Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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November 21, 2018

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Raffle Ideas for Fundraising

by Kimberly Reynolds

People enjoy getting a chance to win something, so here are a some easy fundraiser raffle ideas to boost your fundraising efforts. Your raffle can be an inexpensive ticket for a prize drawing or a $100 ticket for a big prize such as a big screen television or a new car.

The basics of a raffle fundraiser are quite simple. Your costs are limited to the ticket expense and purchasing the prizes. Often times, local merchants will donate items or offer special discounts to nonprofits or school groups.

As with any fundraiser, the better the items offered, the more funds you raise. Your fundraising raffle can be of short duration or have tickets for sale for a month or more.

It all depends on how much you are trying to raise and what type of raffle you conduct.

Get Publicity

Publicity is the key element of a fundraiser raffle, particularly when offering an expensive grand prize. Issue a press release and make sure it reaches the appropriate persons at local media outlets such as newspapers, radio stations and local television.

Also get the word out through your newsletter and website as far in advance as possible. Aim to build excitement and anticipation with your supporters for the prizes to be offered.

Assign various aspects of ticket sales to as broad of a base as possible. By avoiding having one or two people try to handle everything, you'll reach a much larger number of prospects.

Door Prizes

Everybody loves winning a door prize at an event, so keep that in mind when deciding how many prizes to give away.

Be sure to sell raffle tickets at the door as that is the prime time for an impulse buy.

Keep your prize expense to roughly one-third of your projected revenue.

Automobile Drawing

A new car raffle is always a huge draw because it appeals to almost every adult. Because of the prize expense, you'll need to decide the best balance between ticket prices and total revenue.

I've seen car raffles priced anywhere from $20 to $100 with proportionately more tickets needing to be sold when prices are lower. In this example, five times as many $20 tickets need to be sold.

Multiple Prizes

Having multiple prizes increase the chances of winning, but more importantly, it also increases the chance that people will buy a ticket or even multiple tickets.

The psychology behind providing multiple prizes is proven to increase participation because people are more likely to consider the odds more in their favor. There is also a belief that having various prizes also increases the chance of having one that appeals strongly to almost anyone.

Among the most popular prizes are big screen TVs, CD players, iPods, gift certificates, spa visits, and weekend getaways.

50/50 Raffle

Here you are doing a door prize raffle, but the prize is half the ticket sales. It certainly simplifies things and most people like the idea of winning cash.

A 50/50 raffle works great at sporting events such as football or basketball games, but it can also be used at any type of event.

Cash Calendar Raffle

This raffle idea combines a calendar sale with a chance at winning a prize. Each calendar purchase includes a raffle ticket for a prize drawing for a certain amount of cash.

Some groups do just one prize drawing from the raffle tickets. Others offer a continuing series of cash drawings, usually on a weekly basis.

Prices for cash calendar fundraisers are often in the $20-$25 range, depending on the cash prize drawing. A weekly prize of $50 or $100 is common, with larger prizes of $500 or $1,000 being offered at some stages of these fundraisers.

Raffle Ideas Wrap-up

A fundraiser raffle is a great way to raise funds, either as a standalone fundraiser or in conjunction with an fundraising event. For instance, you can add a raffle to a school carnival, a black tie charity event, or even a car wash.

The most important thing is to offer attractive prizes with widespread appeal and price your tickets to maximize total revenue. It doesn't do any good to overprice the tickets because total ticket sales will suffer. Choose the right price point to stimulate impulse buys.

Most people will make an emotion-based decision to participate and then justify it with logic, so make sure your raffle prizes seem really attractive in comparison to the ticket cost.

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About the Author:

Kimberly Reynolds writes for national publications about youth fundraisers, fundraiser raffle ideas and church fundraisers. Find more school fundraising ideas on her website,

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