raffle ticket. An online tool like this makes it easy for your supporters to promote the raffle fundraiser and for the organization to track which students or groups (classes, clubs) raise the most money. Fundraising thermometers and leaderboards are included in your website template, so everyone can track fundraising progress. Ticket sellers can set up a link to their fundraising page on Facebook or other social media page, or email neighbors, co-workers, relatives, and anyone in their address book. The added incentive of offering prizes to the top fundraisers will help your organization or school raise more money on your next fundraising raffle.
Many fundraiser raffles are held in conjunction with a fundraising event – the event may be the kick-off of the raffle or the final destination when the winning raffle tickets are drawn. Either way, raffle tickets can be sold online, along with event registrations, sponsorships, and more on our event management software platform. With this platform, all online raffle ticket sales are calculated together and sellers are not recognized. This is a good option for lower price raffles with smaller prizes, managed as one part of a larger fundraising event. Many of our golf tournament websites use this function.
In order to reach a broader audience, volunteers may want to consider selling raffle tickets at other activities such as a school car wash, sporting event, or pep rally. Some groups set up booths at local grocery stores, similar to how the Girl Scouts sell cookies. In this case, be sure to have a raffle flyer (or school fundraising flyer) to share with prospective donors, which includes your website address.
Successful Fundraising Raffle Essentials – The Prizes!
Appealing prizes make for a successful fundraising raffle. After all, this will be the first question people will ask when approached to purchase tickets. Make sure the prizes are desirable and are relevant to your audience and location. Relevancy is important to your success – for example, while gun raffles are popular with sporting groups and clubs, a gun raffle would not be appropriate for a school fundraiser.
Though you always want to ask for donations first, don’t limit your fundraising raffle to donated items. This is a mistake that many organizations make, as they want to keep all of the raffle proceeds. Yet organizations can raise far more money with desirable, high-value items. We’re not talking about $1 raffles at the football game here, in this case, donated prizes are fine and necessary to raise money. But if your school or organization wants to raise $5,000, $10,000 or even more on a fundraising raffle, you will likely need to purchase the grand prize.
Here are some great raffle prizes that are sure to attract attention:
- Travel Packages: Offering a travel package is always a great grand prize idea, as most people love to travel but are hindered by the high costs. Approach an airline that uses your city as a hub and ask for them to donate two round-trip domestic tickets; it’s great advertising for them and a high-ticket item like this will help sell more raffle tickets. If you cannot get a travel package donated, consider trying one of our unique travel packages.
- Weekend Getaways: Look for desirable locations nearby and put together a compelling weekend get-a-way including hotel, spa service, dinner, and entertainment. These are often privileges people will not purchase for themselves but will greatly appreciate if won for a prize.
- Electronic Equipment: Flat screen TVs and stereos are always incentives, especially for guys. Is there a local electronic store that may be interested in participating? The additional exposure could be beneficial in an economic environment where retail sales are slow.
- Gift Certificates or Gift Cards: These are great secondary prizes and could include any local stores, movie theaters or local restaurants. Movie passes or free pizza may be great considerations for students. And, don’t forget online gift cards that appeal to teens like iTunes.
- Sports Memorabilia: Autographed items from sports celebrities and/or game tickets can be a great raffle prize. This is especially relevant if a sports team or booster club is hosting a raffle.
- 50/50 or Cash Raffles: With a 50/50 raffle, the sponsoring school or charity receives 50% of the raffle and the raffle winner receives the other 50%. Another option here is to award a grand prize of a certain monetary amount and secondary prizes in diminishing amounts. Be sure to check with your Attorney General’s office, as some states do not allow cash raffles under any circumstances.
- House Raffles: Some schools and non-profit organizations have even had successful House raffles. Tickets for this type of raffle are generally $100 or more, so you will need to have a strong base of committed constituents. The most important things to consider here are getting good legal counsel (again, start at the attorney general’s office) and establishing a minimum number of tickets that must be sold in order to cover your raffle items. If minimums are not met, all raffle donations must be returned to donors. The same applies to a car raffle.
- Winner’s Choice Raffles: Winner’s Choice raffles are a great raffle idea, to ensure that the winner loves their prize. This is easy to implement with our great travel packages and can also be used for a car raffle, electronic equipment, gift certificates and other prizes.
One of your goals is to keep costs minimal, and this is easiest if you get several of the raffle prizes donated. The best way to get donations is to start by talking to students, parents and employees at your school or non-profit organization. Individuals and local business persons may have something of value to contribute and their in-kind contributions can be considered for event sponsorship. After you’ve exhausted all routes for in-kind donations, purchase items to fill in the blanks.
Wrapping Up the Fundraising Raffle
It’s a must that the raffle drawing occurs in a public setting where everyone is invited to attend. Why not create a great gathering or event where you can raise more funds? Ticket holders are invited to the event and refreshments can be purchased. Include a silent auction or other means of raising money while everyone is gathered together.
Lastly, make sure to thank all your volunteers, businesses who donated in-kind prizes, ticket sellers and buyers. And be sure to acknowledge your star performers: those who raised the most funds for your cause.
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